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Reviewed: Bang! Gunship Elite
Author: Chris Kim       Date: August 20th, 2000
Page: 2

Our first look at Bang! Gunship Elite was in a preview back in June. What we first saw then was a space shooter that looked to be tremendously fun with tons of shoot'em up action and gorgeous graphics. This assumption was right, Bang! Gunship Elite is undeniably fun... to some extent. The basic premise of the game is that it is an arcade space shooter where the main goal of the player is to try and defeat the enemy's oncoming onslaught of fighters in a galactic war. The player is tossed into space with a ship and very limited training. In fact, the player is so young that they are putting just recruited trainees into real combat. This is where the fun starts.

Imagine a bold Star Wars-esque battle and then imagine yourself piloting small fighter against a thousand others, just you and your ship. This is exactly the setting of Bang! Gunship Elite. The player is in the role of a single trainee fighter that seems to be a super man as he single-handedly must defeat hundreds of waves of enemies in each mission. As the player progresses along in the game, he must accomplish tasks such as protecting and escorting various vehicles and space stations to prevent complete chaos and the civil unsettlement of the human race. As the game progresses along, the story slowly unfolds and reveals little by little.

Blasto Cannon!
Look Out Doggy!
Watch Yourself Die... It's Purty!

Basically, endless wave after wave of enemies come and attack the player and the player (coincidentally) must destroy the enemies. As this is happening, there is some background mission or plot that must be followed in order for the mission to be accomplished. Most missions will just involve destroying every enemy in sight until the waves of enemies stop and then other missions might involve protecting a space station while enemies appear from space to destroy it. One of the better missions in the game involves the player guiding and protecting a moving tugboat that is transporting precious minerals to a station. It involves more than just destroying every enemy in sight, but also heavy patrol of the moving tugboat. These missions, however, are few and far between. Of the nineteen missions in the game, only three or four really stand out.

Imagine the outdoor environments of Descent 3 and multiply by tenfold. That is basically what Bang! Gunship Elite plays like. The consideration of physics is completely thrown out the window. What was behind this game was pure arcade shooting action without any of the thought of inertia, physics, lack of gravity, or complex systems as in Independence War. Weapon and navigation systems are very simple. Weaponry involves simply switching weapons without any reloading or repair, it will just automatically do everything as long as ammo exists. Navigation is a simple radar with a tracking system that can be auto guided. The simplicity really lets casual gamers jump right into the game.

Come Here Shippy
No! Get Away!
Haha, Powerup For Me

Easily the most impressive feature of the game is the wide range of weaponry available. Everything from a simple Ion Blaster to the hell-raising Titan's Hammer. These futuristic weapons defy just about every law of physics and reality that us as humans know. The sheer firepower of these weapons is awe-inspiring. Targeting is a simple task with the auto targeter, and the player just needs to shoot the ship in a general area to hit it. The auto aim has its limitations, however, with a certain range and distance it must be within to accurately reach its target. The explosions that are created are simply amazing. Some weapons have no kickback some have massive amounts and others have explosions that are volatile when come in contact with damage the own player's ship.

Power-ups are a vital and important part of the game. When certain enemy ships are destroyed, sometimes they will drop power-ups such as weapon ammo, life, or shield. Without these, the game would be next to impossible, even on the easy difficulty level. This is because wave after wave of enemies, they can pack a lot of damage and the flight systems aren't as nice for navigation as they could be. These power-ups appear in blue on the radar, despite this, are still sometimes difficult to find when actually trying to get the item.

Lead the Way!
Behind the Asteroid

The strongest point of the game is also its weakest. Because it is a simple arcade game that is a lot of fun and action packed it lacks any real depth. Even the missions themselves contain little to no depth. Almost every mission involves destroying a hundred enemy ships and then going on to destroy more stuff. That is entertaining for a while, but it can become extremely tedious, especially after trying to defeat the same mission over and over again because of the insane difficulty level. Sometimes, right when it seems the mission is over and the player heads back towards the portal to end the mission, another wave of enemies appear and destroy the object that was needed to be protected. This leads to more frustration as time goes on.

Another thing that will annoy most all gamers is the lack of in-game save option. Some of the missions are incredibly long, sometimes lasting up to an hour, and the not being able to save the game can become of big problems. Should the player get really far in a mission and then make one small mistake, late in the mission, he must start completely over from the beginning. This will become extremely tedious, boring, and frustrating for many gamers.

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Added:  Sunday, August 20, 2000
Reviewer:  Chris Kim
Page: 2/5

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