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Feature TNL Developer Spotlight: Treasure 01/30/2004
A look inside the Treasure box
Complete Gameography

Gunstar Heroes
Genesis, 1993
Action
(Sega port to Game Gear, 1995)

McDonald's
Treasure Land Adventure

Genesis, 1993
Action

Dynamite Headdy
Genesis, 1994
Action
(Sega port to Game Gear, 1994)
 

Yuu Yuu Hakusho:
Makyo Toitsusen

Genesis, 1994
Fighting
No American release

Alien Soldier
Genesis, 1995
Action
No American release

Light Crusader
Genesis, 1995
Action RPG
 

Guardian Heroes
Saturn, 1996
Action

Mischief Makers
Nintendo 64, 1997
Action

Radiant Silvergun
Saturn, 1998
Vertical shooter
(Arcade release in Japan, 1998)
No American release

Rakugaki Showtime
PlayStation, 1999
Action
(No American release)
 

Silhouette Mirage
PlayStation, 1999
Action
(Saturn release in Japan, 1997)
 

Sin & Punishment:
Successor of the Earth

Nintendo 64, 2000
Action
(With Nintendo R&D 1)
No American release

Bangai-O
Dreamcast, 2001
Action
(N64 release in Japan, 1999)

Silpheed: The Lost Planet
PlayStation 2, 2001
Vertical shooter
(With Game Arts)

Stretch Panic
PlayStation 2, 2001
Action
 

Tiny Toon Adventures:
Buster's Bad Dream

Game Boy Advance, 2002
Action
(No American release)

Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting
Game Boy Advance, 2002
Sports
(No American release)
 

Ikaruga
GameCube, 2003
Vertical shooter
(Dreamcast release in Japan, 2002)

Wario World
GameCube, 2003
Action

Dragon Drive: D-Masters Shot
GameCube, 2003
Action
(No American release)

Astro Boy: Omega Factor
Game Boy Advance, 2003
Action
(American release announced for 2004)

Gun Beat
Arcade (Naomi), 2000
Action
***Cancelled***
 

Tiny Toon Adventures
Defenders of the Universe

PlayStation 2, 2002
Action
***Cancelled***

Front & Center

My Gun Is a Sword - Sin & Punishment
A collaboration of two excellent companies that managed to make everything come out right. Perfect balance, perfect control, perfect pacing . . . is there anything the game doesn't do right? Arguably the graphics, since it is on the N64 and therefore comes with a built-in "crappy" filter. Yet even on that system, the sense of style and creation shine through. It even manages to use the N64 controller in a flawlessly fitting manner, which is practically a major achievement in and of itself. The animations were certainly created by people who love to watch things go boom as it returns to the old days of people exploding, and every boss's death is accompanied by a unique ballet of fire and smoke. Using an inventive gun that has a laser sword attachment (trust me, it works better then it sounds), the main characters rip through all manner of creatures and soldiers. The battles get bigger as the stage numbers get higher, culminating in a fight that has main characters Saki and Airan actually taking on an entire planet. Simply breathtaking and captivating.

Destructive Go - Ikaruga
It may be rigid in its design and it may be unforgiving for the slow, but Ikaruga is a game that gave something so unique and creative that I've personally watched people who hate shooters not be able to tear themselves away. There's something mind-breakingly awesome about flying down a corridor surrounded by a mixture of black- and white-colored enemies, trying desperately to match the color of the Ikaruga to the bullets so as not to die, and forgetting halfway down what color the ship is and which bullets are which. In the heat of battle, colors get confused and death comes quickly, but even when it hurts to think about what's what and which is what supposed to be, it's just too good to stop. Gameplay is built on an idea of pattern memorization based around thinking and color instead of just placement for dodging. It's not enough to survive and chain, it must be done with a willingness to dive right into danger and absorb all that the little ship can.

Fear the Flying Hamster - Guardian Heroes
The graphics may seem low-res these days, but style again surmounts technical limitations and brings a beautiful, well-varied class of fighters and mages together in a game that sticks to none of the typical beat-'em-up regulations. Aside from beating the crap out of people, of course. It adds a leveling-up system built on thrashing enemies in combos that can be used to customize characters in any way one chooses and features a branching story system with multiple endings and end bosses. Even if one gets bored going through alone or with a friend, there's always the six-player fighting arena in which any characters at all - including the hapless civilians - can be chosen and used to battle each other to the death. The multi-layered planes of combat work perfectly with the Street Fighter-style setup of control and special moves, and every character had a huge move list of attacks that rivals many actual fighting games. On top of all that, one of the mages controls a hamster that can light itself on fire and fly around and can even be chosen separately for use in the arena. How could you hate a flying combustible hamster? I just don't think it's possible.



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2004 The Next Level