Retro re-releases falling exterior the acquainted security of the M2, Hamster, or Code Mystics stables are often one factor and one factor alone — a plain ROM bundled with some inoffensive however unspectacular emulation choices. It’ll work, it’ll be official, and… that’s about it. If these bland targets had been all this new port of Gleylancer had aimed for, it nonetheless would have been greater than welcome as in its retro-tastic bodily kind the sport is pricey even by import-only Mega Drive shmup requirements. In some ways, even only a low-cost and handy different would have been a particular enchancment.
What we really obtained is way extra formidable than that. The emulation on this unassuming package deal consists of not solely the standard uncooked pixel, 4:3, and stretched display modes — with toggleable scanlines — but additionally a number of shadow masks, CRT gamma settings, and non-obligatory nook darkening. You possibly can even decide from two various kinds of display edge curvature in addition to fine-tune the depth of the impact. Pixels acquire a slight (and once more, adjustable) softness to them, getting admirably near imitating the kind of depth you’d discover on an outdated tube TV set. Better of all, you’ll be able to see these results utilized in real-time to no matter display the sport was on while you accessed the menu, permitting you to simply tweak every little thing to your liking with out going backwards and forwards between the sport and the settings.
Whereas taking part in, six fast save slots might be simply accessed and, in case you’re taking part in in Trendy Mode (which boasts a full English translation), an all-new on the spot Mover swapping system and free directional hearth tied to the precise analogue stick. You possibly can even rewind the motion on the contact of a button. Made a silly mistake, or just need to check how shut you’ll be able to graze a bullet with out risking being despatched again to the final checkpoint? A separate “Cheater’s mode” can be obtainable for many who need to use it, granting entry to the traditional level-skipping, invincibility-toggling cheat menu that was already current within the unique sport with out having to carry out any finger twisting enter codes. And if that each one sounds both too straightforward or too completely different for consolation, the unique Japanese model of the sport isn’t various button presses away, unsullied by fashionable tweaks, translations, and different conveniences.
Regardless of the mode, there’s little question Gleylancer’s an excellent 16-bit shmup. The sport’s incredible use of parallax scrolling provides not solely velocity however pleasure to its various eleven levels; taking you down by way of icy depths, weaving between small gaps in tight tunnels, slowly looping round a big battleship, or hurtling by way of an asteroid discipline. The methods your Movers — the floating gun turrets that observe your ship — can behave are so completely different from each other they’ve a direct affect on the way you deal with every little thing from “popcorn” enemies to finish of degree bosses, and the newfound flexibility of Trendy Mode appears like the right twist on an already good thought. Gleylancer is as recent and thrilling because it’s ever been, solely now it’s as genuine — or accessible — as you need it to be too.