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Giga Wing
Platform:  Dreamcast
# of Players:  1-2
Developer:  Capcom
Publisher:  Capcom
Features:  VMU, VGA, Jump Pack
Ratings:  Rating Pending
Memory Req.:  
One thing you can definitely say about Capcom is they sure know how to support a system. So far, they've produced a number of quality titles for the Sega Dreamcast, and most of them have made it, or will soon arrive in the States. Well, here's one more, and it's a doozy. Giga Wing, a straight-up arcade port of an old Japanese arcade shooter, and definitely one of the hardest games I've played this year. Shooters don't seem to get much respect these days, but that's because there aren't many of them around. Giga Wing will make you bow in front of your Dreamcast- and probably offer up a couple of sacrifices, if you're a fan of the genre.

Imagine the good parts of Raiden, Tatsujin (Truxton), and a shake or two of Capcom's own 1941-1943 arcade games, and mix well. Hopefully, you're standing far away from your TV when the resulting blast knocks you off your feet. In other words, this game will chew you up and not leave enough left to spit out. There isn't really anything that hasn't been done with a shooter before here, but there sure is a lot of it going on at the same time, TOO much, in fact. Even on Easy mode, you'll constantly lose your ship in all the shots, huge explosions, falling coins, and whatever else happens to show up onscreen. And that's the single player mode! Two players will fare better, but you'll both still be screaming for mommy, daddy, and any other next of kin.

Graphically, the game has some pretty flat and not so impressive terrain, but you won't be concerned with that at all after about five seconds into the game. Expect heavy fire, and lots of looking for safe zones (yeah, right!), along with plenty of wide-eyed stares, as your chosen ship is blown to bits time and time again- you know the drill. The game has a semi-interesting story mode that plays itself out during the action (giving your poor fingers a rest from time to time), and the 4 characters you can choose from have ships that vary in their death-dealing capabilities. You'll want to blast through the game with them all, just to check out some really nice 2D action, as well as see all the endings. You'll most likely do this in a day or so because Capcom has seen fit to bless the game with unlimited continues- not exactly the best thing for a game like this, but I dare you to go through this one on 3 continues the first 10 times or so you play it...

Probably the best thing I can say about GW is that while it doesn't really show off any of the Dreamcast's capabilities, it's one of those games that will end up being one you go back to over and over just because it's so much fun (or because you're really bad at it!). Novices beware, Hardcore fans: start saving those quarters up for laundry instead- your flight has arrived, and it's got some serious firepower!

Greg Wilcox

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