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Some new shoot’m’ups – a quick comparison and review

PostPosted: Jul 10, 2005 @ 8:09pm
by Menneisyys
I've compared five new (sorry, no Turjah 2!) shoot'm'up games for the Pocket PC:

1. SkyForce ( - interestingly, there is no direct link on their homepage to this title ),
2. Darklaga ( ),
3. AngelFish ( ... ociateid=5 ),
4. Foo Fighter ( ) and
5. FirePower-onrush ( ... 2%5D_title ) and came to the following conclusion:

- SkyForce has great visuals, music and sounds; IMHO, it’s much better than those of FirePower-onrush (much as PDArcade prefers the latter to the former; see for example ... ent&id=324
and ... ent&id=284 on this). Compared to Darklaga, both other applications offer much better visuals. Darklaga seems as if it were an Amiga- or EGA-port with 16/32 colors. It looks pretty bad (its playability is very good though).

Just for a quick test, I’ve also installed the Palm OS version of SkyForce on my 144 MHz, slowish (but I love it because of its screen, which is much better than any QVGA Pocket PC screens) Palm Zire71. Man, this game rocks on Palm! It runs with almost the same speed, same 3D animation, with almost the same music and sound effect quality as on my hi-end Pocket PC’s! The only difference was that the ship couldn’t be controlled with the stylus, unlike on the Pocket PC. Thumbs up Infinite Dreams!

- the saving/level skip option is really missing from SkyForce!

- much as DarkLaga ( review: ) doesn’t have the visuals as those of SkyForce, it can be pretty entertaining.

- Much as a lot of people love FirePower-onrush (read for example on this), I didn’t find it so good as SkyForce. The music is repetetive (much as, as opposed to that of SkyForce, it’s in stereo), the sprites aren’t as pretty as in SkyForce etc. Please also read for a review.

I haven’t found AngelFish so good as either DarkLaga or, especially visually, SkyForce. It uses far less spectacular graprhics than the latter game. Its worst omission is the lack of stylus control. This indeed reduces its playability, compared to the other apps. Another considerable bug in AngelFish is that, as with some other games of the same firm, that much as you can instruct it to be installed on a memory card, it will always be installed in the main memory, under \Program Files\Fathammer\. You can, however, move the contects of this directory to anywhere – fortunately, the game doesn’t have registry entries to depend on.

Finally, Foo Figter. When I started it, I immediately thought “wow! A Xenon 2 clone!”. I loved Xenon 2 and played it endless hours back in 1990 on my 12 MHz IBM XT and, later, on my Gameboy and just loved the game. It was highly addictive.

On the surface, Foo Figter is very similar to the classic – it’s clearly visible it’s a ripoff, even the enemies come in almost the same order and from the same positions. Unfortunately, being a ripoff doesn’t mean everything that made Xenon 2 great things
it’s, in my opinion, clearly worse and less playable than Xenon 2. it’s just a bit dull, especially when you compare it to DarkLaga or SkyForce. Of course, it’s probably the “Hey! I want as addictive a game as was Xenon 2!” feeling that makes me pretty disappointed me with Foo Figter.

Incidentally, you can download the current remake of Xenon 2, Xenon 2000: Project PCF, from ... /index.htm . It’s really an up-to-date remake of the classic. Unfrotunately, the soundtrck is no longer the well-known Megablast one – it’s still worth downloading. After all, it’s a great game even with the non- Megablast music.

Bottom line: I think SkyForce, despite the lack of saving, is the best game of all. It has great visuals and sounds.

You, however, may want to check out both of these titles yourself. Feel free to read the above-linked threads and reviews.

PostPosted: Jul 10, 2005 @ 8:45pm
by sponge
Agreed between Skyforce and Darklaga. Onrush or whatever doesn't even count in my book as the graphics are rips from the Metal Slug games.