Sometimes it proves difficult to adequately describe a game’s concepts in words. Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury, recently released for the XBOX Live Arcade can be best described, as its title suggests, a missile shoot’em up. Published by Treasure, Bangai-O was first released for the both the Dreamcast and Nintendo 64 consoles. With its release on Xbox Live Arcade, the game has received a high definition graphical overhaul as well as new features such as the inclusion of multiplayer. However, not even a graphical update and new features are able to save its gameplay problems.
NEW COAT OF PAINT
High Definition - To be perfectly honest, Bangai-O is simply one of those games that are nice to look at due to the updated graphics. The game looks as good as ever on Xbox Live Arcade. The hectic action that takes place on screen, with many, many missiles flying about, never hints a snag visually. The game manages to maintain a high graphical standard despite all the different obstacles that are present at any one given time.
New Features - With its release on Xbox Live Arcade, Treasure decided to include two different modes which add a certain fun factor. There is a multiplayer mode that allows for the hectic missile shooting action to be played with friends. An otherwise stale game becomes relatively enjoyable when played with others. Furthermore, there is also the presence of an edit mode which allows players to create stages (think Halo). I found myself spending an exorbitant amount of time in this stage creation mode alone and found it be the best mode available.
SHOOTING FORMULA GROWS OLD QUICK
Stale Gameplay - Bangai-O tries to create a fun atmosphere by tossing many different elements onto the screen at once. You are constantly trying to avoid certain death by omitting as many missiles and bullets as possible. However, not only does this become old quickly, there is a high difficulty spike as it becomes increasingly difficult to stay alive with so many missiles out to kill you. For a developer trying to introduce an older game to a new audience, Treasure does not help its case with the difficulty level.
Lack of Story and Music - All in all, story and music are just as important. The story is almost non-existent as it takes the backseat to the gameplay, which is fine given that it at no point suggests a strong story. However, the music also takes a backseat to the gameplay as well. The tracks are forgettable at best and do not contribute to the pumped up action feel the game tries to convey. Furthermore, the gameplay itself is not strong enough to carry the weight of the entire package as a whole.
Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury is a nice attempt at bringing an older game to a newer console. However, despite the new additions, the game does not hold up to other Xbox Live Arcade games, most notably in the gameplay department. Not only does it lose its appeal after a few hours, it suffers from a difficulty spike that is completely unforgiving for new players. Unless you are looking for a severe challenge, stay clear of this updated port.