Merriam-Webster defines ‘Swag’, in urban slang terms, as ‘stylish confidence’, although the origin of the word actually comes from the Scandinavian ‘svagga’, which means “rock unsteady or wobbly”. Radirgy Swag, with its unusual direction and somewhat confusing properties, perhaps has more in common with the latter – at least until it begins.
Milestone Inc, the original developer of Radirgy, has also done quite a bit as a company. Including former staff of Compile (Aleste) they released five survival shooter (or ‘shmup’) arcade titles for Sega’s NAOMI hardware between 2004 and 2009, porting three into the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2. Experimenting strong, fan base Milestone’s hit and its affection for the niche aspect of the software spurred ports and sequels on a wide range of consoles, including the Gamecube and Nintendo Wii. In 2013, it all came to a disastrous end when founder Hiroshi Kimura was jailed for illegally selling shares of a subsidiary in Vietnam, MS Bio Energy. The staff later revived the studio as RS34, preserving the Milestone lineage with several sequels.
Radirgy Swag’s western release took two years, infuriating fans as they waited for Dispatch Games (now with a slightly regrettable name) to finally deliver paid shipping. Spelling errors and misdirections appear in different parts of the text, making one wonder what Dispatch Games has been up to for such a long time, but much of the translation has remained the same.
Evoking the developer’s innovative approach to video game development, it is the fourth game in a series that daringly embraces genre conventions. Where School of Chaos – Milestone’s first release – only featured boss battles, Radigy Swag doesn’t. It also doesn’t technically have phases, instead being shaped as an increasingly tense seventeen-minute action sequence in your pursuit of the moon, clearly distinguished by the change in background.
The plot-smart protagonist Tadayo Aita is now a space garbage collector. The job theme is tied to a number of achievements – or “jobs” – that you can complete by fulfilling certain requirements in the game. Radirgy’s cast has a dedicated following, and Swag’s bedroom-themed options screens, fashionable vignettes, and general conversation maintain the series’ lovely quirky tone.
Daisuke Nagata, the composer who raised Chaos Field with a high score of ecstasy, is one of the RS34’s greatest assets. His knack for modern poppy rhythms and fun rhymes helps Radirgy Swag showcase his trendy “culture” vibe. And it’s essential, because while it works intuitively, it’s definitely party-free. The bar shifts the background to a new isometric angle, it resembles previous titles, using simple cel-shading graphics, bold outlines, and simple drawings.
The screen features a citrus-colored window, containing an achievement margin to spin and various tools to show your performance. During the process, chat bubbles appear at the bottom of the screen. The messages often disappear too quickly to be fully read and are largely unimportant fan service, but if you want to know what’s being said, it’s all logged into the ’email’ server. of the options screen.
It’s important for you to understand the game’s constant stream of power-ups and how you need to accumulate them to improve your score and aid your survival. Go into the mist and it’s very confusing, which means your first port of call should be the ‘Digital Guide’: a single, non-zoomable image, showing instructions everywhere with font size required monitor or a monitor to decode.
You have two crafting options, both of which tout a sword-clawed secondary weapon, two firing types, and a shield. The power-ups – eight colored triangles and squares – have a unique look but are inexplicably lacking the translation of the Kanji they are inscribed in. This makes it many times more difficult for non-Japanese readers, who will need to memorize their functions. Some important power-ups include the red inverted triangle to speed up the game; purple icon to reload your shield gauge; red square to increase attack power and green square needed to recharge some mana. Once you start to understand what powers do and how you can change their properties by swiping them with your sword, Radirgy Swag has a fun score challenge for you to take on.
It looks like a shmup and smells like a shmup, but it doesn’t have as much effect as one. Ammo is too fast to dodge, making it possible to clear them by shooting or absorbing them with your shield. The idea is to increase your speed by getting relevant powerups, increase the number of enemies on screen and ammo in turn as much as possible – and then ping your shield button by dropping a reckless way. At higher speeds, larger enemies hit the spot and absorb the spreading dense ammo that almost fills your shield instantly, allowing you to activate it in continuous cycles. While the speed boost is only temporary – and requires alignment to achieve maximum velocity – learning to extend these invulnerable periods is the crux of the game: a spinning exercise. , whereby you try to manage everything in parallel while increasing your survival time. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to continuously speed it up, adding a bit of RNG to the proceedings – but when you do manage to string a number together, you’ll end up in a state somewhere in between Anarchy and harmony: a kind of high-end device, the dice dance with death. In its thick layer, activate the shield after refilling the shield, camp on top of large enemies, drain energy and see your score multiplier increase, Radirgy Swag achieves its peak echo. : a regenerative wave of surviving and scoring success.
The result is a somewhat malleable affair that flows from being relatively relaxed into heavy, heavy rush. You’ll need to re-open your history shmup program before you can participate and appreciate that it’s designed for players who specialize in breaking scoreboards with high-level digits. Other than that, not much else is offered.
Radirgy Swag’s strength doesn’t come from thundering boss fights or visually striking and environmentally striking battles, but rather from learning how to drive the game like a Ferrari armed with space shuttle rockets. Its brevity plays out well in this respect, and while it’s not too far from the average playtime of most arcade shmups, its length encourages repeated play. There are many bonuses to be obtained, allowing you to adjust the parameters of the game. These range from bullet speed increased to Space Invaders Respect restricts your ship from sideways movement.
There are walls here that take a little effort to break through. Closing the power-up lottery and keeping track of your various gauges will be effective. For the most part, shmup fans will either love it or hate it: and this split is Milestone’s huge legacy. While respect is deserved for their unorthodox approach to the age-old arcade genre, not everyone will accept the concept or the limited number of games on offer. It should also be noted that, due to the constant slashing of the shield and sword, it completely kills your right thumb in handheld mode. An arcade stick or a Pro Controller are the more preferred peripherals in this respect.
Though rough around the edges, the Radirgy Swag will please existing fans, definitely win some newcomers and possibly land cold on others. It was never expected to be a mass-market hit, which is why the film managed to find a Western audience, as small as it could be. If you’re a shmup fan looking for something out of the ordinary, the reckless shield regeneration and power-up juggling system could be just the ticket for you. It requires some initial work, but once it’s clicked it really cooks.