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BlaZeon (Arcade) Clear

By Gandalf42, 07/22/2018
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Original title: ブレイゾン. No deaths/1LC/no-miss, all stages completed with a Perfect. 

This little iremesque game is great fun for fans of methodical, slower paced shooters. While a lot of the enemy archetypes and set-pieces might seem familiar, the concept and execution certainly elevate the material. Add to that finely chiselled graphics and a superb soundtrack and you got a clear winner.

There's also quite a bit to scoring in this game. You get 50,000 points per life in stock at the end of the game and also 200,000 points if you manage to get a "Perfect" bonus at the end of a stage (100,000 points for the "Perfect" itself and another 100,000 points for the number of destroyed enemies, the highest bonus you otherwise can get is 50,000 points). With the exception of the thrusters pushing the meteorites in stages 1 & 2 and the moving platforms in the final stage, every enemy counts toward the destruction ratio: miss just one of them and you fail to get the "Perfect" for the stage. If you destroy a hatch before it releases all the enemies it doesn't thwart the bonus, destructible projectiles also don't count.

A few things to keep in mind with this game:

Playing this game for survival on the one hand and for score on the other hand is a vastly different matter. While you can use all sorts of combinations of mechanoids in order to beat the game, there are some instances where certain suits/units are almost necessary if you want to eliminate each and every enemy. Even a damaged mech or one without an appropriate amount of special attacks might be insufficient to get the job done. This adds a whole new layer of stress to an otherwise fairly accessible game.

The Mars suit (the mecha with the three-way shot) has a really awkward behaviour when it comes to autofire. There are only highly specific distances/angles from where you can get actual rapid fire to work, otherwise he just hits an enemy once in a while. You have to learn those arbitrary spots where it works as it should and where it doesn't, I'm afraid.

The Neptune suit (the bulky mech with the diapason) has a horrible accuracy at times, its hitbox is also even bigger than the one from most of its other companions. This makes the second half of the second stage quite frightening, it is terrifyingly easy to bump your head on the huge ship and immediately lose the suit. It's better to take a single bullet than to do risky manoeuvres. 

The Grain Beat (whose armaments look suspiciously like horseshoes) is undoubtedly the strongest unit you can acquire, its only problems are the blind spot right in front of his weapons (this can be a serious hassle in stage 4) and the small pauses that can occur in his fire when moving around (which is exclusively a problem in stage 4, really). If you opt to go for sheer survival you should stick to it wherever possible, it fires in a straight line, doesn't miss, and you don't have to worry about unreliable shot frequencies. 

Finishing off the final boss with a Titan will grant you extra style points!

While it is advantageous to take out bosses as fast as possible (for there's a time bonus) you are much better off destroying as many spheres from the third boss as possible as each one nets a colossal 5,000 points. The turrets during the first and last boss fight are not worth the loss of time, however. 

There are several instances where risk-inclined players can rack up a considerable amount of points. Take the Baron suit for example (the tinier mecha with the blaster and the lance): a dropped mine from this guy is worth precious 10,000 points! The drawback to this, however, is that some of the Barons (especially the trio before the stage 3 mid-boss) will escape rather quickly.

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