quinta-feira, 19 de março de 2015

Targa [2014/1995, Super Nintendo] Review - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#43

Developed by Rainbow Arts and Published by Virgin Interactive, Rendering Ranger R2 was originally released only for Japanese players in November 1995 and exclusively for the Super Famicom.

Following the long running Turrican series, German developer Manfred Trenz kind of disappeared from the gaming industry. Fortunately he just stayed in the shadows developing, for almost 3 years, one of the greatest hidden gems ever released in video gaming history. This is how I see it! Rendering Ranger R2 is extremely rare and an amazing piece of programming!

Rare games tend to be bad, but that’s not the case with this title. Unfortunately for us, collectors and Super Nintendo fans, the game only sold a few thousand copies, 5000 to be more precise, and it’s really hard to get the hands on a single copy. And, obviously, prices aren’t appealing either, as we can see by this Japanese import on sale on ebay.

The game was originally named Targa and featured hand drawn graphics, but was later changed to pre-rendered graphics and renamed to Rendering Ranger R2. Sadly, the only company interested in publishing it was Virgin Interactive’s Japanese branch.

Somehow, last year, a prototype copy of Targa appeared on ebay and was grabbed by brothers Mark & Matt Nolan for five hundred and fifty six euros. These guys are well known by putting so much effort on preserving classic video game titles that would probably be lost in time.

So in last November, nineteen years after the original game was placed on store shelves in Japan, the Nolan Brothers released a limited and unaltered one hundred and fifty copies of Targa for about 100 dollars each, outside US, and promised that, once all copies were sold, the ROM would be available for download for everyone to enjoy. And so they did!

Highly inspired by Turrican and R-Type, Targa is a mix of side-scrolling run’n’gun action and shmup and I believe that “Super Turrican 3” would be a more suitable name for this game and would have probably opened the eyes to a bunch of publishers.

There’s no fancy story behind Targa’s main character. There’s no damsel in distress nor a dragon to be slain, just pure “shoot all things on screen” kind of game that brings back those awesome glory afternoons spending money at the arcades.

There’s no puzzles to solve, little or any exploration to do. Just avoid those hordes of enemies that show no mercy and throw us everything they have!
That’s maybe the only flaw in this game, its extreme difficulty. Just look at these narrow passages!! You must be highly focused not to mess this up!

With amazing pre-rendered graphics, great music and sound effects and a superb spot-on smooth frame rate, uncommon on a Super Nintendo game, this gem must be enjoyed by everyone out there even if you’ve never heard of Turrican or R-Type, which I think it’s almost impossible!

Below there’s a link for downloading the free ROM and please thank the Nolan Brothers for their hard work on making this possible for all Super Nintendo players to enjoy and appreciate one of the greatest hidden gems ever!

Download the free ROM from: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4f5kdjyHmF-X3VjMlhIOTYzYVk/view

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