Radiant Silvergun


Review by Preston Elder



Graphics: 10

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 10

Overall: 10

Treasure is a developer that delivers consistently good games. However, their sales performance isn't always as stellar. Due to this fact, some of their games get passed over and never brought to the American market. For a game like Radiant Silvergun, its almost enough to cry about.

Radiant Silvergun is a fast paced vertical shooter that keeps you going from the moment you pick up the controller. It foregoes the traditional power-up system of most shooters (you know, collect-die-collect-repeat) for a more innovative one. From the beginning of the game the player has all of the weapons that he/she will ever get or need. No matter how many times a player dies, that player still has full access to all seven - yes, seven - standard attacks. This changes the gameplay from the typical "Must get power-up before I die!" style to a refreshing "What's the best weapon for this situation?" style. Another layer of strategy lies within the laser sword weapon. Not only does it attack, but it can be used to deflect small pink bullets. Deflect enough bullets without dying and you gain access to a super sword attack. However, if you don't have the timing of the sword just right, you're probably better off just dodging. Those who have mastered the sword can take certain bosses down in seconds. This is why Radiant stands out from the crowd, it is both a (light) thinking game and twitch game rush. Throw in Radiant's two player mode and viola! a masterpiece is made. It is, despite the freedoms players have, still very difficult. Although it never seems unfairly difficult, it does reach that "I'll never manage to beat this area" level of difficulty. When you die, it's because you zigged instead of zagged, or just weren't fast enough.

The graphics of Radiant are rendered sprites over polygonal backgrounds. The foreground sprites are nothing special, but the backgrounds are intricate and beautiful. Magnificent cityscapes dance beneath your fighter creating the illusions of altitude and direction changes. The locales are plentiful and varied enough that you never feel like you are seeing a rehash of an earlier level. It may sound like the graphics engine is a bit odd, but, in practice, it is a thing of beauty. The background even effects gameplay, providing obstacles and cover.

The music that Radiant features is good but certainly not great. It doesn't really gets you pumping (Don't worry, that's where the gameplay steps in) or cause you to mute the T.V. Overall an able, if standard soundtrack.

Will you like Radiant Silvergun? Well, first ask yourself a question: "Do I like shooter type games?" If you answer yes, sometimes, or "I like a few," then you should give Radiant a try. If I had to pick a game for "Best Shooter of All Time" Radiant would be it. Play it and you'll understand.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:30 PM