Son of Phoenix
While the game is a sequel of Phoenix, it has more in common with the shooters of the late 80's than with the original Phoenix arcade game. So if you go in with an open mind, you may enjoy the game, but if you go with preconceived notions due to the name, then you may be disappointed.

The similarities between this game and the original are there, but cosmetically they don't look the same. This one has a major upgrade in graphics, as one would expect from a game that is more recent. Instead of the barren background of the original, you get a planet in the background on level one and a base on level two. All the ships have improved graphics as do the explosions.

The shield also exists in this game, but instead of always recharging as it does in the original, you have a set amount available to you. Use this up and you are one defenseless dude. So use that shield sparingly as it is much more vital in this incarnation. The ships and bullets are really flying.

Like the original, there are a variety of different ships coming at you. Most are airborne and swoop at you, sometimes it seems from out of thin air. There are also enemies that move on the ground, in a back and forth manner. These are much easier to take out. One problem is the enemies didn't have the personality of the original game. One of my favorite parts of the classic version is blowing those wings off the birds and how they could regenerate them. These ships are boring and devoid of personality. This takes some of the charm out of the game and lumps it with all the other shooters. Ho hum.

Another thing missing from the original game is the way your ship moves. While you can move up and down, as well as side to side, you are just another ship and move accordingly. But in the original, you had that almost wobble walk that was just too cool! It made the game instantly recognizable and once again added character to what essentially was a variation of Galaxian. Without these, the Son of Phoenix could have any name on it. Call it Space Shooter, Astro Zapper, Galactic Attacker, it doesn't matter as it has no heart.

In closing, they took a shooter with character and heart and modernized it and in the process, they homogenized it and made it yet another space shooter. Another example of how some games shouldn't have sequels as they are only ruined by it.

This is just a review of the arcade machine.  If you are looking for the actual arcade machine, you may want to check out ebay.  Click below to see if you can find this game.


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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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