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  1. #1

    [NSW] Psyvariar Delta

    Gave this a quick go yesterday. Not the biggest Psyvariar fan, but it's a shooter and I've played worse.
    I haven't realised until I went searching for info on the first Psyvariar after playing (I only have 2 on the Dreamcast), but Delta is more or less a port of Psyvariar Complete Edition, which appeared on the PS2 in 2002 and 2003. I don't have the PS2 game but from what I've read Delta is pretty much that, with a few additions, removals, and reworkings.

    First there's a new ship (three if you count a bonus DLC) and both can be used in Medium Unit and Revision variants. In both variants the chosen ship starts at level 0 and gains experience by destroying enemies and grazing bullets. At predetermined levels the ship changes shape and firing patterns; when this shift occours the ship is invincible for a brief period of time (if you play with an horizontal screen that is shown on the interface in the lower left corner with a funny typo, "invisible"). Some levels are only unlocked upon reaching a certain level. You can roll the ship to concentrate fire, and the "laser shot", borrowing from Cave terminology, never changes.
    The main difference between Medium Unit and Revision is that bullets can be grazed ("buzzed" in game terms) multiple times; add in rearranged stages and more intense enemy patters and the ship's level skyrockets, with the last stage in Revision mode requiring level 218 to be unlocked.

    Compared to the Complete Edition there's no sound check mode and no online leaderboards. I've read that rolling in the original Psyvariar enhaces movement speed, but in Delta it's the opposite. As enemies and bosses look exactly the same as the original I wonder how this change impacts the game, it sounds pretty huge.
    In addition to the main mode you have practice mode, replay mode, and score attack. It's not the richest shooter package out there and it's more or less on par with ports of Cave shooters not handled by Cave themselves in terms of game modes. Options include screen rotation, independent rotation controls for menus and direction, and one of the sweetest remapping functions in recent memory, where you just go to the desired function and press any button you want assigned to it.
    So far I've played with the Pro pad only and its d-pad is good enough to get you through the game, though some of the later bosses do require some extra finesse that both d-pad and analog sticks can't deliver.
    One thing I don't like is that your ship's hitbox isn't shown, which is particularly frustrating as your ship changes shape as the game goes on. The hitbox should be in the center of the ship, 1 pixel wide, and the interface shows a ship closeup for intense moments, but switching between main window and closeup isn't particularly comfortable, by the time I focus on the closeseup window the ship is already gone or a new bullet pattern I can't anticipate is approaching (fast) and I end up destroyed. It's a good idea, but like Dodonpachi Saidaiojou, not particularly useful.
    I don't recall seeing any announcement for western release, but the game is already translated in 10 or so languages: Japanese, English, Chinese, and all main European languages. Psyvariar Delta doesn't default to your console's settings.

    Being a port/remake of the first Psyvariar, Delta doesn't look particularly good. Delta is produced and published by Success but developed by a developer I've never heard of, and while the game runs at a steady, very fluid pace, a bit more visual flare wouldn't have hurt. Most people involved in the original soundtrack are back for Delta. First print copies of the game also include a coupon to download Delta's soundtrack on your PC in WAV format.

    The bonus DLC "ship" is the Blanche from CyBattler. It plays completely different from the two Psyvariar ships, being able to fire in eight directions and with a shield to block one bullet (just like in CyBattler). The Blanche cannot roll but still gains levels with different firing patterns and buzz bullets. The Blanche comes with its own soundtrack, a very nice touch. I very much appreciate the work that has gone into having all these things in Psyvariar Delta, but shield aside the game isn't really geared to the Blanche's strenghts, the ability to fire in eight directions is pretty much useless. Maybe firing to the sides has some merit, but 90% of the enemies appear in the frontal arc.

    After an hour or so I was able to reach the final boss in one credit, so Psyvariar Delta isn't the hardest game perse, but even in Revision I've reached level 80 or so, well below what's required to unlock the more advanced levels. So the difficulty isn't in reaching the end, but rather buzzing everything you can and get to "secret" levels.

  2. #2
    Are there enough enhancements to justify paying £30 more than the PS2 version?
    I wanted to get it yesterday but I don't think the extra cash seems enough just for a portable version of a game I already own.

  3. #3
    I don't have the PS2 collection, but I'd say no. I've found a way to display the player's hitbox, an option which I've read the PS2 version has as well, so this pretty much that version running on the Switch.

  4. #4
    Thanks, you’ve saved me some cash

  5. #5
    Scratch that, I have the PS2 Psyvariar collection. Must have left such a huge impression on me...I'll play it a bit and update the thread with a comparison.

  6. #6
    OK, I've fired up the Psyvariar Complete Collection on the PS2 and it's safe to say Delta is the superior collection. I still wouldn't recommend getting Delta if you own Complete Collection and you aren't the greatest Psyvariar fan in the world though.
    The PS2 version had Medium Unit (the original version) and Revision as two separate entities and I haven't found a way to switch between the two without resetting the console. In Delta you can mix and match ships, game type, and music, something you can't do on the PS2. Control on the PS2 feels a bit more stiff, and the lower resolution actually plays in favour of some elements, like the lava in the Factory stage; ship models do look better on the Switch though. Final credits are much better on the PS2, showing moments from the stages you've completed.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    The PS4 version is somewhere between Play-Asia and my house. Really looking forward to having a go as I’ve only ever played the Dreamcast game.

  9. #9
    Finally got round to trying Delta on PS4. It really is just the PS2 games in high resolution with some info at the side of the screen. The Delta mode is a nice addition giving some mix and match options. Feels a bit stiff with the boggo PS4 controller. I’ll give it a go with a stick once I’m a bit more mobile.
    I’m a big fan of the buzz mechanic style shmup so appreciate this but I think it isn’t an essential if you already have the PS2 version.

  10. #10
    Loved Psyvariar on the PS2 and I was always gonna buy the Steam version until I found out it don't work on my Acer Predator XB271HU 27" 2K 165Hz G-Sync IPS gaming monitor!


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