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The Lost Sunheart aka Bouken Danshaku Don

version: jp - year: 1992 - developer: i'max / manjyu-do - publisher: i'max - format: pc engine, hucard - condition: mint - rarity: uncommon

 

Here, 3 out of 5 subweapons have been unlocked (they are in yellow).

 

The last boss is an eye like many other enemies in the game...for some reason, the programmers seem to have some sort of eye-fetish...

 

All five stolen Sunhearts have been restored...

 

...and happiness returned to the kingdom although many people are mysteriously missing their eyes...errr no they are not, I just made it up to make the ending sound more interesting than this lame shot...

 

Not many people worked on Lost Sunheart

 

What's this?! It looks like a... biped mouth!

Review - Lost Sunheart is an underground side-scrolling shooter for PC Engine Hucard which features classic gameplay framed within a surprisingly fresh oneiric universe.

You'll travel through weird, slightly surrealistic levels facing even weirder enemies but gameplay remains pretty straightforward.

By pressing Select, you can adjust the speed of your ship while by pressing the Run button, you'll be able to cycle through a variety of sub weapons that you'll be acquiring throughout the game. What to say about Lost Sunheart?

Technically, it's pretty average considering that there is almost no parallax scrolling and that most of the levels use a limited color palette. Luckily, the music features some inspired tunes which manage to enhance the weirdness of the atmosphere while sound effects are just in the norm.

Gameplay is as I said before, pretty straightforward although the game becomes pretty challenging by level 4. The last few levels can be very challenging and will require some pattern memorization and good reflexes to go through them. Because the audio-visuals are so dated, you could get either discouraged or bored before you get to see the ending, which in all truth, is not memorable since it only consists of 1 single shot and the credits roll.

As always with these kinds of games, if you plan on finishing it you'll have to be able to get to the last level basically without ever losing a ship. The reason? Get killed and you restart from the beginning of that level and you lose all of the accumulated power ups…

Moreover, it's difficult to power up because if you get hit, you immediately power down…

On the bright side, you'll be granted 3 continues while your ship has a life bar and health icons will sometimes be available for you to pick up.

Also, some of the sub-weapons are extremely useful like the shield for example, or powerful like the laser beam which can be either charged up R-Type style or if set on auto-fire, it can be used like a devastating machine gun (advice: use it on the last boss!).

In the end, Lost Sunheart isn't the best Hucard shooter around (Down Load should deserve priority over this one) but it is nevertheless an entertaining alternative which you should seek if you are looking for some old school and a bit obscure shmupping action: be warned though, the game is both hard to locate and hard to finish.

Bottom line: a weird-looking side-scrolling shooter with tough gameplay. 6/10


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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