I truly cannot say enough about this game. Charming, addictive, creative, rewarding and fun are just a few words that come to mind when speaking of this Sammy Masterpiece. If you love shooters or simply respect a well-made game, you're legacy will not be complete until you have conquered this game. It will push you harder than you thought you could take. You will be faced with foes that seem unbeatable. Death will approach you from every possible angle. But if you're good, you might, MIGHT, be rewarded with the crackling sound of a fallen Boss, and your heart can start beating again.
Sound like I'm exaggerating? When you get to the Fifth Area Boss, you may reconsider. The game can be difficult, but not impossible. In fact, with practice, it's possible to beat the game with one life, even on the hardest difficulty. The course of the levels are fairly easy. A fair amount of enemies of varying difficulty abounds throughout each stage. Enemies are well placed and use interesting formations. Creative puzzles also grace each level. Enemy shot-patterns can be a bit overwhelming at times, but can be prevented through the early destruction of your enemies or by unleashing two of the three types of bombs you can carry. While the levels are fairly easy to get by, the Bosses are a different story. Some of the shot-patterns are wonderfully difficult. I promise you, you will either be on the edge of your seat, or cursing at the screen. My heart pounds just thinking about the last boss. The battles you will have, THE BATTLES! If you enjoy a good challenge, you won't be disappointed.
The graphics are simple and beautiful. Rendered in 3D, and then redrawn in 2D, Viewpoint has a look that is all it's own. Every character is cute enough to be lovable, and serious enough to pose a threat, including your own ship. The end result is a sense of awe and caution. You will also see some slight copyright infringement in the game. The Ringlettes from Xevious appear on every stage. Your ship, the Byupo, bears more than a slight resemblance to the R9 of the R-Type fame. And the third stage is home to the Three-Sectional Black Orbs from Space Harrier. Just a bit of Nerd-Trivia for you. It really is as fun to watch as it is to play. [Here's a bit more Nerd-Trivia: if you really want to talk about borrowed graphics, compare Viewpoint to the Sega classic: Zaxxon -Ed.]
The music is some of the best on the Neo. Ultra-catchy, playful tunes are throughout the game. It's hard to listen to the soundtrack without smiling. For those few who are interested; I have a song list:
Area 1 - Not All There - Arguably the best song in the game. Very catchy melody.
Area 2 - Un Caillou Ricochet - Kind of a weird Loungey type sound. Mellow and pleasant.
Area 3 - Be Your Age! - A little Funk for you. My favorite song.
Area 4 - Ass Back Wards - Strange, Middle-Eastern influenced Techno.
Area 5 - La Nervatura - Hectic Techno for a hectic stage.
Area 6 - Physical Daydream - Semi-mellow music for a final stage, but not inappropriate.
Boss - F.O.B. - Listen for the James Brown Sample.
Final Boss - F.O.B. - Biotron Mix - Not a bad mix.
Credits - Mes Volutes Bleues - Nice and mellow reward for a job well done.
Your ship, the "Byupo", can pick up various power-ups and items along the way. They are:
-Options- By far, the most important of power-ups. These faithful companions fly at your side and fire as you do. They can also be used to block enemy fire, and even to damage passing enemies. When facing Bosses, you are naked without them.
-Bombs- You can store up to three bombs, and there are three different flavors. "F" A wall of flame advances from your ship engulfing your foes. Fly to the back of the screen for maximum exposure. It also eats enemy fire. Extremely powerful. "H" An array of homing missiles burst from your ship. It is the weakest, and most common of the bombs. However, it is not without its place. If you can fly directly up to a Boss's weak point and let them rip, you can cause a great deal of damage. "W" Arguably the best type of bomb in the game. While not as strong as the F type, this bomb creates a blue energy disc along the ground. It causes damage as well as protecting you from enemy fire. Its true strength is its lengthy exposure.
"Barrier" An energy shield surrounds the Byupo that can withstand three normal hits, not four as indicated in the instructions (Yes, I know, I'm a total nerd,).
"1UP" This gold orb adds one life to your fleet. To my knowledge, the only one that exists is on the final stage.
"Bonus" A yellow star that sometimes appears when you destroy a group of enemies. Gain up to 3,310 points.
When you are hit, you will begin again at a preset area. I should also mention that when you die, you are often given a bomb with your next life. Bonus lives are give at 30,000 and then every 50,000 points. With a Debug Bios chip, you can play two player simultaneous. Truly awesome!
Outstanding! I absolutely cannot complain about a single element of the control. Your ship is the perfect size in relation to the playing field. The hit-boxes are placed perfectly. You move at the perfect speed to avoid large obstacles, yet can still negotiate the tightest of predicaments. Your shot power is just right. Charge time is set perfectly. Power-up's offer excellent offensive and defensive advantages. A superbly balanced craft.
Each stage shares common enemies as well as having stage-specific ones. There is almost always some type of puzzle or obstacle course, and of course, a stage Boss. I’ll do my best to give you an idea of what the stages and bosses are like.
Stage 1 - A futuristic, fairly easy area. There are a wide variety of enemies and traps on this stage. The terrific music drives you forward. The stage Boss, “Snapping Turtle King” is a mid-sized, lightly armored thing. Piece of cake.
Stage 2 - A beautiful stage. It starts out over some ancient ruins. After an obstacle course, and a battle with a Giant Fish (nothing unusual), the level changes to a semi-gross, organic wasteland. More song-and-dance dodging until the stage Boss, (Mighty Mah-Too-Bah), a Giant Crab with incredible endurance.
Stage 3 - A golf course-like forest inhabited by mostly by large insects. Great music. Then there is the Boss. I must warn you, this is where the game gets hard. You fight a Giant Moth-like thing and a speedy Caterpillar at the same time. The shot pattern can be a bit overwhelming.
Stage 4 - The Desert Stage. All-in-all, not too tough, but there are a few areas that require caution. Towards the end of the stage, you must dodge a convoy of carrier type ships. It may take a few tries to memorize their pattern. The Boss; a four sided head. As you may have guessed, each side attacks differently. It’s tough, and requires great patience. Beware the fourth face.
Stage 5 - This is where you must decide; “Is it even possible?” The lava stage is F&%#ING HARD! And to top it all off, the Boss is UN_F$%&ING BELIEVABLY HARD! It’s this big, weird vehicle-thing. You’ll see what I mean. I lose my cool just thinking about it.
Stage 6 - Space, the final frontier. Satellites, and other foes try relentlessly to keep you from the Final Boss, but you’ll prove their efforts fruitless. After some dodging and weaving, and a puzzle or two along the way, you’re finally there. The Final Boss. At first glance, you might think “Hey, this thing’s not so bad,” but I promise you, it is bad. Very bad. Get ready for a long fight.
Writing this review only makes me love this game more. I really hope that you can enjoy this wonderful game as much as I have. If you’re not sure you’d like it, you can try the horrible Genesis and Playstation versions. Both are a mockery of the original, but a taste none-the-less. Viewpoint is without a doubt one of the single greatest shooters ever made. It’s beautiful visuals, precision handling, unforgettable soundtrack, and challenging gameplay make it a legend in my book. When you beat this game, you almost always push "Start" and begin the madness all over again. If you are a hard-core gamer, and you enjoy shooters, this one will provide endless fun. However, if you are collector and just want to fill that hole on your shelf, please leave Viewpoint alone. This game was meant to be played, and played hard.
More Reviews of This Game:
by Kazuya_UK - Courtesy of Kazuya's
Collection | Master
List | AES
Price Guide | MVS
CD Price Guide | Neo Store | Screenshots | Reviews | Home | Email