Format: PS2
Empire Interactive
Age Restrictions: 11+

Get ready to give your fire button a bashing in this classic Japanese shoot-em-up with over 14 levels of action. A brand-new title previously unreleased in the UK it features a Buzz system that allows you to power up your craft by absorbing the energy of enemy bullets. Two games are available to play: Psyvariar Medium Unit (The original arcade classic) and Psyvariar Revision (Remake of the original with upgraded BUZZ system, all-new short bombs and replay mode)...

Classic Japanese shoot-em-up Psyvariar has been released in the UK after a long wait - maybe too long. This shoot-em-up is well past its prime (hence the £13 price tag). But it represents solid retro entertainment that will have you harking back to the days when you spent most of your free holiday time hanging around the arcades (or is that just me?)

The game is fast and furious, the graphics are acceptable for this style of game, but it is the music that is memorable - it will certainly take you back to those wasted arcade fuelled summers.

Possibly the most annoying thing about this game is that it is difficult to find out how to change your screen size. Don't think you can just turn this on and play it when you get it home. If you do, then the screen size is so small that you need to squint to see where your ship is. You need to go to the set up menu first and widen the screen area. Not really sure why this is. I've never come across this problem before and it's not like this game warrants a widescreen presentation.

Also annoying is the fact that the computer shouts "Level up" every two seconds (if you're playing the game well) which starts to grate after a while. I was also unsure of how the Buzz system worked. One minute I was eating bullets, the next I was toast.

It is also painfully easy to complete. After only two days of playing we were able to complete Psyvariar Revision and we are near to completing the Medium Unit game too.

Moans aside, this did keep us entertained as a group. If you are going to buy this to play alone - I wouldn't bother. But if you are going to have friends around, then you'll find it's a great game to work off all that male aggression (or is that just me again?).

Cheap and entertaining as it is, but you might like to see it in operation before you part with your money.

Pete Boomer

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