Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Indie Impressions - Rym 9000

Rym 9000

Developed by Sonoshee

Now Available on Steam and itch.io


Rym 9000 states that it draws its inspiration from the likes of Neon Genesis Evangelion and Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira, but with little story and bits of cryptic lore to speak of how exactly does this arcade shooter live up to those gritty sci-fi and post-apocalyptic anime epics? Through its sound and visuals, of course. It's a heavy audio/visual shmup affair with dystopic, eccentric and smooth art and animations amidst some serious retro/future and cyberpunk atmosphere in its presentation.

The warm and droning, pulsing electric synths you'd expect from something like Möbius and Roedelius's Cluster or Harmonia with the heavy and bass-y oldschool shmup beats akin to Manabu Namiki's Battle Garegga soundtrack make Roex's audio backdrop an instant arcade soundtrack classic, and in terms of electronic music in general. It fits more than perfectly with the hazy and glitchy glow of pixels that dance entrancingly around each erratic and frenetic sprite and bullet. Rym 9000, as any noteworthy and memorable shmup should be, is a pure assault on the senses that keeps you on the edge and in the game even when your deaths are frequent and frustrating.

Rym 9000 is a very straight-forward yet incredibly fast-paced and frantic shoot'em up. Your enemies explode in bright, loud and especially satisfying bursts of debris and supply you with a tidy sum of those sweet score-chasing points. It has a simple but effective scoring-system with no complex multipliers or systems to learn like you'd expect from a Cave title, and no bombs to save you leaving you at the mercy of raw firepower and dodging skill. Without all of the fluff and filler, this is a STG that just plain feels damn good to hop in and play at a moments notice.

The players' ship slows down while shooting, allowing for pinpoint accuracy but also meaning button-mashing is the quickest route to an early demise. You'll need to know when to let up on the lazers in order to properly weave in and out of the chaotic ballet of bullets. Different power-ups yield different firing patterns which replace the single pea-shooter you get at full health, and make clearing the screen of baddies much quicker so long as you possess them. The single button mechanics are a familiar and accessible formula, but it doesn't take away from the chaos and overwhelming pace of your surroundings which make the game so hard and satisfying to master.

Rym 9000 is a must play for shoot'emup fans, and a definite "check-out" for anyone else who likes their games fast, heavy, loud, and unique.

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