notice how many not-too-shabby to excellent quality games are so damned
obscure? Is it because they get crushed under the heels of game franichises
like Mario, Sonic, and Crash Sucky Bandicoot?
then there are games that are obscure because they're Japanese, and
only available via Internet download. Idinaloq falls under this category.
Produced by Namikaze Project, one of the two or three amateur programming
groups that doesn't specialize in adult sims, Idinaloq is a hectic shooter
featuring 3-D graphics and 2-D gameplay. Kind of like Raystorm, or a
couple other ones that were evidently forgettable, as I've forgotten
try and figure out the title. Japanese shooters historically have titles
created by shuffling around syllables until they sound catchy enough.
Idinaloq isn't the name of the robot invaders, and it isn't the name
of the heroine's plane or anything. Maybe Idinaloq could be the battleship
that pops up in the background and you apparently launch from. Doubt
it. Moving on.
is from the overhead and slightly behind perspective, as you deal with
the hordes of enemy fighters who fire madly, but never in enough quantity.
Wait, have I gone mad, you ask? Not ENOUGH projectiles flying at me?
Well, you see, each of the fighters has a pair of drone-things that
zip forward to absorb enemy shots and channel the energy into your Graviton
Cannon, which is an enormous but rather crudely done superlaser that
kills about everything. Each of the different planes can have their
shield bits out for a certain amount of time before they need to take
five and recharge their FORCE bar. They also absorb energy at different
are four female pilots to choose from, as well as a hidden character
who appears after you've beaten the game. Of course, she's just the
bridge tech (Tomomi) who occasionally frets at you over the comlink,
so she's not that good a pilot. But her ship, the Lovely Angel 00 (Possibly
in reference to the Dirty Pair) is a bright pink starfighter that shoots
a spreading heart-shaped vulcan cannon, so that alone makes her somewhat
fun to mess with. The heroine, or at least the girl the select screen
starts on, is a brunette named Sayuri who flies the Well-Rounded Blue
Jet (aka Seylen-01). If you ever played shooters with different fighters
for your choosing, you know what I mean. She's about the best at absorbing
energy, as far as I can tell. Next comes Eiria, the creepy red eyed
cyborg girl and pilot of the Phoenix-02. She's the angsty one since
they're fighting robots and she happens to be part robot. Irene is a
blind girl with green hair who happens to also be about the best pilot
in the game. I think that's sorta funny. She may or may not have gotten
her vision back at the end of the game, but her eyes are open. Finally,
there's resident tomboy Formera, piloting the suitably tough Undine-01.
Its regular gun is the strongest, but it takes forever to charge up
her graviton cannon.
game has its drawbacks. For one thing, the actual difficulty of the
game is nil, since they made it incredibly hard, yet added arcade-style
infinite continues exactly where you left off. So, even though I tried
to 'keep it real' by doing things like dodge enemy shots and memorize
attack patterns, you could really just sit back on cruise control and
mash the continue button every time you're killed. Another problem is
the length. Or lack thereof. There are only four oddly-named levels
in the whole game. I say oddly mostly on the basis that level two is
dubbed "embarassment." And the music starts off sort of goofy,
game's strongest suit is the graphics, of course. The planes are fairly
generic but nice-looking. The brightly-colored 3-D models kept making
me think of Virtual-On for some reason. Of course, playing all the way
through the game makes it so when I close my eyes, I still see millions
of neon bullets flying at me.
full voice acting was a nice touch. The opening and ending movies, while
a bit on the grainy side, are a nice touch, and the whole project is
heads above most other amatuer efforts. If you have a high speed connection,
I can more soundly recommend the game, though, since with only four
stages, you'll probably spend more time downloading the game than actually
playing through it.
of the Underdogs (everything on one .zip)
homepage (here you can download several small .LZH files
instead of one large file, can skip downloading the op/ed movies
sequences if you want