Released: December 23, 1989
Curse was released in 1989 only in Japan and is a sidescrolling shoot’em up for the Sega MegaDrive that never saw a release in the USA. Pity, because the game is actually fun to play! The story which for some odd reason is not displayed at the beginning, the end, nor in the game at all, takes place in an alien solar system and tells the tale of two planets; Parceria and Seneca. These two planets once lived in harmony with each other until something happened on Parceria, effectively destroying all communications with Seneca. Over time, Parcerias environment would completely die out leaving the planet a barren wasteland.
One day, an enormous attack force flies from Parceria and attacks Seneca without warning. Confirmed to be the Parcerian Military, the invaders cripple Seneca’s defense forces. Besides being well armed and equipped, the Parceria Military is also able to manipulate the wildlife to do its bidding through unknown means, ensuring no possible escape to safety. The desperate people of Seneca eventually discovered an ancient star fighter abandoned by the Parcerians. Using its super-technology, the people of Seneca use the Baldanders in a counter-attack against the Parcerian invasion to destroy their main battleship: a large, mysterious warship known only as ‘Mother.’
First off, wow, that is some story. I wish I cold have seen something in the form of cutscenes or at least text to give me some kind of clue as to what is going on. Lets get to the Title screen, at first glance you will notice that there isn’t any form of options to change difficulty, add extra lives, listen to music or sound effects like most games do. Instead you are greeted to the Title and “Press Start” and off you go.
Gameplay is similar in style to other games of that decade such as R-Type, Giaraes and others. You will start off slow moving and can shoot enemies with a standard shot. Items will come from orb [boxes] which will allow you to move faster (up to 3x), and gain different weapon styles all which will prove useful in the latter stages. V item allows you to shoot a shield form and it can be upgraded 3x for a bigger spread shot. Next is W item, this power up allows you to shoot a wave form style and is very useful in stages. Can also be upgraded 3x. The last weapon to get is worst one but depending on the play style, could be a great weapon in earlier stages. C item is somewhat a bomb that is shot out slowly and once it hits an enemy it will explode causing shrapnel to fly everywhere. until upgraded. This weapon can be upgraded but it only affects the shot speed. There are other sub weapons to get such as missiles and backward attacks, all which come in handy later on.
There are five stages to beat and with a little practice getting use to the controls and play style, you’ll will be up and destroying enemies in no time but each stage gets progressively harder and its will take practice to master the stages. Finding out which weapons work best in each stage is crucial to getting to the final stage which is absolutely brutal to beat.
Now for the graphics, they are surprisingly good for 1989! Stages go from lush alien forest to outer space and even a volcanic stage! Then its off to outer space again and the final boss awaits! Now to be honest, even though the graphics are great to look at. I can’t help but notice frame rate skips [Lag] during some of the levels but that can’t be helped as latter stages will have tons of enemies on screen and obstacles to maneuver through. Music wise, there isn’t anything that stands out and makes you want to gear up for battle and the sound effects are lacking to.
I really liked this game and boy what a challenge it was. Although the SFX and Music lack, it doesn’t take away from making this a good game to play. If you like a challenge, then I would definitely would recommend this title to any Shooter enthusiast.
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