Nude Maker’s next sci-fi game Terror of the Stratus is surprisingly part side-scrolling beat ’em up. I got a chance to play the PSP game, which started in a base. After a few event scenes presented manga style with talking animated character busts, I explored the base as Seishirou. The base, just like the game’s levels, is also shown from a side-scrolling perspective. While the base is in 2D, the map is actually in 3D. I moved from room to room by walking left, forward, and into the screen.
Once out on the field, I fought 3D monsters using Seishirou’s sword. He had light and heavy slashes plus a super high jump that looks like a screw attack. Seishirou is a pretty effective fighter at close range. A couple of strikes killed most enemies. See the number in the top left? That’s not your score. It’s currency, which you can spend back at the base to buy better weapons. Each fallen foe added to the tally and you can earn some extra money by talking to certain people. You can’t see it in these screenshots, but the ruined city I fought in had civilians standing around.
Terror of the Stratus puts players in control of three characters. The d-pad let me switch between Makoto Usami and Nanase Sasahara. Makoto was faster than Seishirou and had longer combos. Instead of a heavy punch, Makoto had a long range attack where she threw knives. I suppose that’s handy, but I didn’t use it much since Nanase specializes in fighting from a distance. She’s armed with a machinegun and a silly looking shin kick. You have to get so close to use the kick and it barely damages the game’s monsters. That’s OK though, since Nanase can hug the back of the screen and fire bursts of bullets.
Each character has their own life bar so if Seishirou takes too much damage you can swap him out. Switches are done on the fly. Characters also have their own special attack meter. It’s possible to stock up super moves and unleash them all at once. Before you execute a special attack, Terror of the Stratus has an anime cut-in where you see your character (in this case Nanase) start the move. A nice touch since the character models aren’t very detailed.
At one point, I had to split my trio up. Someone had to jump in a hole and I got to choose who to send. I decided on Makoto and the mission continued with only Seishirou and Nanase in my team.
While I only got to try the side-scrolling portion, Terror of the Stratus also has mecha combat where you’re locked in a one-on-one fight with an outer space invader. Terror of the Stratus comes out in Japan on October 27. So far, Nude Maker’s title has not been announced for any other territory.