Warm up your thumbs, jet jockeys, a hot new shooter is rocketing across the galaxy. While not as technologically innovative as Star Fox or other top space marauders, Grindstormer is still a colorful, fun, thumb-bustin' good time.
ProTip: These extra side pods are invulnerable, so just concentrate on keeping your main ship out of harm's way.
It's just another day in the Milky Way. As the last surviving pilot of the Terran Defense Force, the fate of the Earth depends on your ability to fly the state-of-the-art fighter Grindstormer against the evil invaders from Zeta Reticulli. Though your remarkable ship can pick up a terrific array of weapons, the odds are stacked against you, just like any pro pilot should want it. Ahead lay six levels of fiery frenzy, which you have to complete twice to see the true ending.
Be careful when you dash for pick-ups. Often a missile is aimed right at them, timed to arrive when you do.
A Space Odyssey
Already a hit in the arcades, Grindstormer is a classic space shooter. You have an overhead view of your ship and a down-scrolling screen of enemies a la Gradius, with colorful multi-layered backgrounds a la Axelay. A large vertical Status Bar provides easy-to-read updates on such things as your score and armaments. There's great detail in the graphics, but sometimes there's so much happening on-screen that your ship gets lost amid all the explosions. Also, you can't always tell the difference between an object you can fly over and an object you'll collide with.
- In Stage One, save your Bombs for the two bosses at the end. Bombs make short work of these missile-launching foes.
- Unlike Stage One, Stage Two has enemies that come at you from the sides. Use Bombs against these purple ships.
The sounds are about average for shooters. Pounding music propels the action, and tons of sound effects zap around you, but there are no voices to announce your pickups, which might help when the fightin' is furious.
- If you fire a Bomb almost immediately when you start Stage Six, you can clear the busy Playfield and snag new weapons.
- This is one shooter where you'll really roam the screen. Don't plan on staying safely at the bottom.
I Could Have Had a V-5!
Smooth controls can make or break any shooter, and Grindstormer soars in this category. Your ship moves fluidly with pinpoint precision, enabling you to squeeze through tiny spaces to snag weapons. What's more, there's even a bonus game -- V-Five -- with its own unique power-up system. Practice before you attempt this tough challenge.
Hey, so it doesn't have the polygon graphics other shooters brag about. You'll still be puttin' your nose to the Grindstormer for hours.