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Nexzr

version: jp - year: 1992 - developer: kaneko / inter state - publisher: naxat - format: pc engine, cdrom - condition: mint, w/o spine - rarity: hard to find

In my opinion, Nexzr is the best vertical-scrolling shooter on PCE!

 

The great intro and cutscenes are missing from Summer Carnival '93 which in turn has additional game modes

 

Bosses have recognizable patterns and aren't the hardest part of the game. Here, watch out for the falling debris

 

L3-This mid-level boss is one of the toughest obstacles in the entire game. Don't get demoralized!

 

This cool looking boss shouldn't be too much of a threat if you are equipped with lasers...if not, you are on your own!

Review - It is no secret that the Pc Engine is home to some of the greatest 2D shooters of all time and Nexzr is one of the best examples of just that.

As soon as the anime-style intro starts, it is impossible not to notice the great production values of the game. The quality of the artwork, of the animation, of the speeches (in Japanese) all contribute to introduce what could become for many a memorable experience.

Graphically, Nexzr is rock-solid. The backgrounds move smoothly while enemy ships zoom in and out of the screen at high speed, often shooting bullets that travel at even higher speed! The colors on screen have been perfectly chosen and only on rare occasions enemy fire is difficult to see. The parallax scrolling is present in each of the 6 levels of the game and certainly adds a lot to the overall impact of the graphics.

Nexzr music is quality stuff. Always appropriate and never irritating, it blends in with remarkable style. Sound effects are also very well implemented as every noise sounds convincing and never out of place.

Game-play is where things could get a bit sticky. Simply put, Nexzr is one of those games that you either love or hate. And this is because the Darwinian difficulty level will inevitably set up a "natural selection" process in which only the most die-hard, dedicated, or simply skilled players will go on and stick to the game, whereas the rest will just give up in frustration and anger, with their moral lower than the floor they step on!

The difficulty curve gets steeper by level 3, which is half-way through the game. Level 3 also offers some of the best Shmup action you can hope to get in any shooter. Before confronting L3 boss, you'll have to shoot him while flying in narrow corridors at high speed while he'll be dropping bombs all over the place and while other enemy fire will be directed at you from all sides! So the choice is yours. Endure the pain, and be rewarded with probably the best shooting action on Pc Engine or quit and miss out the great wonders that this game has in store for the most daring players.

In Nexzr, you have option-weapons that typically enhance the scope of your standard gun. Homing missiles, homing satellite ships, lasers etc all represent weapons that you should try to keep as long as you can because they give you that extra boost needed to blaze through a level without loss. Sure, even with these weapons equipped, many times you will face a premature death because often there won't be a way to predict speedy enemy patterns. Luckily, a shield will show up once or twice throughout a level and grabbing it will surely extend your life expectancy! Be warned though, there are no smart bombs or secondary weapons in Nexzr so you'll have to deal with your enemies much more carefully.

After being stuck on level 3 for a couple of days, I found out that instead of using continues to restart from that level, I was better off starting back from level 1. This way, I reached level 3 fully armed and got rid of the dreaded mid-boss in 2 seconds (well not literally in 2 seconds hehe). Anyway, beating L3 really was the turning point since after that I didn't find the game to be as challenging, as I reached the final boss relatively quickly.

I must say that L6 still provided an incredible challenge because it requires the player to focus on 2 levels. While on the foreground you get all kinds of hard to kill ships, in the background you get other ships zooming in. If you want to stand a chance, you'll need to gun them down as soon as they show up on the foreground. Lose the timing there and you quickly become history!

To conclude, Nexzr incorporates pure, hardcore to the core gameplay packed with great audio-visuals. If you are looking for a "mean" 2D shooter that will put your reflexes and brain to test, your quest ends right here.

Bottom line: lean & mean, like every shooter should be....9/10

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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