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Posted on Jan 23rd 2011 at 02:35:21 PM by (Crabmaster2000)
Posted under Recca, NES, Famicom, Competition, Shooter, Shmup, Fast, Crazy, Hardcore

This is a very unusual entry for me and not really an "unloved" game with the definition I normally use. In North America this game is quite obscure which would obviously lend it to having much less attention drawn on it than most other games.

Rewind back to X-mas. I was involved in a Secret Santa over at Nintendoage.com (which is always awesome by the way), and after opening up my secret gift I stared at it quite puzzled. At first glance I thought it was some kind of pirated game because of the appearance and oddball label on the back. After typing "Recca" into google, I got a bit of info on it, but not a lot. It was apparently a late released Famicom game that was used for a competition in the summer of 1992. Someone on this side of the ocean in 2010 decided it would be a good idea to make some reproductions of the game and distribute them around to happy North American customers. The guy that gave me mine was ambitious enough to make his own personal reproduction for me complete with White Cartridge, professional looking label and don't feed to alligators warning sticker on the back. Its quite a unique looking item.

Anyway onto the actual game itself. Recca is a vertical scrolling shooter. I've played several NES scrolling shooters and a small handful of them I would claim are favorites of mine (such as Legendary Wings, Sky Shark and Tiger-Heli). After playing 1 single round of Recca I know, without any doubt, that it was the best game in the genre I had ever played on the NES. Probably even on the SNES also. Everything about this game is phenomenal.

The speed is the first thing (of many) that caught my attention. This game is freakin fast. Blistering speed coupled with a super fast soundtrack just blows your mind instantly. Not 10 seconds in and its obvious that you need to be paying attention at all times. No down time at all.

Second crazy attention grabber is the the amount of enemies on screen. Not only are they super fast, but there are tons and tons of them. I haven't paused the game to count, but I'd estimate over 20 baddies on screen at once quite often. And the even crazier thing is that there is NO SLOWDOWN. The screen is literally covered with enemies and it doesn't lag or blink for a second. Even some NES games known for their polish suffer from these issues, but not Recca.

The bosses remind me of playing a Sun Soft game. They are huge, detailed, and have black backgrounds. They don't let up for a second either. All the sudden the game can become like a bullet hell and you'll have swarms of dots flowing towards your ship.

One of my favorite parts about the game is the powerup system. Unlike a lot of shooters, its not so bad if you die in this one. Powerups are so common that you'll likely get another one quickly enough after dying. There are also a huge variety of gun options. There are 5 different types that can each be levelled into more effective weapons. On top of that there are 5 different secondary weapons also. Lots of different ways to customize your ship to your personal play style.

Another interesting feature, and one I haven't spent enough time messing with yet, is the bombs. To use a bomb you simply don't shoot. By not shooting you'll notice a white dot in front of your ship start to grow. You can launch it off anytime you want, but the longer you wait the more damage it can cause. Its also unlimited. Unlimited bombs might sound cheap, but the cost of not shooting anything is a big trade off in this game. It really adds a unique dynamic to your playing.

An internet search also pointed out that if you are good enough to finish the game (I haven't had the pleasure yet, and may never have the pleasure:P), you'll be treated to a "second quest" ala Zelda style. You'll play again, but with randomly generated boss sequences and scrambled versions of the levels and enemies you previously fought. It sounds even more intense than the first playthrough which is almost mind boggling to even think about.

Normally I don't promote emulation, but there are usually exceptions to every rule. This is one of those times. The game is quite hard to track down in North America it seems, but it is definitely worth the effort to those who do. I'd urge anyone who likes shooters or just wants to see the NES really pushed to its maximum potential to try this game out any way they can. Youtube videos do not do it justice. You really need to play it to experience what the game feels like.

Please post some feedback if you do try it. I'd love to hear if others are as impressed with it as I am.

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Absolutely. I've been a big fan of this game for quite some time. It simply seems impossible that this thing runs on a Famicom/NES. I always encourage any of my shooter fans to play this one.
I'm a big fan of shmups and have always wanted to own a copy of this game.  I'd love to see pictures of your repo; it sounds pretty genius. 
Never heard of this one before, but I'll be scouring eBay for a good price starting now. Great article.
I had bought one of the early repros off a friend this past year. Easily one of the best purchases gaming wise. As stated earlier its crazy that this game runs on the NES.
looks awesome. Nintendo Age is great for that sort of thing. Smiley
Sounds awesome.
I am especially impressed at how well it pushes the system but doesn't lag it out.
Just got my repro in today!  Came complete with a professional box, instructions, even covered on the ol' black vinyl.  The cart is a transparent red with a top quality label.  And as cool as all that is, it's peanuts compared to HOW AWESOME THIS GAME IS!!  Can't thank you enough, Crabmaster.  This one slipped through my radar somehow, and now I'm loving the intensity and frantic pace than only an excellent shmup like this can provide.  There's so much to love about this game!

I also found a PC Engine Summer Carnival '93: Nexzr Special and it should be on the way, though I've read it isn't nearly as tight as this one.  Have you played it?
I've seen the repros online. They look like they did a fantastic job on them. Very professional.

Glad you enjoyed the game! It slipped under my radar too. I'd heard it mentioned occasionally on the nintendoage forums, but never bothered to look into it for some reason. Glad I was able to pass on the awesomeness that someone else had passed onto me.

I havnt played any of the other Summer Carnival games, but arnt the rest of them on the PC Engine? It seemed like they made an exception that one year for a famicom game for whatever reason. I'd like to try them out if I have the chance.

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