version: jp - year: 1992 - developer: compile - publisher: naxat - format: pc engine, cdrom - condition: mint - rarity: hard to find
The Beam Saber is very powerful for close-quarter combat but it leaves you more vulnerable to enemy fire
Boss battles often play out in evocative arenas
Cut-scenes are long and well drawn
Your side-kicks will often come join the melee. Losing one of them results in dramatic speeches
Keep the best weapons in your arsenal for the boss-fights
Further on into the game, you'll be able to choose between various weapons configurations. Experiment them all to discover which one best suits your playing style
The V. Buster is very powerful but is limited to only 20 shots
The last level is as you would expect, the most challeging although this guy must be the easiest thing in the entire level! I took a pic of him just cause he looks cool with that huge spiky exoskeleton!
The last boss has 2 forms and he'll probably make you bite the dust a few times before you annihilate him for good.
The ending sequence is short and disappointing epecially if compared to the quality of the cut-scenes throughout the game
Review-Spriggan Mark 2 is maybe called this way because it marks a clear departure from Spriggan both in terms of audio-visuals and gameplay.
For one thing, the vertical scrolling formula has been abandoned to adopt a side-scrolling view. Also, the fantasy theme has been dropped in favour of a sci-fi setting.
Graphically, Spriggan Mark 2 looks very different too. Gone are the vivid, happier colors found in the first game. Here, the color palette tends to be darker to give to the game a more realistic look.
In fact, this new graphical style looks good although it feels a bit cold. It is certainly reminiscent of Spriggan Powered, a semi-sequel developed by Naxat. The multi-layered parallax scrolling is very fast while enemies pop up unexpectedly from the front and the back. To avoid being encircled, quickly turn around by pressing a button to face them. You'll often find yourself flying backward at high speed over lunar-like surfaces, and the effect looks really cool. Bosses are big and very detailed and they'll always require you to have very fast reflexes to dodge speedy fire aimed directly at you.
The music works really well while sound effects are definitely well done and appropriate. Dialogues are told through the use of text plus speech and both are unfortunately in Japanese… and here lies one of the major problems with the game!Since Spriggan Mark 2 is a shooter with a plot, a bit like Philosoma or The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, not being able to understand what's going on is annoying. Also, keep in mind that gameplay is interrupted very often by dialogues with other pilots. This can become pretty annoying too but it is possible to disable speech at any time during play by pausing the game and selecting text only.
After each level, a long cut-scene will play to detail the story. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of shooters with a plot because most of them suffer from their gameplay being interrupted too many times, with the risk of ruining the flow of the game. Luckily in this case, it is possible to disable either speech or text or both right from the beginning of the game but at a cost! Excluding speech won't eliminate in-game text interruptions which will remain as intrusive as ever…Alternatively, you can disable both speech and text, and while gameplay will flow smoothly without any interruptions, cut-scenes between levels will also be left out! So if you want to see the full game, you're gonna have to endure the pain just like I did hehe…
Moving on to the weapon system, it actually isn't that bad since aside from the standard gun which has infinite ammo, all of the other weapons are limited and this will force you to play the game strategically, weighting carefully the best options to dispose quickly and efficiently of enemies and bosses.
About the difficulty, this game is fairly challenging since you only have 1 life. When you get hit, you health meter goes down but it will gradually replenish itself after a few seconds. Also, infinite continues are available so it's only a matter of time before you'll be able to complete it.
In the end, Spriggan Mark 2 doesn't feel like a Compile shooter but it shouldn't be criminalized for that! It still has a fair amount of distinctive elements which make it feel like a different type of shooter. Just don't expect gameplay to be as straightforward and as intuitive as the first Spriggan (or as Aleste) and you'll be OK.
Bottom line: a good little shooter, but I was expecting more from compile....6,5/10