There was an error in this gadget

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Top 10 of '10: Number 9 - Hydorah (PC)

Finding new games in the genuine old arcade style these days can be a bit tricky. The current generation of consoles is a decent place to look, with big name companies producing updated versions of their classics, and services like XBox Live's Indie Games being an outlet for bedroom coders to release their latest homages to games from yesteryear. WiiWare and Playstation Network are great outlets for indie innovation, and the iPhone has risen to great heights as a gaming platform. The PC though, as ever, still seems to be the main breeding ground for small-but-great arcade games. Even so, it still takes something really special to stand out... and Hydorah is something really special.


Don't have much choice here... liberation of the human colony it is!

I'm not entirely sure where I discovered Hydorah, but I will remain eternally grateful to that person or place. The reason for this is that Hydorah is a Gradius/Nemesis-inspired shooter, and I happen to be rather fond of that particular arcade game.

Of course, there are plenty of Gradius-inspired shooters that aren't very good. But with Hydorah, programmer Locomalito obviously took a lot of time, care and attention in making sure that this game was a fantastic and authentic shmup.


Isn't the countryside nice? Lush green grass, rolling hills, deadly enemy spaceships...

Hydorah features sixteen levels, although the chances are you'll never see most of them. As I said, this is an authentic arcade shooter, and that authenticity extends to its difficulty level - it's rock! Actually, in saying that, if you're careful then you should progress quite well. Any time you die, it's your own fault, the game will never cheat you. But you do have to be good... really good... if you want to get anywhere.

In a way that's a bit of a shame, because there's so much to love in Hydorah. Of course, there's a huge amount of stuff to blast. It looks absolutely gorgeous, and sounds great too, with some music sounding similar to classic SNES tunes. It's even got little secrets tucked away to try and discover. But as I said, you might never see most of them.


In an interesting twist, if you destroy that factory you'll lose points.

Still, Hydorah is truly worth persevering with, particularly if you have any love at all for Gradius, or any 80s arcade shoot 'em up, really. It's a wonderful piece of work, which makes it all the more surprising that it's free. I would seriously pay good money for this game. I'm not sure if there's a Donate option because the website is down at the moment, but you can download the game here: Hydorah download. I would seriously recommend anyone download this immediately. If it's your thing, there are also two soundtracks available: the original soundtrack, and a selection of arranged tracks.

Hydorah is a brilliant homage to the glory days of the arcades, and a fantastic game in its own right. The only reason it isn't higher on my list is because I'm rubbish at it. But that hasn't stopped me from playing...

EDIT: The website is back up now, and there is indeed a "Donate" button. So I'll be chipping in, it's well worth it. Have a look at the site, there are some cool extra materials, such as an instruction manual, and everything you need to make a DVD version of the game.

4 comments:

  1. Fully agree with you! Hydorah is one of the best freeware games I've ever playd. Tough, beautiful and quite frankly excellent.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So, you're rubbish at it, just like a typical newbie gamer. I think you should spend more time playing stgs than blogging, take an example of me! I'm going to record the 1c or even the 1l completion of Hydorah. But first thing first- must perfect stage Galactic Inferno (almost done), and remind Meropticon (the last lvl). Everything else is ~!@#$%^&*()_+ easy. Let's observe my blog/YT channel!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice troll attempt. Thanks for reading, anyway. I shouldn't bite, but I'm not really "a typical newbie gamer", which you'd see if you'd read the profile bit to the right. Still, if you post a completion video I'd happily watch it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't know how much you still want to watch it, but I think you want to know, that managed to did 1cc of Hydorah. Just enter my blog or channel to see how it's done. It took me awhile, so you can observe on videos my above the average skills developed throught countless plays.
    yrCnoIS

    ReplyDelete