Conforming to traditional trilogy rules, there are three titles in the series. The first story chapter, but third game developed by Siter Skain, is ALLTYNEX Second. In this dystopian universe, ALLTYNEX, a god-like computer probably running on Windows 10, caused a mechanical revolt in 2152. Ruthlessly efficient, ALLTYNEX’s minions wiped out 85 per cent of the world’s population within 72 hours. It’s now forty years later, and you’re one of the few survivors with one simple task in mind: shoot. The premise reminds me of the Dune prequel books, which is always a good thing.
On to what really matters, though – kicking some cybernetic emission holes. Boy, that just doesn’t have the same ring as kicking ass. This entry is set in 2.5D, with some interesting thematic side-scrolling transitions that keep the action flowing, but provides some visual diversity from the traditional top-down view. Siter Skain also worked hard on implementing new mechanics from game to game. In ALLTYNEX Second, that entails four unique weapons, including a melee blade for those more personal exchanges with robot scum. Switching between melee and long-range destruction keeps your combo meter blowing up like the carnage you leave behind in your wake.
Traditionally, the middle entry of a trilogy is the darkest. Continuing the story threads laid in its prequel, RefleX picks up with the world forming a global united front to counter any future attacks. Whenever governments form from rubble, an opposition faction is bound to emerge. In this case, that’s Valkyness. Their spat with the world powers opens the door for an alien invasion. Let the massacre begin.
The new wrinkle in RefleX is a shield mechanic capable of impenetrable defense or reflecting the horde of incoming bullets. Other notable additions include happenings in-game to match the story’s tone and a myriad of enemy types from the Raiwait alien forces. There’s also an arcade, training and soundtrack mode. I haven’t had the pleasure of playing soundtrack mode, but I’m on board with anything that fires continuous streams of impending death in tune with a catchy beat.
Last in the canon, but developed first, KAMUI rounds out the trilogy. Centuries after Reflex, mankind has found its footing, and McDonalds outlets around the world are safely operating once again. But of course, some ancient technology probably mutated from the mountains of burger grease injected into the ground has awoken to wreak havoc on humanity’s comfortable little hamlets.
The trilogy is seen a spiritual successor to Taito games’s Rayforce series. KAMUI uses many elements from that series in its 2D presentation with separate attack planes. This means your survival is predicated on both main and alternative weapons to destroy the guns firing from below. It also features auto-targeting, something the developers wanted to implement in order to focus on destruction over dodging.
This series is revered overseas in Japan, so it’s refreshing to see a localization that hopefully still delivers the same experience that enraptured so many others. The Tale of ALLTYNEX releases today at ALLTYNEX.com, where you can also download demos for KAMUI and ALLTYNEX Second. It’s also available at GamersGate and Rice Digital, with a Desura release still scheduled for this weekend. They’re still looking for Steam Greenlight votes as well. Our impressions should be up in the coming weeks, but for now, bask in the gentle glow of some shmup goodness. You won’t even need to wear shmupscreen.