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Border Down

version: jp, limited edition - year: 2003 - developer: g.rev - publisher: g.rev - format: dreamcast, gdrom - condition: mint - rarity: very

The ltd edition comes with an alternate cover and a soundtrack CD. Too bad the music in this game is forgettable…
























Review - "continued on the next playing…"

If you thought "Engrish" in 2D-style shooters was dead (along with shooters on DC), you must get yourself a copy of Border Down.

Developed by ex-Taito programmers for the arcades and then ported to dreamcast, this side-scrolling shooter features ultra-crisp graphics with old-school fast-paced gameplay.

In particular, I found the hybrid 2D / 3D graphics to be flawless both in terms of quality and variety. Fire and flames are rendered with incredible accuracy while boss explosions are probably the best I have ever seen in a 2D-style shooter.

Personally, I think that the 2 last stages are gorgeous and the last boss is probably one of the coolest looking bosses in Shoot'em up history!

To increase the game's longevity, the border system has been implemented.

Each level but the last one can be played through on 3 borders (green=easy, yellow=medium, red=hard) and according to the border you are in, the level changes sometimes significantly, enemy patterns differ, the time of the day changes etc…

Every time you get hit, you downgrade to the subsequent border and things get tougher. This system is apparently designed to push players to try to avoid death at all costs although I think it isn't great. It frustrates more than anything else.

Luckily, breaking records (and accumulating gameplay time?) will allow you to unlock extra credits so if you play the game enough times and get decent at it, it will only be a matter of time before you get sufficient credits to see the end of the game.

Weapons are limited but very effective and the secondary weapon is a very cool looking laser beam that annihilates everything across its path and makes you invincible for a few vital seconds. Learning to use that properly is key to succeed in beating merciless end-of-level bosses.

The best strategy I found to kill bosses quickly was to time my laser beam against theirs. The resulting clash of energy is very destructive and can be effectively directed against bosses!

Bottom line: Amazingly, the DC gets another killer release post-mortem and honestly, it is staggering to see so many quality releases gracing a buried system. DC lives on! 9/10










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