Surrounded by enemy fire I wait for the highly sophisticated on-board computer to say "OK", signaling that my reflect laser is ready to activate. I engage it with the press of a button and wipe out hoards of ships with the intensity of their own fire. "Poor things," I think to myself, "They didn't even know what hit them."
I hope you remember how to dodge.
Once again, Capcom and Takumi pair up to deliver an intensive lesson in humility a.k.a. Giga Wing 2. Unlike most popular shooters available in arcades or on home consoles, Giga Wing 2 offers an outstanding 3D engine at a higher-than-normal resolution, a phenomenal neo-classical soundtrack, and enough firepower to fix your obsession with fireworks this July! As an added bonus, the introductory movie sequence contains air fighting scenes that are so realistically rendered that it resembles an over-budgeted Hollywood movie trailer sans the overly dramatic voice-over.
Giga Wing 2, by far the most graphically pleasing and intense shooter for the Dreamcast console, shuttled off the charts in both aesthetics and overall design in my books. The artwork is catchy and colorful yet sharper than any shooter I've seen to date. Absorbing the visuals combined with the stunning sound effects and well composed music, the trained eye has no choice but to be awe-stricken.
Check out the sweet effects and explosions!
Unlike many shooters currently available, the soundtrack to Giga Wing 2 is a masterpiece. The individual tracks are orchestrated to perfection and flaunt a well-balanced modern and classical edge. The game consists of 4 well designed levels as well as several stages consisting only of bosses. The other main feature is a 4-player mode in which all of the 4 Giga Wing members are on the screen simultaneously.
The scoring in Giga Wing 2 is very similar to that of Giga Wing. The player score increases for each time a shot or bomb hits an enemy. The limit to the score is well into the upper digits (16+ I believe), although it is reset each time you continue. Giga Wing 2 allows you to save (or load) your scores with the VMU, if there is one available, and you can choose to view the rankings from the main menu screen. In the Score Attack mode, a score multiplier is continually increased. For those who aren't familiar, the Score Attack mode is a type of game play that allows you to play a single level with the goal of earning the highest possible score. The ability to play through each of the levels one at a time gives you the opportunity to hone your skills in the particularly difficult areas of the game. This feature, while not intrinsic to Giga Wing 2, is a necessity for games of this caliber in difficulty. Finding a strategy of survival and maximizing your score is what this mode is all about. There are items which can be collected when certain objects are destroyed that increase your score multiplier. These same items in the arcade mode are used only for increasing your current score. To generate these items, the reflect barrier must be used to destroy enemies. The multiplier is reset when your ship is destroyed, or when a force bomb is used.
Speaking of scores, Giga Wing 2 ranks remarkably high in graphics. Making excellent use of the impressive 3D engine, Giga Wing 2 does more than just scroll from top-to-bottom. During game play, the depth of the battlefield is actually shifted to draw the player into the screen. In addition, the angle of the scrolling screen appears to shift periodically causing a dramatic effect during the brief pauses from enemy fire. While the third dimension is not entirely new for the shooter genre, Giga Wing 2 uses it effectively to bring you into lower levels of building-like architectures and even dips you underwater to defeat a boss.
In the original Giga Wing, the main character was engaged in "The Fight For Medallion". This fight was a world-scale war in an attempt to gain the power of Medallion which has devastated civilizations. As a technologically advanced air fighter, your goal was to destroy Medallion with only your skill, your wit, and a stone which contained the only known way to destroy it. By removing Medallion's existence, the ongoing battles for it have ceased.