Review: Ordyne (TG-16)

The evil Kubota has kidnapped Dr. Tomari's fiancee Kana and taken the colossal nuclear reactor Ordyne.

For those who have never come across this gem in Namco's history Ordyne is a cutesy horizontal scrolling shoot-em-up in the vein of Konami's Paradious. It's a lot more obscure than it ought to be as in fact it was quite a novel game at the time.

You're cast as Dr. Yuichiro Tomari, a brilliant and eccentric research scientist who somehow managed to get his fiancee Kana taken away from him by the equally brilliant but unequally evil Dr. Kubota. A second player can join the quest to help out, taking command of the good doctor's loyal research assistant. That co-op play is key, though – not a lot of the other shooters currently available for download offer two-player simultaneous modes – and it's a definite positive here.

Ordyne's upgrade system is worth a special mention. You don't earn power-ups on the fly in this game. Rather, defeated enemies leave behind floating crystals. The crystals are the cash of the sky, and you're tasked to collect as many as possible before the arrival of the Inn. The Inn, then, is a floating fortress of solitude that shows up in the middle of levels and offers a break from the action outside. You fly in and are greeted by a storefront, a friendly cashier and three possible power-ups to purchase. You can upgrade your ship's bombing capabilities, buy an extra life, or give your standard gun a more rapid rate of fire, among other options.

This game has a lot of variety, across the range of wonderfully crafted stages you'll encounter an R-Type style huge mothership and a crazy rotating maze which shows the SNES wasn't the only console able to do mode 7 like effects.

Conclusion

Whilst this game is an excellent blast it faces some stiff competition on the VC. The gameplay whilst fun is short-lived and once completed there is not much replay value in comparison to faster and tougher shooters which are out there. If you want a light hearted blast to while away a few hours however you could do a lot worse than this.

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