Matters of Import: Protect Buildings in Radirgy de Gojaru
Posted by Kerry Brunskill
A single screen shocker
It looks like a pretty standard shooter at first glance, but you're tasked this time with protecting an unassuming grey building at the bottom of the screen from harm, instead of carving a vertically-aligned path through hordes of enemy forces.
That’s not to say you don’t get to blow things up – ideally you should be blowing everything up, because escaped enemies (somehow) damage your precious concrete structure; once that’s gone it’s game over and you’re immediately whisked away to the high score table to see how well you did. This endless procession of enemies comes at you in indistinct waves with no bosses, levels, or even simple visual changes to break things up into more satisfying portions – it’s just you, them, and the irritating noise your firepower makes against the score counter.
There are two ways to destroy your building-hating foes – a green shot that can be fired in spread or two different cross formations and a very short range sword, which seems to only be particularly effective against a small set of enemies. But neither of these alone will do much for your score – that’s where the absorb net comes into play.
The absorb net uses up your charge gauge (represented by a battery icon on the lower screen) but has the more-than-welcome side effects of cancelling enemy bullets as well as sending your score sky-rocketing. Recharging is done either by destroying enemy ships (which you should be doing anyway) or, as far as we can tell, by keeping close to enemies while the absorb net is activated. Keeping it charged up enough to use is actually very easy once the game gets going, which means that any potential feeling of skill or satisfaction at keeping this score-boosting mechanic in play is lost; that's a real shame in a game that already takes a lot of the traditional shooter difficulty away from you by putting you in charge of an invincible ship.
You could argue that Radirgy de Gojaru is a shooter score challenge at its most pure – there is only one purpose to this game and that is to get a better score than you did last time, and anything not directly related to you doing that has been cut away. But without any feeling of progression, risk, or reward the game comes across as little more than tedious busywork rather than an amusing time waster. There’s not even the competitive pleasure of beating other gamers, as the score table doesn’t connect to any sort of online leaderboard.
There are also no alternative difficulty levels, visuals changes (bar an unlockable Karous cameo), or any other way to customise the game – every run is the same, and there is no reward other than the occasional new wallpaper to decorate the lower screen with.
There is a place in modern gaming for the single screen shooter – Galaga Legions DX is this writer’s game of choice – but Radirgy de Gojaru is both a poor tribute to the original game as well as a badly-conceived attempt at a genre-shift for the series. If you were ever even mildly interested in this you undoubtedly already have something better sitting on your shelf, and if you don’t this is not the place to start.