Review by Rob O'Hara



Graphics: 7

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6


If you’re a fan of 2D shoot-em-ups and/or the Sega Dreamcast, then Trizeal, the latest SHMUP from Triangle Software, is for you.

trizeal1_dc.jpg (20862 bytes)Originally a Japanese arcade game, Trizeal was ported to the Dreamcast earlier this year, who also brought you XII Stag for the PS2. All the normal import shops seem to be carrying this game so finding is shouldn’t be much of a problem. As with all imports, you’ll need a way to boot this disc once you get it. Fortunately Triangle Software seems to have kept their American audience in mind, and all the menus appear both in English and Japanese.

Fans of SHMUPs should feel instantly comfortable with the game’s familiar controls. A (red) fires and Y (green) auto-fires. X (yellow) launches your super bombs, which, like your weapons, can be built up through power ups. B (blue) transforms your ship into one of three different ship configurations, each of which uses different weapon systems (bullets, lasers, and guided missiles). Unfortunately Trizeal does not support the Dreamcast’s analog stick; only the d-pad is supported. The trade off is that the game does support VGA boxes, VMUs, and arcade sticks.

Trizeal delivers a steady stream of enemies to shoot your way through. Bonuses can be “chained” together in combos to build up your weaponry, so you won’t want to share too many of them with your friend in two-player mode. In addition to the game’s normal arcade mode (which only grants players a limited number of continues), Trizeal also contains “score attack” modes. High scores can be submitted to the web via the game’s built in password system. If you manage to get your name on Triangle’s website, I’ll send you a thousand meseta. That’s not a bad deal, considering I’ll send you a hundred meseta, simply for sending me a private message and telling me you read this review. That’s how generous I am.

trizeal2_dc.jpg (14930 bytes)The original Trizeal arcade machine had a vertical monitor installed. The Dreamcast version allows you to play the game on a normal television with black bars on the side. Players also have the option of rotating the screen 90 degrees within the game, for those die-hards who wish to rotate their televisions (or lie on their sides) to get the full experience.

Also included in the package is a bonus CD that contains the game’s catchy soundtrack, and a headband which probably says “Trizeal” on it in Japanese. Hopefully I’m not parading around in a headband with the words “Stupid American” written across my forehead.

Quite honestly, a SHMUP of this caliber would probably debut as a budget title for the current generation of systems. However, Dreamcast owners love their shoot-em-ups, and Trizeal, while it doesn’t deliver anything new, is at least new to you. Dreamcast lovers, SHMUP fans and import aficionados will get a kick out of playing a 2005 release on their Sega system. Those who are happy with bargain bin Dreamcast titles and have never dreamt about Ikaruga patterns can probably pass this one by. That is, unless you want one of those cool “Stupid American” headbands.


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Last updated: Sunday, September 18, 2005 09:34 PM