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Posted on Dec 1st 2012 at 12:13:14 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Sega, Dreamcast




What just happened? That's pretty much how most rounds of Mars Matrix left me feeling.

The Racketboy forums have a Shmup Of The Month Club which I've participated in over the last year. It's generally a great way to expose yourself to new shmups which you may have been putting off for one reason or another. Perhaps more importantly, it's justification -- that is it gives you an excuse to buy some expensive shmup that you might have avoided otherwise. While I've been into collecting Sega stuff for a good part of the year now, certainly my Dreamcast collection has been my highest priority focus. So I was pleased as punch to have a specific reason why I should pick up a Dreamcast exclusive (outside the arcade) shmup.





Mars Matrix is an odd one. Published my Capcom -- who showed the shmup community tons of support on the Dreamcast -- it is presented in a horizontal screen mode, much like the Giga Wing games. This means that it looks pretty fantastic on a widescreen monitor. I actually have a monitor that can rotate, but it's nice to have shmups that are meant to be played on a default monitor.

However the resolution isn't the oddest thing about Mars Matrix -- it's the default controls. You see the game is meant to be played with a single button. Or rather two. But only one button actually shoots and the second will switch shots. It's very confusing to me and I can honestly say that I'd have no chance playing this game if I encountered it in the arcade. Luckily the Dreamcast port offers full customization of controls, so I could set each attack to a separate button.





But none of this really matters because I had immense trouble wrapping my head around the game mechanics. So much of Mars Matrix revolves around using a shield to absorb and deflect bullets. The problem is the shield needs to recharge and I just was never able to understand how to properly manage this. Ultimately my high score was about 700 Million which is pitiful compared to some of the scores posted in that thread which were in the Tens of Billions! While I can say that Mars Matrix is an impressive and interesting game, it's just not one that I'm any good at. So I can find it fun in small bursts -- and probably more fun to try to play for survival. But playing for score is pretty out of the question for me unfortunately.


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Comments
 
[B]NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO[/B]

NOT YET [I]ANOTHER[/I] SHMUP I HAFTA PUT ON MY WATCH LIST!!!

WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO MUCH?!
 
Dude, Mars Matrix is easily in my top three favorite Dreamcast titles.  Yeah, the mechanics do take a bit to master (all in the timing) but this was perhaps the first shooter I learned to attack as a puzzle.  Watching Youtube score runs helped.  Spent a fun time unlocking everything.  Highly recommended!
 
This is ironic, just today I was watching a youtube show, the only one I watch regularly, and this game was on it. Neat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO04x_RuDNA&list=UUEFymXY4eFCo_AchSpxwyrg&index=1&feature=plcp
 
@nupoile: oh nice, I like Metal Jesus' show a lot.

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