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Mars Matrix   Capcom

 Mars Matrix is one of the reasons shmups can also be referred to as Bullet Hell shooters.  The screen is literally filled with bullets and bonuses swirling and flying all over the place, and somewhere amongst all of the insanity is your ship.  You choose either a small quick ship with little defense, or a slower ship with much better defenses, and go off to quell the rebellion on Mars.  Both ships have a "suck" weapon, that will suck in enemy bullets and damage enemy ships, collecting energy to create an energy weapon that will attack everything on the screen.  That way you don't have to worry about collecting smart bombs and choosing when to use them.


  Ok, now that the story is covered, let's take a look at this thing.  The waves all start out simple enough, a few cannon fodder wuss enemies will attack you.  As you progress, the enemies become more abundant and their fire becomes more deadly.  This all leads up to a giant boss battle at the end of each stage, and that boss has ridiculous amounts of bullets to fire at you to the point of almost unpreventable deaths.

Before (left) and After (right)


Playing from beginning to end is pretty quick, I blew through it in about 30 minutes.  If I were paying coins to continue every time I saw the "Game Over" screen, it would probably have cost around $6 or $7, but that's the reason these types of games are so difficult.  Arcade owners can't get more kids to pay more money if he can't get a good player on an easier game to give it up or to die quicker.  These things were vicious quarter-eating cathode tube embodiments of the devil himself.  But at least they were addicting, looked good, and played well.  You could probably find it used somewhere for the Dreamcast, but prepare to pay too much money for it.  If you like shmups, you might be able to look past the cost.

What? At the end of the war we find it was pointless?  Shit !!!


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