History we already know it: a couple of years ago, Platinumgames started a series of advertisements that promised to suppose the triumphant return of one of the most prestigious Japanese studies of the last decades, authors of style such as Madworld. Bayonetta, Vanquish or Metal Gear Rising. They were the Platinum 4: four novelties that would tremble the foundations of the planetary video game, redefining everything that is good and beautiful in our world. The thing began in that way, with a remistering of The Wonderful 101 lastedly financed via Kickstarter. The second announcement was more forceful: Project GG, the Brooch of the Superhero Trilogy of Hideki Kamiya, Terrible, an ambitious tribute to ultraman developed and published by the Platinum itself, a firm step to strengthen his new bet by I stepped it to me, I eat it. Our illusions were broken again with the third announcement: a new office in Tokyo, without further ado, or even worse, because it seems that in the Japanese capital they will dedicate themselves to mobile games. The fourth little door of this brief but intense advent calendar platinumiano was scheduled for April 1, 2020, a special day for a jester of the Kamiya size, who took advantage of the day of the Anglo-Saxon Innocents to announce Sun Crest, a Matamarcia of Moon Cresta, from 1980, and Terra Crest, from 1985. The reception of this fourth revelation was so bad that the Platinum 4 became five, and tried to compensate the joke with World of Demons, the mobile game that ended At Apple Arcade last year, without a lot of pity but the truth is that also without much glory.
Exactly one year after that infamous joke, on April 1, 2021, Platinum announced true_ Sun Cresta , effectively a continuation of Nichibutsu’s crest and the first of what the study calls neo-classic arcade: a New line that is looking to merge “the spirit and fun of classic games” using current technology. It was a joke, but it is no longer: Sun crest is a game that takes your goal very seriously to take the witness of Nichibutsu games and propose something new and go beyond the nostalgic chascarrillus.
Following the wake of its anncestral ancestors, Sol Cresta revolves around an interesting mechanics of reconfiguration of our ship, which, as God, is one and Trina: it is formed by three pieces, ships themselves, each of a color and with some Characteristics, and depending on how we place them the way we shoot changes. The color code is simple (the red triggers lasers, the blue remote control missiles and the yellow projectiles in the form of a drill) and in general everything behaves as would be expected; Although the gameplay has an amazing agility and complexity, very different from what used the _shmups of the 80s of which it is family, is sufficiently legible as not to overwhelm or be confusing. Most upside down, most levels, especially those of the first half, have a multitude of areas where the enemy siege is stopped to leave room for the change of formations, the jewel of the crested sun crown.
This readability is important for such a game, and it is also a stone with which Hideki Kamiya, here creative director, has stumbled on some occasion. Your best game, The Wonderful 101, often becomes indigesting about itself, and in not a few sun felt part of a very similar idea: in The Wonderful 101 you draw figures to transform your heroes group, a hundred of them, In different weapons (a cannon, a sword, a fist, also a yellow drill, like here), and the same goes on a ridge, although only with three pieces to move. By pressing a button, the three ships become uncoupled, time slows down and you have the opportunity to reposition them but also to form different figures that for a limited time allow you to make extremely powerful special attacks. Placing them in the form of ELE, for example, spears a huge diagonal ray that swepts everything in its path; Putting them online horizontally, shoot a large half moons forward and backward; If the line is vertical, you shoot some grinders that come out chaotically in all directions. Each training requires having achieved before an item, and get all at the same level gives a point bonus, in addition to allowing you to access the last transformation: the phoenix, the powerful final form that in Terra Crest was activated when assembly the five parts of the ship.
With these pieces, Sun Crest would already have enough depth to endure its seven levels without problem, especially if we serve the variety of situations proposed; there is, however, some more element, such as the sun Gauge, a bar that is filled as you collect the coins that drop the enemies (in greater quantity and most value if the weapon you use is adequate) and that You give you Power Ups, Extra points or lives; o Special attacks that allow you to shoot quickly to the sides or back, more or less useless at the beginning of the game but that little by little are gaining opportunities to look, more as extra to score that as a truly essential tool to get ahead.
