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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (41332)
Written on  :  Jun 22, 2020
Platform  :  TurboGrafx-16
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
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An excellent spiritual successor to R-Type

The Good

In 1987, R-Type appeared in the arcades and made its way onto the popular home systems at the time, including Amiga, C64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Sega Master System, and TG-16 (in two parts). Although a sequel was released two years later, sandwiched between the two games was Image Fight, another shoot-em-up featuring the same fast and frenetic gameplay.

There are a total of eight stages in the game, which are full of enemies that need to be blasted with weapons or pods. The defining feature of Image Fight are the pods that drop down from the top of the screen. There are two types of these. The blue pods offer a weapon offers a weapon attached to the front of the ship, while the red ones shoot in the direction you are flying. A total of three pods can be equipped. The game is quite unusual from other shoot-em-ups for its kind. The first five stages are simulations, in which your accuracy is being recorded. Your accuracy must be at least 90% on all of the simulation stages, otherwise you have to play an additional stage before the real stages take place.

The scenery that you fly over is quite good. In the first couple of stages, you fly over forests and ocean, and from that point on it’s space. The enemies and your ship look fantastic. I like the way your ship looks like a face that changes as you alter your speed. As you change speeds, the ship’s thrusters emit a blue frame which is excellent for defeating bosses, which, by the way, are huge and have their own attack patterns. For instance, the first boss emits open blue rings in order to stop you from reaching them.

The Bad

Image Fight suffers the same issues that other arcade shooters on the TG-16 have: everything is zoomed in. There is also some questionable collision detection. An example are the aforementioned rings, which kill you upon contact.

The Bottom Line

The TG-16 version of Image Fight is the second most faithful port of the coin-op version, right in front of the Sharp X68000 version. The game mechanics are a bit unusual, given that you need to reach high accuracy on each of the early levels and that the weapons behave differently. Other than this, the graphics and sound are great, and anyone who loves R-Type should give this a go.