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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakumo View Post
    I don't like it. In fact, I don't like it that much I'm actually sending it back to Amazon for a full refund. I've never done that before with a game. The women chatting is annoying, levels are bland, bosses are dull, I don't like the attacking system and there's only 5 stages! Moss's Raiden IV is a million times better.
    Can you not turn the voices to 0 in the settings? Thankfully that could be done with gingaforce, otherwise it wouldnt have lasted a day.

    I'm on the fence with this one...

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakumo View Post
    I don't like it. In fact, I don't like it that much I'm actually sending it back to Amazon for a full refund. I've never done that before with a game. The women chatting is annoying, levels are bland, bosses are dull, I don't like the attacking system and there's only 5 stages! Moss's Raiden IV is a million times better.
    Uh...and I was looking forward to start the game.

  3. #23
    Even if you switch off the voices the bloody text boxes keep popping up witht he images. Why do shooters need a bloody stupid story getting in the way of boss fights all the time? It was OK up till Shikigami No Shiro II but after that it just started to become annoying.

  4. #24
    It's good that it's bad, so I can save a few bucks. Waiting for DoDonPachi Saidaioujou coming out next month.

  5. #25
    The only good 'shooter' which has boss smack talk is Bangai-O and I wouldn't have it any other way. And it can be turned off so the flow of the gameplay isn't ruined.

  6. #26
    Okay, maybe it's not as bad as Yakumo painted it. Very average, but not bad.

    First you can turn off dialogues by switching demo to off before starting a game, but if you are interested in the gallery, you need this on to have 100% completion.
    Something I've noticed is that losing a life will damage your character's clothes, and at each section of their health bar, the bosses will suffer the same fate; beat a stage without losing a life and you'll get an illustration of the boss with all her clothes destroyed.

    Wow, has the Japanese game industry declared war on clothes? I mean, what's the point of having this here? I can undestand Senran Kagura, but a shoot'em'up?

    Anyway, I haven't played Raiden IV but it surely resembles Raiden III, especially in the graphical style. Graphics are dark, moody, with clear projectiles but somewhat hidden enemies, and while everything doesn't look bad, it doesn't look good either. The screen proportions are 4:3, with no chance of TATE.

    You can chose between three characters with relative ships, and all of them feel a bit stiff, even the guy with the blue ship.
    Everyone comes equipped with a standard shoot, three secondary shoots, set of three bombs and burst. The standard shoot is always available, while secondary shoots can be used as long as there's charge, indicated on the lower part of the screen; the charge meter is individual for all three fire modes. The secondary modes can be powered up between stages by assigning chips gained in the previous level by collecting gold tokens...and with the blue ship you have this short-ranged secondary fire that nullifies almost all projectiles, along with a homing attack that really seem to break the game. The yellow ship has a similar shield, but its movements are so sluggish that I find impossible to play with it. The third ship, the red one...well, I still have to fully understand how its weapons work.
    I'd say that the ships are defined mostly by their secondary attacks, and in terms of usefulness, blue beats everything, yellow and then red trail behind. I was never impressed with Raiden III's weapon balance and Caladrius feels the same.

    Stage design is bland, with no obstacles or real highlights; stages don't share most of their enemies but, despite their different shape, everything looks very sameish.
    Bosses are a missed opportunity. The first boss is a giant mecha knight, the second a dragon, the third...mecha-death, and yet they stand still where they are, rather than making full use of their looks and the fact that they can move. Compared to Ginga Force and its highly mobile bosses, Caladrius seems a game of many years ago.

    Okay, maybe I'm painting it in the same bad way as Yakumo did But it doesn't feel bad, just very average (go buy Ginga Force).