That circumstance (that exist, because there are a number of mechanics or sun resources that are not necessary to move forward, not even important, and that run the risk of falling into oblivion by pure disuse) can be seen, on paper, Like a small failure of the game, and I understand that some criticisms go out there; To me, however, it seems to me an intelligent design decision, by how it raises the skill roof without getting too complex or too complicated in time (not much) you need to understand and master all the mechanics. The first time you go through the first level, for example, it is simply a first classical playground screen, with your midboss and its final boss as milestones that score it and a final tract in the form of an opportunity to win a lot of coins, just Before jumping to the next planet. The second time, however, perhaps you may try to gain some point more crossing the rings that appear from time to time, and that are more profitable if you cross them with the ship of its same color in the first position; The third may do the same with the groups of enemies, changing more and more training to match the color of your shots with that of the ships that are poured into you. The game, like good shmup, advance without rest, and you with him; The more you repeat the levels, the more confidence you have with them and their particularities (mobile scenarios, obstacles that draw labyrinths, enemies that leave the stems that cut your way…), more stimulating and fun is to try to squeeze points playing well, an objective that It represents the virtuous circle through which the platinum games die: it is stimulating play well, and playing well gives you points, and the points stimulate you to play better, etc.
It is, summarizing it a lot, a great game, a shmup with a formidable personality and claw, which expands as you play it a hundred percent Platinum, discovering new game modes and different ways of experiencing your proposal always interesting and Funny; Neither graphic dockoles, a Pastiche of visual styles that seem to refer to different moments of gender but in which they do not lack lovely winks to their ancestors (those dinosaurs who become skeletons when defeats!), I think it’s a real stumbling : Nor does a success, because they ever make the image baroque in a way that is interposed with the most important readability of the game, but no more than two games are needed to understand everything that happens on the screen.
With this I do not want to say that there are no stumbles in the ridge, although the more serious are out of the game, or surrounding it. On the one hand, the decision to launch the History mode (Dramatic Mode, in jargon in-game) separately and charging it at price of dlc post-launch is a bit suspicious: it was going to be like that from the beginning, but the unexpected delay that He took him to 2022 he ended up making the game and the DLC ready at the same time; There is not the thing, I’m afraid, not to try to reach your potential audience by pulling generosity, and surely the simple fact of collecting an extra so many people will understand as the main campaign (nothing further from reality, of course : The main thing is the arcade mode) will generate an unnecessary rejection, or, rather, it will make the rejection that already generates its high price is more pronounced. I do not want to be more vulgar than the account taking the price on my criticism, but I think the situation requires it. Sun Crest was born, after all, as a joke that wanted to be heavy and that used the illusion of his players to increase his effectiveness, to become heavier; I understand that there is someone who can not conceive the idea of deepening the joke packing for her, as if it were to take salt to a wound that every time it seems harder to close.
But listen to me: Sun crest is a genuinely good game. It is fun that are so refreshing that they have the games that have been fun to do: it shows in it passion, sometimes fetishist, when it is recreated in the winks to the originals of Nichibutsu or when Yuzo Koshiro’s music sounds especially retro, and sometimes intellectual, when the mechanics and designs demonstrate a real interest by the genre of the Matamarcianes and by the effective possibilities of this “ancient” way of representing it, leaving aside the new forms of the danmaku (which are largely are Viewed as advances, because they are) without being able to result in the old man in a superficial or aesthetic manner. It is a modern game, 2022, although its starting point is several decades ago; It is a perfect debut for a “neo-classic” line, as Platinum calls it, because at the same time it defines it and establishes a high and promising slat for possible new experiments. (That there is going to be more of these is something I personally have no clear.) Sun cresta was not a joke; Or yes, in short, but it is one of those jokes that we should be able to laugh for a long time. Hopefully the curtain is not closed before time!