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1UP Previews Bangai-O Spirits

1UP writes: "Bangai-O, a cult classic N64 shoot-em-up that came to America by way of Dreamcast, is one of developer Treasure's more fondly regarded games from its post-Saturn years. As with everything the studio has ever created, it married unconventional gameplay with how-did-they-do-that technical wizardry -- quite closely, in fact. Bangai-O placed players in control of a tiny spaceship moving through a series of free-scrolling stages packed with enemies and projectiles. By playing chicken with missiles and bullets, players could power up their ship and unleash retaliatory strikes; the more hazards on screen, the more powerful your counter-attack. The full Japanese title translated to something like "Self-Destructive Exploding Bangai-O," a succinct summary of the gameplay: throw yourself into harm's way, then let loose a torrent of destruction.

Even on Dreamcast -- a system regarded as a sprite-pushing powerhouse -- the sheer amount of stuff happening in Bangai-O was nothing less than jaw-dropping. The screen at times could look busier than your average danmaku "bullet hell" shooter...the difference being that Bangai-O's curtains of deadly enemy fire flew in unpredictable, chaotic ways rather than tidy patterns and artfully-arranged corridors. It was more "panic" than "manic" -- and, of course, wholly satisfying once you fired off a radial salvo of dozens of missiles in response to the enemy's relentless assault".

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