  7. #27
    I have Ginga Force - but lack an XBOX!!!! (weird I know, but don't care to explain)

  8. #28
    Back for more!
    I've spent some good times with Caladrius, completed the game, even 1CCing it twice (easy mode) and unlocking I think everything except for three illustrations. So, the more I played the better the game became, though it never broke into the "good" territory; I'd say among the recent shoot'em'ups offered on the X360, it's the least interesting, mostly due to the best things relegated in the last two stages...and I'm including the sixth secret stage in the list.
    The first four stages are incredibly dull, from start to finish, and even their bosses don't do much to increase interest in the task at hand. As said in my previous post, bosses could have been used much better, instead they just sit there as they were immobile objects. Interesting patterns (and good projectiles that actually look in line with the stage/boss theme) come into play very late in the game and coupled with the moody art style and sluggish controls, the first impressions are not good.
    Unfortunately the art style doesn't change as the game progress and the desaturated colour palette does a great job in making everything look bad. Enemy design is strikingly similar to Raiden III, to the point that some turrets look like direct reskins from that game. Again, enemy design in line with the stage come out very late.
    Graphics are overall muddy, and though it's not particularly hard to see the difference between projectiles, player's ship and enemies, the background isn't distanced enough for the foreground.

    The system is interesting enough, though: each ship has three secondary attacks, called Element Shooters. Each Shooter has its own power reserve that recharges over time when not in use or by collecting hidden prysms. Killing enemies with a Shooter increases the Rate multiplier, which increases the value of the collected gold tokens; collect enough tokens and an Ether Chip is awarded, which can later be used to improve an Element Shooter between stages. It's also possible to burst, expend all remaining Shooter energy from all three attacks for screen-wide destruction that doesn't destroy enemy projectiles, unlike bombs. Some enemies will also drop pink shards, and after collecting some of them, it will possible to snatch a floating book for an extra life.
    While using Element Shooters the player's ship has a circle around it indicating how much energy is left (that is mirrored on the bottom of the screen), but due to the muddy graphics, it's very hard to read...or even notice at all. The graphics could have really used more attention, and even the character design comes out as very bland: story illustrations are overly mundane: to reiterate, Caladrius just doesn't look good.

    The game mechanics have their downside as well: there are three ships (plus a fourth hidden ship, unlocked after beating story mode with all three main characters), all move rather slugglisly and the red one is the weakest by far, with all its Element Shooters hard to use without excessive exposure...and this makes it the most interesting ship to play. The blue ship is the most agile and has great attacks, while the yellow has the widest standard shot with an all-around barrier.
    If you are curious, the fourth ship is overpowered to the point of not being fun to play with. However, complete the game with it once and it will be possible to mix and match Element Shooters for all four ships.

    What surprised me the most, however, is that most voices don't fit their characters. Some of the VAs are pretty famous, and good in what they do, but I find it hard to associate some voice with some faces. The soundtrack is what I would define as "wannabe epic metal", with excessively fast drums and masturbated guitars: some like, some don't. I don't, though I've heard much worse from "professional" metal bands. Unfortunately, there aren't audio cues on Element Shooter levels and other important things (like gained bombs), and just like the graphics, Caladrius' sound compartment isn't particularly compelling.

    However, despite the many drawbacks, the game is pleasant to play. If only the initial stages were as interesting at the last two, Caladrius could have been a good shoot'em'up. In the end, it's below average, as the technical side brings the game down, along with a non-optimal weapon distribution amond starting ships and uninteresting level design.
    My suggestion to go for Ginga Force (or wait for DoDonPachi Saidouojou -whatever its spelling is-) is still valid.
    Last edited by briareos_kerensky; 04-05-2013 at 02:31 PM.

  9. #29
    After a spell with this game I would echo a lot of what briareos said above. Not the most exciting of games but it is pretty solid and I quite like the art style. The elemental system is a nice addition but probably should recharge a bit more slowly. I don't have any trouble making out the remaing power in the circular gauge. Maybe needing to tweak your TV a bit mate.

  10. #30
    I just realised that I didn't have to configure the controls for my joystick with this game. Nice job detecting which controller was in use Moss.

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