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Spriggan

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Released: 1991

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: PC EngCD/TurboGrafxCD

Publisher: Naxat

Developer: Compile

Submitted by: Alley Kat

Spriggan was developed by Compile, whose previous work included PCE Gunhed and the superb Megadrive shooter Musha Aleste.

Spriggan is a first class vertical shooter, initially distinguished by its unique and pretty fantasy/steampunk graphical style.

The power up system is interesting, requiring you to collect various coloured orbs, combinations of which determine your current weapon and its power. Your smart bombs use one of your collected orbs, which then effects your mech's firepower and weapon type.

This system is one which rewards experimentation, with a surprising number of  possible weapon combinations making the game stand out amongst its contemporaries.

The other aspect of Spriggan which stands out is how incredibly fast and busy it is at times. Older shooters can often look somewhat sedate in this era of high speed bullet hell, but not this beauty.

If anything, this can be the games single downfall at times- with so many detailed and colourful sprites screaming around equally colourful (and sometimes blindingly fast) backgrounds the action can become slightly messy.

That aside, Spriggan is a stunning vertical shooter which shouldnt be missed by fans of the genre.