To me it seems almost like the side-scrolling/vertical shooters are becoming sort of a trend these days with more and more games in this genre fetching incredible amounts of cash on sites like ebay. Honestly, the quality of a lot of these titles is outstanding and of course a lot of them truly are rare games but the fact that some games are fetching $400 plus and continually garner large amounts of status quo in gaming circles seems semi-ridiculous. It's one thing to regard a game as high quality, which surely is the case with 'Radiant Silvergun' (Treasure seems to constantly improve on tried and true formulas), but to be swayed by their rarity alone into beliveing that a game is somewhat superior to another, just because the quantities produced differ, and just because you saw some 'cool gamer kid' prophesizing about the lack of quality in pseudo 2-D games created today, sort of makes me sick. I'm sorry for the tirade but when one plays 'Aero Blasters' then continues to see little or no support or even recognition from the gaming public it sort induces fits of rage.
The Turbo Grafx was a supposed 'Shooters Fantasy' console; imports and ports of many shooters existed in lieu of its immanent death, and 'AB' in particular struck me as one of the best the genre had to offer. The game seems almost like a prequel to 'Mars Matrix.' Unlike 'MM' it's side-scrolling as well as using an upgrade system, different from 'Gradius' and the semi-leveling up and individualizing of a ship though and more like 'Blazing Lazers' in that you get various weapons thrown at you and can decide which one to use as your external weapon (In 'AB' you have a constant base weapon; differnet from 'BL'). The similarity between 'Mars Martix' and 'Aero Blasters' comes when you use the special weapon. In 'MM' you could suck in all enemy bullets, using a chargable meter, and throw them back in their faces, while at the same time protecting yourself. In 'AB' you can also use a chargeable super weapon that will destroy both weak enemies and all bullets on screen at any given moment. The differences are, of course, numerous in the two, but I wanted to use this as a point of reference to include 'AB' in the higher part of the heirarchy of shooterdom.
Continuing in the tradition of most shooters you are presented with a sort of cake-walk entrance level and it progressively injures you as it goes along. By 'injure' I mean, torment, scoff and kick when dead. For my level of gaming, this is hard. Sometimes the amount of enemies on screen is unbelievable for such an antiquated system and other times you are rendered helpless, even with your 'super weapon,' to the speed and physics which the game will subject you to. Out of all the tricks a shooter can pull, this games does them and then some.
In writing this review I wanted to shed light on a game I deem unapreciated. The idea that people will spend hundreds of dollars for a game they will hold in their closet while at the same time neglect a game that you can usually find for under ten bucks is continuing to baffle me. Please take my advice and give it a chance, 'Mars Matrix' would be proud!