Ok, so I’ve finally had a chance to play through a few games of Fren-ze. First let me say that this is a game I’ve been looking forward to for over a year now, having seen pictures of the original PS2 version. The original screenshots certainly captured my attention with their abstract shapes and kaleidoscopic colours. It’s safe to say that I am not disappointed, the game has turned out very good.
Gameplay is very simple, but still leaves room for some strategy and different playing styles. You shoot a steady stream of bullets straight ahead, as well as being the target for lots of bullets in return. Lots of bullets. I’m not the greatest player against bullet hell, but I love it all the same.
As Matt, the author says, “The very small amount of design I did on the game was to add a j-shooter style gimmick that helps newbies (because the game is rock hard) and also bonuses out show-off rights for expert players.” What Matt refers to is your shield, which bounces back the enemy bullets. The nice balance here is this: each use of the shield costs you one blue. Except that blues are also your score. It’s a nice mechanism, setting up a classic trade-off. Get a highscore or take the easy path through a maze of bullets.
The graphics are great, those who know me know I’m a sucker for this style. Sound and music also fits, as you’re treated to a moody tech soundtrack. And yes, the game is hard. As Oddbob says, “incredibly polite the way it has you for breakfast without breaking into a sweat.” There’s a free demo to try, but save yourself a little time and purchase it right away. It’s only $5! Unbelievable value.
Check in on Hermitgames blog from time to time, as there will be some postings on the history of the game as well as replays.