Day 31: LEUCISTIC WYVERNリューシスティックワイバーン

Posted: 2010/12/10 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and no longer appear in the top 50 downloads. Today is day #31, and today’s game is “LEUCISTIC WYVERNリューシスティックワイバーン”.

(Please note: the game looks much better than suggested in the video above, which has some strange vertical lines that are not present in the actual game.)

Space Harrier and Afterburner fans rejoice, your salvation has arrived. Leucistic Wyvern is a great modern take on the classic, with improvements such as varied terrain (including hills that you have to make sure you fly over, lest you crash and lose some of your health).

Like Space Harrier, Afterburner, Panzer Dragoon, and some other classic arcade and console games, this is a rail shooter (meaning you have control over where you are on the screen, but no meaningful choices about the direction you’re traveling). LEUCISTIC WYVERN has received quite a graphical upgrade over the games that doubtlessly inspired it, though the results are not entirely perfect (notably, there’s a fair bit of “pop in” where things on the horizon suddenly appear as opposed to becoming visible slowly as you get nearer), but these don’t detract from the frantic gameplay. One important point, noted by Kobun in his review of the game, is that is lack the shows that Space Harrier had which can make it difficult to judge your distance from the ground when the action gets frantic. He’s quite right, though I personally did not have any trouble clearing ground-based obstacles (save for ones so tall that you must fly around them, rather than over them).

As I noted in my review of Protect Me Knight, it’s nice to see some intriquing entries from Japanese indie games developers given the Xbox 360 is a very small market in Japan. All in all, it’s a well done entry and worth the 80 Microsoft Points for fans of classic rail shooters.

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