It’s hard being two genomes all at once, but no one does it better than Shyna Nera Shyna, also known to the world of Silhouette Mirage as the Messenger of Destruction. She was resurrected by the artificial intelligence agent Gehena, who informs Shyna that the world has been divided into two classes of biological entities (Class One, or class RED, as I like to call them—the Silhouettes, and Class Two, or class BLUE, as I like to call them—the Mirages) and that she is the answer to their integration as a whole.
Edo System needs repair, and only your cute little anime girlie girl can blast the way to victory.…
I won’t bore you with any more of the spectacular science fiction plot that, for some reason, comes off as a crooked and a feeble attempt at dynamic storytelling. It is interesting to note, however, that a PlayStation game so overlooked has a genuine attempt at story quality for what is, essentially, a side-scrolling shooter spliced expertly with a beat-them-all-up.
The animation is more than decent, and what shines most is the character design. I think I was on the second level when I realized that whoever created the game was on some major crack. A flying fish that looked like a cross between Nemo clown fish and a baby doll came after me. I mean, this game clearly wasn’t created for the sober of mind.
Remarkably, the most disappointing aspect of this game is its weapon upgrading…Mr. FURRY bunny man—well, I expected more of him. He’s a vendor who offers the Surosa powerups for your gun, and it ends up being a boring offer. Oh, look, you pick up shiny coins while fighting off the bad guys, so now you can buy the next level gun. Honestly, the rest of the game is so creative when it comes to the dynamics of gameplay, why not spend some time integrating significant weapon upgrades as you go?
The real challenge of the game lies in your ability to remember that what you’re fighting demands certain terms for destruction. You can’t kill a Silhouette if you have Shyna showing her silhouette side, since she’ll shoot silhouette shots. She shows her red side as she scrolls down the right side of the screen. If she turns around and scrolls left, well, she is now mirage, so she can do plenty of destruction to those pesky silhouettes, who all look like pretty Barbie wannabes. But if mirage characters show up, WELL, you get the picture, don’t you? Red shots kill blues. Blue shots kill reds.
Instead of making the enemies instantly destructible like the improbable physics of most cartoon-like games such as Mega Man, the developers made the enemies slightly tougher, so there are less of them, but it takes more shots to bring them down. This is more in line with a beat-them-up to me, although each enemy doesn’t get anything cheesy like a life above their heads, though I could be wrong.
This game has been known to cause delusions early in the morning. The first environment of the game allows Shyna to dash and climb up improbable curved cliffs, which only reinforces the idea that she is indeed an artificial construct of some sort. Not quite Mega Woman, but clearly she’s taking some notes from the android Kosmos.
The most tension-relieving aspect of this game is grabbing hold of one of your enemies and beating down on it until it turns into a coin. But, alas, minibosses in this universe show up quite a bit. I think within the first level alone there were two or so. They aren’t pushovers, and they are just showing up because your enemy—the Zohar—feels like it, but, considering that you are given nine lives in this game to screw up, I felt like there could have been a little bit more build up than just a few groups of enemies and then a long dialogue session worthy of Power Rangers.
Less talk, more action, I say. This game can’t decide what it is, which is refreshing to a complete weirdo like myself, but, at the same time, I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone who isn’t weird. Now, we all think we are weird, and that’s nice, but if you aren’t weird, don’t play this game. You’ll get a headache, find it boring and slow at points, and not really care that the world is split in twain. But, for us true nerds, it has style and grace like no other anime game for the PlayStation.