Posted: Friday - July 12, 2013
Power-ups are a fundamental part to any shooter, be it additional fire power or more speed. One of the first games to feature such a system was Gradius which hit the Japanese arcade scene in 1985. In it, players could get power-ups by collecting special items. These items worked kind of like a point system; the more you collected the better the power-up you could select.
This brings us to Diadra Empty, which has a rather robust power up system that almost feels like an RPG. Much like latter iterations of Gradius, players must choose their load out at the start of the game. To upgrade their weapons, gain options, and get more speed, players need to collect coins in stages much like in most of CAVE’s shooters. In between stages, these coins can be used to level up shots, gain more speed, or buy Storm Savers.
All of the weapons at Nyalra’s disposal have their own advantages and uses. For example some weapons can destroy some incoming shots or even shoot through multiple enemies. When there is a hail of bullets headed for you followed by a swarm of enemies, Wind Force definitely has an advantage. However, when going up against a single target, like a boss, having a more direct attack weapon like the Storm Spike might be more useful.
There is also the Turbo Shot which will activate when you press both Turbo and Shot together. If you want to dash through enemies to make a tactical escape then Dragon Scale is the perfect choice. Or you could opt for a high damage weapon, like Cloud Crack, and alternate between the two shots to have a tactical advantage over multiple situations.
Let’s not forget the Options, as having these little guys will give you a big advantage. You could use them offensively by setting their Shot Type to Lidless Wall and their Move Type to Formation. Or you could have them on full defense with Wisp Protector and Guard. Or, if you’re a fan of classic shooters, like Gradius, you could use Mithril Point and Trace.
Finding the right combination is only part of the fun as there are only seven stages in Diadra Empty that allow for upgrading, and a limited amount of coins that can be collected in each. Would it be smarter to go for more speed or Options? Would upgrading the Turbo be better than the Normal Shot? Will your combination be strong enough to conquer the game’s final stage? The only way to find out is to try it. With a wide assortment of Shots for both Nyalra and the Options, it’ll take a while to find the winning combination as well as what upgrades work best for you.
This system of power ups has spanned almost the entire history of shooters in various forms and iterations. Some games allow for different weapons, each with their own upgrades. Others allow for a limited amount of Options. Some require points to be spent to acquire power ups between stages. Diadra Empty skillfully employs a combination of elements adding both challenge and flavor to its already unique playstyle.
Check out the Diadra Empty game page to buy or demo