It’s been a while since I’ve posted a #1 Quick Fix, huh? This time, I’ll be covering The Tale of ALLTYNEX, a shmup trilogy by the circle known as SITER SKAIN. Nyu Media handled the localization after a successful Kickstarter, and the trilogy is currently available for $7.99 per game or $19.99 for the whole set, having been released at noon today.
This trilogy is a bit strange, as you may or may now be able to tell by the titles. The three games in the trilogy, in chronological story order, as known as ALLTYNEX Second, RefleX and KAMUI (which is Japanese for “divine menace”). However, a few of the titles available in this release are actually remakes (thus the odd names). ALLTYNEX Second, for instance, is a remake of ALLTYNEX, which was released for a proprietary Japanese PC build known as the FM Towns. The end result of this is that the versions of these games available in the English release were released in Japan in reverse-chronological order, with KAMUI being 15 years old.
The trilogy follows the story of an AI known as ALLTYNEX that wiped out humanity. However, as this is a trilogy of shmups, story takes a back-seat to the gameplay experience. Not that this is a bad thing, as the gameplay for the series as a whole is consistently excellent, although also consistently inconsistent. Yet while the mechanics and visuals vary quite a bit in each entry, there are a few concepts that remain the same throughout.
First and foremost, the gameplay of the series is such that, while being a standard bullet hell shmup in many ways, it does not feel like one. This is because you can shoot down most opposing projectiles with certain attacks, or otherwise block or deflect them, and you can do this easily and consistently, although not to the point that you’ll never be hit. Furthermore, if you are hit, you don’t go down in one shot. ALLTYNEX Second lets your ship take two hits while RefleX and KAMUI have a gauge for your ship’s durability that allows even more hits before going down, though RefleX also makes it so you have only one life to counteract this.
The series is also fairly welcoming to beginners. KAMUI can be played in one sitting due to its infinite continues. While RefleX does not let you register a score if you use a continue, your amount of them is not set and can instead be grinded by losing. Furthermore, all three games have easy modes that actually feel as if they deliver on said mode’s name while still being hard enough to not make it a cakewalk.
Honestly, I consider those last two paragraphs reason enough to look into these games, even if you’re not normally a fan of shmups. While I normally feel rather stressed out when playing games in this genre, The Tale of ALLTYNEX did something different from anything before and since, and it made it an enjoyable experience for even someone like me.
And an enjoyable experience is all I really want from a game.
The game is currently available from select online retailers and is also on Steam Greenlight. See the official website for details.