After weeks of high stress, no work, and no sleep to go, it was high time for me to just shoot stuff. However, I was way too tired to shoot in the three dimensions that we are used to, but I found a solution. My solution was Tyrian2000, played with my buddy, Shane Strife. Shane and I embarked on the 2 player cooperative adventure, the details of which I have no recollection. What I do remember are hopefully the best parts of the game.
The backstory. Tyrian2000 is an updated version of Tyrian, which was released as freeware in 2004. It’s an arcade-style top-down shooter. The graphics are definitely praise-worthy, if a little cartoon-y. But it brings a nice touch to the game, a dissonance that makes it okay to mess up now and then, no pressure to perform. That’s what makes this game timeless: it’s FUN. I can’t remember if we were playing the Tyrian music (we might have been playing the Gate of Thunder soundtrack), but the sounds fit very well.
The gameplay. The game seems kind of cramped, in that your ship is pretty large relative to the total screen size, and your movement rate means you can pretty much flash across the screen with just a twitch, but the game is very forgiving with its hit detection and consequences. You have an armour gauge and a shield gauge, and the shield gauge slowly replenishes while the armour gauge can be replenished by collecting pickups from distinctly red enemies. Your weapons are pretty devastating, and can be powered up within the single player campaign. During the two-player campaign, the players take control of two different ships, one a nimble craft with decent weaponry, the other… a walking ammo truck, begging to take hits until it explodes like a JOTR helicopter after eating a 40mm grenade. I played as this flying flaming death trap, and while it was decent at first, its shortcomings were pretty evident after I died for the umpteenth time. However, I found its redemption: ATOM BOMB. Imagine a grouping of yellow pixels, bright in the darkness of space and evil. These pixels seek out the evil in the night, and strike it, then multiply themselves in all directions, clearing your area of evil. It is safe. Such is the power of the second player in Tyrian 2000. May all of you seek it and feel righteous.