GAME REVIEWS

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Rayxanber II

~ RAYXANBER II ~
Data West
CD-ROM
1991

Famous for its high level of difficulty, Rayxanber II will dispose of casual players with little ado, but skilled shooter veterans should find only its fourth and sixth stages demanding to an extreme extent. The challenges presented by the rest of the game are all quite surmountable, and the whole quest is enjoyable (for those who don't give up easily, at least). The graphics are fantastic, and the soundtrack is brilliant (and quite interesting in that it gets mellower and more melodic as you advance). This blaster is right up there with Violent Soldier when it comes to the toughest PCE horizontals, and it's almost as much fun to play. Consider it a must-get for the manly shooter player.


Like the level it resides in, the first boss looks really cool but is easily passed.


Things get tougher in Stage 2, as some of the enemies (including the puny jets) can take a great deal of punishment. The boss is another big pansy, though.


Stage 3 is one of the coolest shooter stages ever, as it features an enormous mechanical spider wreaking havoc on a charred city. Avoid getting stepped on as you blast up the beast's minions.


Most of Stage 4 is blanketed in a shot-resistant web-like substance. Fight off erratic, super-fast rock-things; relentless chaser aliens; and gigantic worm-like creatures as you deal with the inhibitive environment. All of that action causes extreme slowdown that can even affect your shooting (make sure to have the turbo switch in the "middle" position to maintain a stream of fire).


Stage 5 features a wonderfully gruesome cast of mutated horrors. When you reach the boss's chamber, position yourself as shown above, and fire away with a vertical shot before the fight even commences.

The final level hurls you into intimidatingly narrow passageways that are decked out with cannons. Dodge projectiles and fend off your swift, dangerous enemies as large cement blocks hurtle down the corridors. You'll have to memorize the entire stage to stand any chance of winning; and even then, you'll need lots of luck to make it through.

Position your craft off to the side to avoid the sudden deluge of orbs. When the worm appears, make careful use of your speed burst to stay alive.

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