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Rayxanber II

version: jp - year: 1991 - developer: data west- publisher: datawest - format: pc engine, cdrom - condition: mint - rarity: slight

The first boss is very easy. Just shoot the eye and dodge a few predictable bullets

 

Level 2 boss is slighly more difficult than the first boss. Still very easy to dispose of though compared to the rest of the game

 

Level 3 puts you against a giant spider

 

The boss will first fire a very fast laser beam at you. Use your thrust to avoid it and then try to collect a rear- weapon for an easier victory

 

Level 4 is a true nightmare

 

Pass thru the membrane and try to destroy the rocks before they bounce out of the air pockets they are in

 

and look out for the worms and other assaliants...

 

Level 4 boss is very tricky. After blasting his eye, go for the weak spot behind him. Side-weapon highly recommended.

 

Level 5 is actually not that hard

 

The boss seems to be easy but after beating him, he'll suck you in!

 

The 2nd part is actually much harder. The 2 asteroids will gravitate fast around you, and if you shoot them a few times, they will shoot back a huge laser beam at you. Aim for little brains to the right.

 

Done!!

 

Level 6 requires you to dodge rock blocks that have almost the same color of the background. Very hard and that's as far as I got...

Review - Some games were just developed to punish human vanity and to annihilate your ego.

When I picked up Rayxanber II, I knew before-hand that it was going to be another one of those marathons against sadistic programming. Also, I kind of knew what to expect since I already briefly tried the 1st chapter on Marty (although I'll need to get back at it more in depth).

I wasn't too worried about the difficulty though, because I played and finished many “impossible” games across different genres such as Viewpoint (NG), Shadow of the Beast (A500), and Magatama (Xbox) to name a few that pop to mind.

Rayxanber II intro is very simple since basically as soon as the game loads, the only thing you can do is start a new game without having the chance to go to any options screen.

The graphical style is austere and the color palette feels a bit cold. This contributes to create a certain sense of hostility. The scrolling is very fast and there are many layers of cool parallax scrolling so the general impact of the visuals is definitely above average. Enemies are also well drawn and bosses are big and have a lot of detail, which is nice.

The music plays directly off the CD and it is of very good quality. Soothing tunes, a bit melancholic greatly reflect the mood that this game transmits.

When playing Rayxanber II for the first few times you'll feel chased and helpless. Your main weapon will seem totally inadequate to deal with the alien threat while the seldom icons which carry other more powerful weapons will always seem to be too little, too late. Even that super-beam functionality (R-Type-style) will do nothing for you, as you'll inevitably fly to your doom.

When you'll feel overwhelmed by the incredible toughness of even the most insignificant enemies, you'll be so demoralized that you'll either throw your system out of the window and retire into a buddhist Monastery somewhere in Nepal or you'll stick to the ongoing slaughter, trying to see if you are actually missing something.

Well, I honestly didn't feel like going to Nepal, so I stick to Rayxanber II and if there is one thing that will let you advance through this incredibly tough challenge, that is to abandon that whole conception of shooters that you carried with you until today.

What I am trying to say here is that in this game, weapons are so underpowered that you will often have to ignore enemies altogether and simply try to destroy what you can . Do not try to kill everything and do not fly idiotically everywhere on the screen, because you'll get punished beyond redemption. Try to stay as cool as you can, focus on what's going on on the screen and try to achieve the maximum benefit with the minimum effort. And memorize your foes' patterns.

Luckily, aside from the main weapon, you'll be able to use a super-thrust to get you out of danger. Do not underestimate it because it will often be the only thing that will let you survive for another few vital seconds. If you manage to put up with the fact that you only have 3 ships in stock, and that every time you lose them, you are sent back to the beginning of the level, then maybe you'll be able to get to the first boss.

The good news is that bosses are often easier than the levels themselves (which shouldn't lead you to think that all bosses are easy). Also, once you understand their pattern, they become even less of an issue. But to get to that point, chances are you'll die so many times as to almost lose your sanity. The reason is simple.

Picture this: you get to the end of the level. The game loads for a few seconds, the boss shows up, it shoots an incredibly fast laser beam at you, and you are gone. What the…who? Where?? What happened? Just try to stay calm, and try to focus on what you need to do just to stay alive. You'll worry about what you have to shoot later! Anyways, I played the game for about 10 hours and when I thought that everything was lost as I started to hit that invisible “ceiling” that prevented me from advancing any further, I somehow beat level 4 (what a digital nightmare!) and the ultra-hard boss of level 5 after that. I reached level 6 (the last level) and although very tough, it seemed to be doable with some practice.

But time wasn't on my side anymore as I felt drained physically and mentally. When I realized I was repeatedly crashing on the same ships, the only option was to temporarily give up and go to bed (and switch the damn console off).

Today, I played the game for another 3 hrs and since I got the levels down, I got (relatively) quickly again to the last level but this time, it didn't load…I am not ready to take that kind of stuff though, so I think that I won't play this insane shooter anymore. As long as I have to put up with sadistic level design, and occasional slowdown that seems to plot specifically against me, I can still deal with it. But I can't deal with a game so hard as to require me to sit in front of the TV for at least 3 hours (insulting and cursing the whole of Data West and their progeny in the process) just to suddenly freeze on me on the last level. F**K THAT! I'm off to Nepal !

Bottom line: a freaking bloodbath....7,5/10

 

P.S. : I tried a third (and final) session at Rayxanber II and for some unfathomable reason, it only decided to load the music when I reached the last stage.

Anyways, the loading problem seems to be because of my PCE and not because of the game since other games I have sometimes don't load properly anymore...

By the way if you do reach level 6 (assuming it loads) and you have to take a break, DO NOT TURN YOUR CONSOLE OFF! Just leave it turned on, let it even melt down if you have to :)

Anyways, here are some numbers to give you an idea if you ever decide to give this shooter a try:

Total play time:
15 hrs
1st gaming session (Stage 1-6)
10 hrs
2nd gaming session (Stage 1-6)
3 hrs

3rd gaming session (Stage 1-6)

2 hrs
Last stage loaded
1 time out of 3
Shortest time to finish a level
about 5 min, using only 1 ship (level 5)
Longest time to finish a level
about 2 hrs, using an incredible amount of continues (level 4)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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