Spiral Circle

1. end of finale
2. Dust to Dust
3. -9-
4. Maria
5. IN THE FACT
6. 休眠 -おやすみ- (Kyuumin -Oyasumi-)
7. Karma
8. [REW]
9. Gate of Death
10. 嗤い鬼 (Warai oni)

A new J-rock album I just picked up from the relatively new band, UnsraW. It is a pretty decent, if not stellar, album that does have a few standout tracks like 休眠 -おやすみ- and Maria. I’d give this album a 7 out of 10.

UnsraW – -9-

UnsraW – Gate of Death

UnsraW – Karma

UnsraW – Warai oni

アンスロウ

Top Ten Shoot-’em-ups

ScrewAttack inspired me with their newest Top Ten video, Top Ten 2-D Shooters, to come up with my own list of the Top Ten Shoot-’em-ups. As you’ll see, my list is 100% different from their’s.

Ⅹ. Gradius Gaiden (Playstation)
I admittedly have not played any Gradius game since this one and I do believe if I ever do, that Gradius V would be on this list instead of this one. Having said that, this is easily the best Gradius game I have played and has all of the things that make the previous games great plus its own little tweaks that make it better.
[Gradius Gaiden gameplay video]

Ⅸ. Robo Aleste (Sega CD)
Easily the best exclusive shoot-’em-up for the Sega CD! You play as Kage who is a robot ninja! How cool is that? 😀
[Robo Aleste gameplay video]

Ⅷ. Galaga ’88 {aka. Galaga ’90} (PC Engine)
Most will wonder why I selected this instead of the original Galaga. My reasoning is that the graphics are much better and the sound still retains the original Galaga feel while still being new. The gameplay also got a revamp in that there are now forward scrolling stages in addition to the single screen ones and there is also more enemy variety, bosses and even level warps. To top it all off, it even is possible to create a triple ship instead of just a double!
[Galaga ’88 gameplay video]

Ⅶ. Great Mahou Daisakusen {aka. Dimahoo} (Arcade)
For a game that ran off of the Capcom’s CPS2 board, it is a graphical and audio delight that really pushes that hardware to its limit! Plus, it plays fantastic in addition to all of that! A huge improvement to the original game in the series.
[Great Mahou Daisakusen gameplay video]

Ⅵ. Castle Shikigami 2 (Playstation 2)
Putting the absolutely abysmal localization this game received aside, this series is very unique in that you don’t control a ship of any kind, but instead an actual character of which there are many to select from. All of the characters play quite differently from one another and all have their own strategies needed to be successful with them. Variety is the name of this shoot-’em-up.
[Castle Shikigami 2 gameplay video]

Ⅴ. Soukyugurentai (Saturn)
This one starts out very unassuming, but then quickly not only shows off the power of the Saturn, but also tests your limits. Later stages have fantastic graphics and the music is epic all around! If you have a Saturn and love shoot-’em-ups, this is one of the must haves!
[Soukyugurentai gameplay video]

Ⅳ. Psyvariar 2: Ultimate Final (Playstation 2)
Huge explosions are the name of the game here and finishing off bosses only to have them explode in a massive blast is extremely satisfying! The unique ‘buzz’ system in the game is great and tests how many enemy bullets you can scrape by in order to keep the buzz count, and your score, climbing into the stratosphere!
[Psyvariar 2 gameplay video]

Ⅲ. Lords of Thunder (PC Engine CD)
If there is anything that stands out about Lords of Thunder it is the soundtrack. It has the greatest music in any shoot-’em-up. Lots of rock! If that wasn’t enough, then there are the various armor suits, water, fire, earth, and wind, one of which you select to use on the next stage, of which you also can select what order to tackle them in. There are also shops you can buy items with the gold you collect during your missions.
[Lords of Thunder gameplay video]

Ⅱ. DoDonPachi (Saturn)
If you look up the definition of ‘manic’ in the dictionary, you will see this game’s box shot next to that entry. This game is bullet-hell! Three unique ships to choose from and whether or not to make your shots or your beam more powerful gives a good amount of variety to this game. If you like manic shooters, then this should be number one on your list!
[DoDonPachi gameplay video]

Ⅰ. Radiant Silvergun (Saturn)
This game has no powerups. You heard me…no powerups! You actually have all seven of the games weapons at all times. This is part of the genius of this game. Each one is unique and useful in specific situations as they arise. There are also no bombs in this game either. You have to use the Radiant Sword attack to nullify bullets in order to then collect the remaining purple items to charge up your meter that, when full, can then be used to do a special move called the Hyper Sword, which is awesome! How much would you pay for the best shoot-’em-up? If you said $200, then it is time to get your game on!
[Radiant Silvergun gameplay video]

弾幕