Nomltest FS

Since this is supposed to be a blog introducing newcomers to all those great PC shmups out there I thought I would start to do so and put writing in a columnist style to bed for 40 winks.

This post is gonna be about the 1st shoot 'em up I played on the PC called Nomltest by the doujin freeware game maker keim. The game is a simple fixed shooter (the screen doesn't scroll) which looks very much like a space invaders clone. I can assure you that even though Nomltest looks like Space Invaders it doesn't play like it as lots of enemy waves zip across the screen in various patterns. The game has no stages instead you are bombarded non stop with ever increasing enemies as the rank increases (game difficulty). Before long you will be dodging like a madman though a screen full of bullets.

You only have a wide angle standard shot as your only weapon but with 3 different patterns each with differing speeds of your ship. Looking at pictures you will of noticed a box surrounding the ship that is for the eat system where depending on which attack your using bullets passing though will be "eaten" after differing short lengths of time. Eaten bullets add to your score and also increase your rank faster in the long run. Personally although I enjoy the eat system and i think it's a great addition, using my PS2 style controller I have to rely on the analog stick as the d-pad is crap. Using an analog stick to make any precise movements is really hard so I'm always killing myself trying to bullet eat. I suppose ill be looking to get hold of a Sega Saturn style controller with a really responsive d-pad.

Nomltest's scoring relies on eating bullets to get a really good score and pulling off maneuvers where you eat lots of bullets from one enemy bullet pattern reels in a high score and feels very satisfying. Also for every wave of enemy ships you destroy you will get +10 to every eaten bullet, missing a wave decreases the counter by the same amount, Single enemies don't matter. The counter stops at 500 point per bullet and loosing a life will decrease the counter by nearly a half. A often used strategy is to not bother with the bullets at the very start of the game due to bullets eating increases the rank. If you manage to get a really high score which is no easy thing you can unlock two different modes of play. O-gui mode give you the bomb weapon which you can use once a gauge is filled by eating bullets. In Kuidare mode you are unable to shoot but has a system similar to Ikaruga where by which 3 buttons you press you will autmatically eat the same colour bullet your ship is once it enters your force field. Doing so will release a spray of bullets back at the enemy. The difficulty of unlocking the modes is too high, so unless you're a very good shmup player you will need to work hard at reaching a score good enough to unlock them. A fact that on the Shmups.com forum. The Nomltest highscore tables for the two unlockable modes are nearly empty when the normal mode has had many people submitting their scores over the years. There was a file available on the site which unlocked them for you but these links are now dead unfortunatly.

Personally I really enjoyed the game, although some people will be turned off with the simplistic graphics and no scrolling background. I thought the neon space invader graphic style was very original and fitting to what the game is. A no-frills but highly playable freeware title. For those of you who can get past its graphics style will soon be hooked to it's addictive gameplay. Once you get to know the enemies patterns the game is quite easy and has a extremely pleasing rhythm to it as you shoot the enemy and eat their bullets. It's so enticing that many of you will find yourselves still playing the game in the early hours of the mourning. Things are easy to start off but as the rank get higher things start to get very manic and Nomltest will be a challenge to any experience shmup player. The game is a old favorite of the Shump.com forum and was even voted as one of their games to play in last years online shmup tournament. So why don't you head over to the Japanese DL site Vector and download it. But do note there are 2 versions WS (windowed) and FS (full screen), FS is the one to pick as WS does no't have all the features the fullscreen version does.

Rating: 4/5 A very good game for what it is, which is a no-frills freeware game, one that for some can match up to more professionally made shmups for the fun to be had.

If you look at the bottom of this post you will notice that there are some tickboxes I've included for the purposes for site visitors who have played the game to rate the game and we can see if the scores match what rating I've given the game. Sadly I'm unable to have ten tickboxes so we will have to go with a rating of 0 to 5, with 3 been the correct rating for an average game of its genre.

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