Retro Game of the Day! Viewpoint
Welcome to Viewpoint airlines, ladies and gentlemen. Please put you tray table in its upright position against the seat in front of you, and fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a deadly ride...
Released in 1992 for the Neo Geo, Viewpoint was quite the looker of a game in its day. But be warned, if you've never picked up the controller to try this one out, and you are planning to now - prepare to die. A LOT. Even for seasoned shooter veterans, this game will put you through your paces as you adjust to survival in isometric space.
Borrowing heavily from many other games, Viewpoint took the angled presentation of Zaxxon and smeared a healthy dose of R-Type all over it. The game is a bit of a whackjob to get your head around, but persist and you will have a good time murdering its bosses and solving its puzzles.
The presentation looks gorgeous, I really want them to rebuild this in stereoscopic 3D somehow as the whole thing looks like you could nearly reach into the screen and pluck all the individual players right from the game with your hands. And eat them like delicious candies. Why must we live in a world where there are no Viewpoint candies! It sucks so hard!
The gameplay is your standard fare, as alluded to - couple the nice polish with your usual options (a variety of special bombs, power up your pea shooter, adopt some smaller "help" ships to strengthen your cause, charge up a megablast, etc). You've seen it all before, but Viewpoint does it especially well.
The game saw some ports to other platforms, infuriating the Neo Geo purists - but those guys are always looking for things to get angry about. The PlayStation version is especially noteworthy, someone had the bright idea to obliterate the nifty pixel-art look and attach a standard 3D rendered style instead. Like it or not, still an interesting modification worth investigating.
Viewpoint is certainly not for everyone, but it absolutely belongs in your Neo Geo collection as it is quite a unique game, and any gamer with a soft spot for outer-space shooters will enjoy going a few rounds with this masterpiece.