If you’re a fan of the retro gaming scene then you are well sorted today. Not only do console players get the opportunity to take in the Breakers Collection, bringing together a couple of games from the 1990s, but a trio of old-timers arrives for play too – it just so happens that they are some old Psikyo arcade classics too.
We’ve been well treated in terms of Psikyo games being ported to modern day consoles, with the likes of GUNBIRD and the Strikers 1945 series turning out to be able to play better than we ever imagined. But today there are three new titles joining that retro love-in, in the form of Dragon Blaze, Gunbarich and Zero Gunner 2.
Each of these comes to Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S via the usual method of Xbox Store purchasing, priced up at £7.49 in order to tempt a few rose-tinters with a buy or two.
If you do pay up, you should expect to be thrust back to the turn of the millennium, 2000 and 2001 in fact, as that is when these games first popped up into the gaming worlds.
So what do we have? Well, without going too deep into the madness, you’ll find that Dragon Blaze is the earliest of those games. It first appeared in the arcades way back in 2000, working as a vertical scrolling shooter in which you would take control of a powerful dragon. With four dragon riders in place, it is up to you to fight back against anything that may get in your way, utilising a variety of shots, bombs, magic items and more.
Apparently famed for its boss battles (although we’re taking the word of the press blast for that), it comes to the modern day gamer with the opportunity to mix and match a number of things: difficulty, max lives, continues, controls, screen orientation and more. There are new online rankings too and it is this which should allow yourself to prove once and for all that you are the finest dragon rider in the land.
Zero Gunner 2 is next up and that kinda plays along the same lines – albeit ditching the fantasy dragons for attack helicopters. Possibly coming on the back of some serious love for Blue Thunder and Airwolf, Zero Gunner 2, also makes waves with those new, more modern, quality of life additions.
And then we get to Gunbarich – a game we have never heard of. At least not until now. There are no dragons here, nor any attack helicopters and instead you’ll find yourself thrown into the manic mayhem of a brick breaker shooting game; one that is full of surprises.
Gunbarich rocks up initially in 2001, but comes to Xbox consoles once more with those modern improvements in tow. Don’t expect anything too taxing from this one, but if you’re after a bit of nostalgia and want to enjoy a quirky take on the usual brick breaking, it’s possibly worth a shot.
All three of these games come about via the porting and publishing powers of City Connection and Zerodiv. The question is, will you be heading to the Xbox Store and parting with your money in order to enjoy some retro arcade goodness?
Let us know in the comments below. And keep an eye out for a review from us – we will be diving in as soon as we can.
Dragon Blaze Description:
A Psikyo fantasy shooter where a powerful dragon is your fighter unit! Dragon Blaze is a vertical-scrolling shooter game that first appeared in arcades in 2000. The heroes are the four dragon riders. Attack using normal shots, bombs, magic shots (press and hold), and powerful close-range dragon shots. The dragon shot is the main feature of this game. Defeat the enemy using this shot the moment you release the dragon to get more score items! You can also earn technical bonuses by hitting a boss’s core using this shot. Separating from the dragon also changes the effects of the magic shot! The game’s amazing boss battle effects, transformations, and stunning background art that exude an eerie charm will jog your imagination as you play! Take your stand against the demon lord Nebiros and his army of darkness in order to save your loved ones and the world!
Zero Gunner 2 Description:
Break through the encirclement! ZERO GUNNER 2 is a top-down shooter game that first appeared in arcades in 2001. Players can pilot three types of attack helicopters. Use automatic normal shots, unit-specific sub-shots, and drone attacks that consume energy to deal heavy damage to the enemy. The turn marker is the biggest feature of this game. When deployed, it acts as the player unit’s axis of rotation. Master the turn marker to easily deal with attacks from any direction! The Psikyo signature of terrifying boss battle effects, eyecatching transformation animations, and 3D mechanical designs are other features to watch for!
Shoot and repel enemy bullets! This brick breaker shooting game is jam-packed with items and surprises. GUNBARICH is a brick breaker shooter game that first appeared in arcades in 2001. Break all blocks to clear the stage by using the flipper to shoot out the pink ball (puck). Be careful! You’ll lose if you run out of time or if the puck drops below the screen. The flipper isn’t just for shooting pucks, it can repel enemy attacks as well! Hitting enemy characters with one of their own repelled bullets deals massive damage to them. Use the left and right inputs to control the trajectory of the puck and enemy bullets that land on the flipper.