Date: 08-06-2011 20:35
Author: Chris Engle

PDC profile: Chris

Ozma Wars, released in 1979, is a side-scrolling shooter arcade game. The objective of Ozma Wars is to survive various waves of asteroids, comets and UFOís. Continue reading after the break, and find out if this game can satisfy your hunger for arcade classics.

Traveling Through Space

Ozma Wars is known as the second ever vertical shoot emí up game but also the first game with distinct stages. There are only a few unique stage layouts, and after once you beat the final stage, the stages simply repeat indefinitely. Ozma Wars is also known as being one of the first games to feature an energy bar rather than having lives. At maximum health, it takes 2-3 hits from being shot or touching an enemy before the ship's energy runs out and your Energy is also constantly running out at a slow rate. However, passing a level will allow the ship to dock with a mothership to refuel, filling the energy bar back to 100%. There is also support for two players taking turns on Ozma Wars.

Endlessly In Space
Upon playing the Ozma Wars, it seemed that the game was just like any other arcade shooter. The first thing I noticed was the Energy meter being filled up by the mothership and I thought to myself that it would be nice to have a health system rather than lives. However, in a way, the health system acts as a lives system in which you can only take 3 hits at most and then it is game over. The health system coupled with the fact that each time the ship get hits, the game pauses for a moment as your health counts down along with missiles that are hard to escape, and lasers that can hit the ship twice in succession just irritate me. The fact that there are only few stages that are repeated, didn't make this title too exciting to me. I also noticed that there seemed to be many moments where the frame rate would slow down significantly.

Final Thoughts
The graphics arenít pretty and the music isnít anything special. The game play is dull, repetitive and boring. I would honestly say that I would have probably not purchased this game if I had known anything about it before hand because there isn't any real objective. Aside from playing to beat the current high score, the game feels stale. I could only imagine that Ozma Wars would be enjoyed by someone who enjoys collecting old games.

Ozma Wars is available on the PlayStation Store in PlayStation Mini format. It was originally developed by SNK, and then ported to the PlayStation Network by G1M2. I played Ozma Wars for half an hour on my PS3, prior to writing this review.

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