ALLTYNEX Second is the latest and final release in SITER SKAIN’s Tale of ALLTYNEX trilogy of shooting games, but is actually the first chapter in the story that runs through the series. The game is a remake of ALLTYNEX, which was released by SITER SKAIN on Japan’s PC obscura FM Towns back in 1997. The gameplay is almost entirely faithful to the original, but the remake has made massive leaps in graphics, audio, and overall presentation.
The premise for ALLTYNEX Second is superficially straightforward, but that belies a number of mysteries (with very satisfying answers – more on that below!) and lays the foundation of the complex stories of RefleX and KAMUI.
The year is 2192AD. 40 years ago, the Stellar-class All-purpose Administrative Computer ALLTYNEX suddenly attempted to enact genocide upon mankind. Commandeering armies of unmanned weapons, ALLTYNEX enacted a massacre so terrible that within only 72 hours of the start of the incident, approximately 85% of the world’s population had perished. A small number of people narrowly managed to escape beyond the solar system, but their population steadily declined in the face of brutally harsh living conditions. Now, gambling everything, the remaining survivors rally to begin their first and final attempt to reclaim the Earth.
The game opens with the human survivors’ fleet engaging ALLTYNEX’s drone armies at the Earth’s outer atmosphere and from there the player must battle through the enemy forces to confront and destroy the ALLTYNEX A.I. The game and story ending reach a satisfying and appropriate level of closure for the first chapter in the trilogy, but even further light and detail can be found in the Tale of ALLTYNEX Official Guide Book, which Nyu Media will release by the end of June – a must for all serious fans of series! See the Guide Book page at ALLTYNEX.com for details.
Gameplay in ALLTYNEX Second is all about mixing traditional shooting with up-close and personal attacks. Effective use of the Buster Rifle and Blade weapons and fast chaining of enemies are the order of the day to build high scores. Your ship, the Armed Saboteur, is equipped to handle enemies in all directions and distances. The meat of the scoring comes from destroying enemies in quick succession to create a 16x multiplier and then blast the biggest enemies using your melee weapon to obtain their maximum value. The ship can also sustain one single hit before getting destroyed and players can also obtain additional lives through score extends. This combined with additional credits that are awarded as you play, become great aids for those unused to the genre.
Unlike RefleX, which might require a more refined play style as you master the shield system, or Kamui (with its foreground/background play and strategic use of your energy gauge), ALLTYNEX Second goes all out and lets you shoot, slash and lock-on stuff at the speed of light. Of course, the only downside is that you need to carefully manage the energy levels of your shot weapon to avoid losing too much offensive power. There is no kill like overkill but, judicious overkill is best!
ALLTYNEX Second carries an extreme sense of urgency: there is no respite, no refuge, and no time to hide. It is also close to a manic shooter without actually being one per se, as there is heavy focus on blasting away boss parts and pieces with the melee weapon and destroying enemies quickly they don’t have time to fill the screen with bullets. In fact, it’s essential to avoid letting the screen get filled with bullets! That’s where the Buster Rifle, your trump card, comes handy: its halo effect can wipe out bullets close to your ship. Thus, the game becomes not just a scorer’s paradise, but also an enjoyable ride for those who want to play something more “traditional”, less focused on a small bullet emitter at the upper side of the screen and more on crazy machines soaring across the sky firing heavy lead, missiles and lasers. And boy, it feels good to disarm and tear ‘em apart!
While SITER SKAIN have taken advantage of the switch to 3D graphics and a dynamic camera to use more cinematic approach in game, but it remains a vertical shooting game at its core though and the mechanics, enemy waves, patterns and overall stage design are tight and masterfully handled to be a rollercoaster with barely any breathers. The Tale of ALLTYNEX is a fitting end AND start to the trilogy!
The Tale of ALLTYNEX is developed by the Japanese indie dev SITER SKAIN and localized and published by Nyu Media Limited. The games and original soundtracks are available for $7.99 each or all three games are available together for $19.99. Visit ALLTYNEX.com for more details, demos, and information on where to purchase the games.
This post is part of the Tales of ALLTYNEX series sponsored by Nyu Media.