Uchuforce 2


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Rating: 4.5/5 (59 votes)
| Comments (13) | Views (18)

PsychotronicUchuforce 2Uchuforce 2 is a thoroughly old-fashioned and huggable shoot-em-up by Babarageo, a Flash game developer with a deep and abiding love for gigantic pixels. Babarageo's very first game was a simple shooter called Uchu Force, and that one had really big pixels, plus humongorous bosses that looked like they were made out of red and yellow Legos. Then there was the previously reviewed Uchu Wars, which was less a sequel and more a tangent into Manic Shooter Territory, i.e. vertical playing field, lots of enemy bullets, and bombs that are designed to save your life in a split-second rather than actually cause damage.

Uchuforce 2, in contrast, is designed for shooter neophytes. You control your ship with the mouse, you're firing a ridiculous swath of bullets all the time, and there's only one button to worry about. Click the mouse to change your weapon to a powerful laser, and click again to switch back to the endless waves of bullets. A meter in the lower-right shows you how close your laser is to over-heating, so if you want to avoid an extra-long cool-down delay, turn the laser off before that meter fills.

In order to power up your weapon, you must collect letters that spell out "UCHUFORCE". The letters appear when you destroy gray pyramid targets, and they cycle through the whole word over time, if you don't pick them up right away. An exposed letter will always turn into the one you need eventually, but enemy ships won't always make it convenient for you to grab it at the right time. Your Weapon Level goes up to 3, and then after that, each UCHUFORCE just gives you an extra life.

Your goal is simply to fight your way to the end of the game, destroying ground targets and formations of flying enemies as they show up to challenge you. A scary Xevious-style boss will appear at the end of each level, usually more heavily armed than all the rest of the enemies combined. Helpful tip: boss encounters are an excellent time to deploy the laser.

Analysis: One serious criticism is that Uchuforce 2 sets you back too far when you lose a life. When you die on a boss, you'll have to fight your way through half the preceding level again. And although there are keyboard controls included, they don't work very well. If you're moving left, for example, and you press [right] before releasing the [left] key, your ship will stop dead, rather than going right. That alone made the keyboard controls useless for me, and I'm fairly surprised Babarageo left it that way. I figure the game was just intended for the mouse.

Uchuforce 2 takes a while to get challenging, due to the main ship's massive firepower, the relatively passive enemies on the first couple of levels, and the unrestricted mouse control. You don't have to dodge any bullets if you can just instantly go where there aren't any bullets, any time you please. But none of that is necessarily bad, if your shmup skills are under-developed or rusty. And even if you're an old pro at this sort of game, it's pleasant to just deal out death for a few levels and watch the pretty scenery scroll by.

And it is very pretty scenery, if the thick pixels and mono-colored sprites of the NES age still appeal to you. The bleep-blooping sound effects, the gray metal bosses shaded with ostentatious dithering, the purposefully limited color palette—it all makes Uchuforce2 feel like a lost masterpiece of MSX software. But it's not running on pure liquid nostalgia. There's a carefully paced game here, with a large variety of enemies and, dare I say it, a good helping of soul. As friendly and playable a shoot-em-up as you're likely to find.

Play Uchuforce 2

Cheers to Wouter and Andy for sending this one in!

13 Comments

Am I the first one to comment? Yeah Baby!

Great fun but a bit too easy. I didn't lose any lives, so I just stopped playing after a while.

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The bosses have seemingly started to repeat. Is there ever an ending?

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My computer isn't quite outdated yet, but I had a lot of trouble with my ship following my mouse about two seconds late when there were a few power-ups on the field.

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when you have cats lives you will get a stronger gun.

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It does have an ending.

With the hilariously misspelled "CONGLATURATIONS"


And then goes on into a "hard mode".
The second to last boss gave me a lot of trouble

Aim for the small squares in the sword hilts.

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Reminds me a lot of "Star Jackers" on Sega back in the mid eighties. Thanks for the fond memories.

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Thanks to the arcade space shooters, I'm always surprised when I actually get to the end of one; it's also more satisfying than finding that it repeats (as well as making it easier to stop and go to bed). It still has difficulty, especially toward the end.

I didn't know you had to shoot the swords for the longest time...

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Great game, and a great site. I love the games you review! Simple easy and fun.

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this game is an absolute pleasure...i've returned to it at least five or six times since i first noticed it here on jayisgames (definitely the sign of an above average casual game, to me).

the lower difficulty level actually serves this game well - i'm a big admirer of games that somehow straddle the line between soothing/hypnotic and exciting/somewhat challenging.

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That was pretty fun. I gave up on the X-shaped boss, I couldn't seem to get in a good position at all. It's a neat game though!

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the best position for the x-shaped boss is pretty much bottom middle, in the cross-hairs of the two bottom ends of the boss's 'X'

Any other spot got me creamed and was nearly impossible to avoid getting closed in by bullets.

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fractal June 9, 2008 12:19 PM

possibly a spoiler, but not really.

clicking activates a powerful laser-very usefull against tougher enemies (medium to boss sizes). i found this out about level 2 by accident.
oh, and p pauses.

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Ehhh. Fun minigame, but I have seen nicer. 7.5/10.

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