Saturday, August 8, 2009

Retro Game of the Day! Gaiares

Retro Game of the Day! Gaiares

Gaiares , pronounced "Guy-are-us" according to the T-Shirt (see below) was a shooter released for Sega Genesis in 1990. It was an Eight Megabit monstrosity of shooting madness! I mention the 8Meg as this was quite a big deal back then, and this game had some really impressive graphics to show for it's efforts.

Produced by the folks at Telenet, this game came out in a world where we had been spoiled by the likes of R-Type - where you'd have a little invincible "helper" that would augment your ship's firepower, I always wonder "why didn't they just build the main ship out of the same invincible material?" I guess the game would have been no fun, then.. anyway this game's unit, called the TOZ, could be launched onto enemy ships in order to copy their weapon systems. Neat idea!

I remember looking at prerelease images of this in the "coming soon from Japan" section of EGM. Ohhh man, this looked so nice - so colorful. Mind you, SNES was a good year from release as of yet..

Anyway, like it's contemporaries, the game was no walk in the park. It had a lot of good looking levels, if half-realized (in hindsight, the actual game design was rather bland and unremarkable) but the audiovisual feast kept things going at a good clip. It was no Gradius or R-Type, but it was certainly a fun time!

As well, they packed in some anime cutscenes, unusual for a shooter at the time - impressive in magazine shots, but they felt out of place in the actual game (and they were silly. Queen Badnasty? Please..?)

Gaiares is also known for some crazy effects (the flooded-with-water level) and of course huge crazy bosses, which in this game were often giant humanoids - they looked great and were well-animated, this was stuff you didn't usually see in a shooter of this sort.

Not too much else to say on the game, I just really wanted an excuse to show off a bunch of the pretty screens from this one! Sadly, for many Gaiares is most memorable for it's extremely tacky and DATED advertisement... I really need not say anymore. I am sure this guy has been ribbed enough about it, in the years since.

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