Twin Hawk

"Twin Hawk".. oh the humanity. Created by Toaplan of "Truxton" fame, Twin Hawk was released by Sega itself for the PAL MegaDrive. It's a vertical shooter. Why yes, I have a shooter thing.. got a problem with that? Personally, I think it's more the tourism than the killing - you get to scroll over and above landscapes, see what's coming next. Always discovering new and interesting landmarks just past that giant tank you fucked up with a smart bomb - what's not to like?

Twin Hawk is primitive compared to later shooters, but I'd imagine you could still suck out some entertainment. It has one interesting feature in that your 'smart bomb' is actually a squadron of planes that fly in formation around you, constantly shooting forward, (barely) moving with you and providing a temporary barrier to the world around you. When an individual plane gets hit, it crashes and blows up (damaging anything that might be under it), or you can press the button again to force all surviving squadron planes to dive bomb. Sounds cool, is kinda cool, but in some situations your squadron disappears almost as fast as you summon it. Your plane itself can power up weapons a few times, but nothing too great.. a few more shots forward, no spreads or fancy stuff. Gets the job done, I suppose. You can also pick up extra lives or extra squadrons if'n you live that long.

One thing that will annoy the living fuck out of those with less than placid temperaments is the fact that "Twin Hawk" is fond of spawning enemies near the bottom of the screen and having them fire immediately across at you. Half the time you may not notice because you're constantly firing and happen to be on the side of the screen, and half the time you'll be dropping the controller, kicking a puppy and chugging more gin.

The graphics are OK, not overwhelmingly sexy, but certainly good enough to keep you from laughing and pointing, keeping in mind when the game was made (early in the MegaDrive's life, trust me). Unfortunately, the enemies you face are all ground based, and are primarily tanks. There's the occasional ship based enemies in water sequences, but it has to be said overall your foes are complete yawners. It's also hard to tell when you're going from one area to the next - bosses aren't distinctive enough - you just look up and see the area number has incremented.

I'm not exactly selling it very well, am I? It's more or less a mediocre game - if you collect shooters, there's worse, but there's also far better.. don't spend a lot. The good part? I like the moody music, which for some reason reminded me of ambient Aphex Twin type material.

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