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Salamander Portable

version: jp - year: 2007 - developer: konami - publisher: konami - format: psp, umd - condition: mint - rarity: slight

A complilation of Salamander was also released earlier for SS and PS as Salamander Deluxe Pack, but it only included Salamander 1&2 and Life Force.

 

One of the best shooters from Konami

 

the brain boss blew my mind away when I first confronted it in the arcades back in what seems like a million years ago

 

the fire level is viscious, as flames are fast and not always predictable

 

Life Force was a western remake of Salamander which substituted most of the mechanical theme with a bio-tissue theme

 

Some bosses eneded up using an alternate color palette

 

Salamander 2 came out much later, and sports amazing graphics...

 

...with cool effects...

 

...but it is very easy.

 

The MSX version of Gradius 2 (not Gradius II) is also included in this package.

 

Nemesis '90 Kai for X68000 is based on this game.

 

The first home port of Xexex!

 

The crowning jewel of this collection

 

which showcases some excellent graphics and clever gameplay ideas.

Review - The idea of playing the Salamander series on the move really sounded so good but once I got my hands on the UMD disc, my excitement somewhat withered away. Why?

Well, the PSP controls really aren't suited for hardcore shooters where pixel-perfect precision is required in the controls.

Also, the video modes are underwhelming given that the games have not been reprogrammed for the PSP screen ratio.
So either you play with the original screen ratio but have to deal with ugly borders, or you play full screen which results in blown-up, pixellated and a bit out-of-focus graphics.

Am I too demanding? Maybe. But games such as Salamander and Xexex deserve to be played the way they were intended to be enjoyed, and this is not in such a sacrificed state.

Still, if you can't afford the uber rare Xexex PCB, this compilation is the only other (legal) alternative you're left with. On the plus side, games are customizable, meaning you can set the difficulty and your stock of lives which is good.

Bottom line: A really cool compilation which would be best played on a home console connected to a TV with a proper Joypad. 8/10


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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