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August 23, 2004
XII Stag - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
24/9/2004AtariTaito1-2$29.95

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2-player action.
If you are aged in your mid-20's or more, and have been playing games for most of your life then you probably owned a Sega MegaDrive or Super Nintendo, and spent countless hours down the video arcades. During the 1980's one of the hottest game genres was the side scrolling and top down shooter. Games like R-Type, Thunder Force, Gradius ruled the charts, and any new release was greeted with much anticipation. Indeed Irem's recent R-Type Final showed that the genre can still flourish, at least technically today - unfortunately sales weren't as impressive. This game, XII Stag, doesn't have the same visual flair as some other PS2 side scrolling shooters, but is bound to keep old school shooter fans happy.

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Surrounded by enemy planes.
Put simply this is an old school shooter with a vertical screen rather then horizontal. Don't worry you don't have to turn your monitor - the game has black borders on each side of the screen. With support for one or two players you will take control of your airship and exterminate the alien hordes.

XII STAG introduces new features as advanced A.I. a score multiplication system to enhance gameplay and bring 12 times the fun! Be ready to fight against several types of enemies, from the simple fighter to huge and challenging mid/end level bosses. Advanced A.I. which modifies attack patterns and difficulty levels in real time basing itself on the player's performance.

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One of the bosses.
Graphically there is little to boast about in this game. It all look functional with bold colours and enemies occupying the screen. Don't expect anything too flattering in the sound department either - but this game isn't about the visual or audio experience - it's all about the gameplay. In that regards it looks like a winner.

Released in Japan on March 20, 2003 it's take some time to make it to these shores, then again you could look at it from the angle that we're lucky to get it at all. With a very generous price point of only $AU29.95 this game will be well worth hunting down, but that's something which you may have to do as few retailers have this title listed as being available. It won't be the best shooter ever, but Taito typically release quite solid titles. Expect a PAL release in late September.