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rRootage Hands On Preview

Know your roots.

rRootage is a game built for "Shmup" fans. "Shmups," for those not in-the-know, are the genre where players guide a plane or spacecraft through and around a barrage of bullets and missiles fired by many ships, typically ending in a fight against a massive boss that fires hoardes more bullets. Rrootage takes the last aspect, fights against bosses, and delivers a sensational experience through bullet hell.

As freeware, rRootage is available to anyone with an internet connection, and any fan of shmups should check it out here. I've already mentioned the game contains only boss enemies, but truthfully, the bosses themselves are nothing special. The bullet patterns, though, are absolutely remarkable, and all of them are scripted to behave in a random manner. Even on early stages, you'll find the game screen is full of bullets, but somehow, it actually feels like it's manageable to play.

Even better? There's four gameplay modes, based on four classic shmups, where the "secondary" or bomb button does different things. The original seems basked on Raiden or 1942, where the bomb protects the ship from bullets, but alterations include a version where the ship is actually strengthened by shaving close to bullets and even an Ikaruga-style mode, where light and dark bullets can be reflected when they come close to the craft.

Some might say there can be a bit of a problem with slowdown, especially in later stages, but personally, I feel like the slowdown makes the game feel like the player has more control over the most difficult sections of the game. Really, it's a great game that teaches you how to play in the shmup genre, and while many would complain it removes a lot of the style and flair those games have, I've got to say the game takes the concepts to their core: Dodging bullets and targeting a boss.

For anyone having a dull day or looking for something to have fun with now and then, I'd recommend the game. Really, with forty stages for each mode, there's too much in the game to enjoy it all!



Our Take

Lukasz Balicki Staff Alumnus

03/21/2010 at 11:31 AM

This is an awesome SHMUP. I didn't play it on PC however I did play it on Wii since it's available as a unlockable game in BlastWorks: Build, Trade, Destroy. If you're a Wii owner and don't own or haven't played BlastWorks then you are missing out on a lot.

Jason Ross Senior Editor

03/21/2010 at 12:15 PM

What's also notable is that it's available on for the iPhone and iPod touch, though apparently there's more slowdown.

I really had no idea that it was in BlastWorks, though. BlastWorks is a game based off of Tokemi Fighters, another freeware game created by ABA Games, though BlastWorks itself isn't by ABA Games, and in fact, Kenta Cho, ABA Games sole developer, didn't get paid for it!

Lukasz Balicki Staff Alumnus

03/21/2010 at 08:42 PM

BlastWorks has rRootage, Gunroar, and Torus Trooper, and the original TUMIKI Fighters all as unlockable games.

Nick DiMola Director

03/22/2010 at 10:32 AM

BlastWorks was a pretty solid game. I'm going to have to go back and play rRootage specifically now. Pretty sure I glazed over all of the unlockable stuff and went straight for the editor when I played it.

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