Thursday, April 23, 2009
Schwer Doujin Game Review: Melon Squash
Since the RKS off-season is going to be a long one due to the Freudenstachel delay, I've decided that I'll take up some of that time reviewing various doujin games. This is a site dedicated to a doujin game, after all, and while we're anxiously awaiting the release of the Freudenstachel web trial, let's look at what else the doujin game world has to offer. I figured I would start with something that is at least somewhat based on the Megaman universe, so I chose Melon Squash by Ichigo-Citron, the people who brought us the Kanon-based Gradius clone, Feather Raid.
Letty, what does the Melonbooks girl on a motorcycle have to do with Megaman? Glad you asked, Schwer reader! Well, the entire game is pretty much a clone of the Speed Bike level of Megaman X4's Jet Stingray. The textures of the first stage's platforms are even reminiscent of it. I'm not quite clear on the story, but that doesn't matter, and soon, you'll find out why.
Right off the bat, you're given the option of selecting one of four special weapons mapped to the L-Shift key. Hitting it when the S.Weapon bar is full will allow Melon to fire a super shot. The one you choose will affect how quickly the bar fills up, so the higher level shots will be accessible less frequently than the lower level ones. Obviously. After choosing your weapon, you're thrust into battle with your navigator Lemon there to help you along the way.
Bike controls are simple. Use the arrow keys to move around or aim your gun, the Z key fires, and the X key jumps. Enemies, when defeated, will most often drop small gems that give you experience points. Collecting enough will allow cause Melon to level up, giving her a more powerful base attack shot. She can reach a maximum of five levels. The money counter in the top right corner appears to be the equivalent of the score system and, I assume, is probably the plot device (Melonbooks wants more money).
Taking damage will reduce your health bar and drop your shot level by 1. The system basically adds insult to injury, as in some instances, dodging enemy fire while struggling with the game environment is nigh impossible. Occasionally, people will appear on the track, and hitting them will give you even more money.
Levels are split up into multiple areas. The transition between them is seamless, and each area in a stage is a bit harder than the last. At the end of the level will be a disappointingly simple giant boss, and defeating them will take you to the next stage.
This is literally all you do. It is level after level of the same thing, and each stage takes what feels like forever to complete. I cannot imagine why Ichigo-Citron thought that a game based around arguably the worst part of the post-Megaman X3 era. This is seriously one of the most boring doujin games out there and is either a great test of patience and persistence or just poison.
No, thank you.
Schwer Rating: 3/10