released on Nov 20, 1997
Einhänder is a futuristic side-scrolling shooter featuring explosive visuals, pounding techno music, and simulated 3D gameplay.
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Even if you're terrible at shmups, the first level is really cool for replaying.
Such a hard game with amazing graphics and music. Bosses are definitely scary even when you learn their patterns and, after all, they are still enjoyable to face. Prepare to get mad if you wanna play this game.
For my money, the most memorable & badass first level of a game on the playstation 1, maybe even that entire generation.
The colors, the sights, the sounds, the different weapons you can get, extremely cool. To this day, the game holds up and above everything it is exactly that, cool. So cool.
Later levels get much tougher but it isn't impossible if you're familiar with the genre. Outdated continue system but I can't complain about that, just means you need to focus on making sure you pay attention to what is going on.
I'm not sure if something is holding up this game being released again (it did make it to JPN PSN in 2008) but it deserves to be. Hell, a remaster/remake of it would be a dream come true.
Like a pair of flashy work boots.
Gaudy, stylish but fundamentally essential and solid as solid gets.
Great game and one of the rare times where a super expensive title would actually be worth the investment, Einhänder is fantastic!
Didn't finish, but really stylish shooter with amazing music. The bosses felt creative and frightening with how their 3D movements intersect with the 2D plane. Sort of wild and unpredictable, almost.
Kind of too hard of a game for me (idk how to get a feel for how big the ship hitbox is) but pretty remarkable overall!
Late 90's Squaresoft really were at the top of their game, on the PlayStation especially they were a juggernaut. Games like Vagrant Story, Chrono Cross, Xenogears still have huge fanbases. Slightly less known though is Einhander, a Squaresoft made shoot 'em up that came out the same year as Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy Tactics in Japan. Seriously Squaresoft were on fire back then.
Einhander is just that era of Squaresoft in it's aesthetic in one crazy 3D spectacle. The robot's and backgrounds feel like Ghost in the Shell and Front Mission merged. To be honest this game is 25 years old at this point yet it's designs are so stylish it could easily pass as a more modern game. The music equally has this great electronic otherworldly feel to it reminiscent of Parasite Eve in places.
The actual gameplay is basic but quite interesting. You get multiple pods you can switch between each carrying weapons you collect off of certain enemies. You get a choice of three craft which will vary how many of these weapons you have and how they are used. The Einhander I chose had three pods with each weapon having two directional modes you can flip between depending on the weapon type. The Vulcan can fire either straight ahead or at a an angle down in front. The weapons themselves can take hits with their own mini life bar and get destroyed. Other craft can use two weapons at once or only have one pod but double machine guns for the basic starting weapon.
The levels all have this chunky industrial sci-fi feel to them with big buildings, maintenance tunnels, ships and robots. As the Einhander travels it often changes from a 2.5D plane to a more 3D view before switching back as you travel both horizontally. To be honest it's a neat little trick that just highlights the presentation value Squaresoft put into this. The fact this runs at 60fps on the PlayStation to boot is really impressive to me.
I've been praising this game a lot but unfortunately aspects aren't quite to the level of Squaresoft's other titles of the era. Some of the levels have down time and pacing issues and the latter half of the game was insanely hard. An issue as a fairly casual player of shoot 'em ups I often have that my enjoyment starts to get outweighed by frustration towards the end and that is true here though the final boss fight was an epic spectacle visually that almost made up for it. To be honest though they are pretty small nitpicks and all in all this was surprisingly great, especially coming from Squaresoft who had no experience making this and never tried again.
Absolutely insane that this not only came out the same year as FF7 but also several months before Radiant Silvergun and R-Type Delta. Square went from barely being able to animate mecha in FF7 to this in such a short timeframe, and get it running at 60fps. And it still holds up tremendously well too. They clearly love it, so where's the remaster?