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DeltaZeal Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . There are no gimmicks here; DeltaZeal is a no-frills shoot-em-up designed for people who can't get enough of dodging tiny bullets. But as much it gets right, this arcade port is marred by shallow gameplay and a short campaign. Worst of all, it spends so much time getting the details right that it fails to establish its own identity. DeltaZeal may be consistent, but it's not essential. Rating: 57%
DeltaZeal
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  • Review Score:

  • C+
While not a big name in the United States, Toshiaki Fujino has spent the last 15 years developing some of Japan's most consistent shoot-em-ups. The one-time Konami programmer has seen his arcade hits find their way home on everything from the Dreamcast to the Xbox 360. Now he's bringing one of his earliest action games to a new home -- your personal computer.

Originally released under the name G-Stream G2020, ΔZeal is a by-the-books vertical shooter that sees armchair fighter pilots shooting down an entire army's worth of tanks, planes and submarines. The goal is to survive long enough to defeat the large bosses and end the war once and for all.


Instead of hurdling through space, our hero spends most of his time skimming over the planet's surface. Perhaps it's because the game kicks off with us flying over the ocean on a cloudy day, but this fast-paced shooter reminds me a lot of Capcom's popular 194X series. It won't take long for ΔZeal to send us into the war-torn deserts and jungles, each capped by a massive boss fight.

While the levels may be constantly changing, the action largely stays the same. There are only a few weapons to power-up, including the standard spread shot, homing missiles and a laser beam. Picking up items will also add fuel to your special weapon, which can created a black hole to destroy especially pesky villains. If that's not enough, we're given a few bombs to drop, something that should give you enough time to regroup. Outside of that, there's very little variety to the gameplay.

Like so many arcade shoot-em-ups, ΔZeal is over in a hurry. Even with alternate paths to take, it won't take long to defeat the enemy forces. The game hopes you'll want to speed through the levels over and over again, perhaps tackling different difficulty settings. Completing the game also unlocks a number of bonus modes, including Score Attack. It may not be much, but it does give players an incentive to return to this classic shooter from time to time.

DeltaZeal (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The visuals are sharp, though nothing we haven't seen before. I was especially impressed by the diverse levels, each with a different color palette and large boss to contend with. ΔZeal has an attention to detail you rarely see in this type of game, and it leaves a great first impression. The same can be said about the music, which is old school in the best way possible.

There are no gimmicks here; ΔZeal is a no-frills shoot-em-up designed for people who can't get enough of dodging tiny bullets. But as much it gets right, this arcade port is marred by shallow gameplay and a short campaign. Worst of all, it spends so much time getting the details right that it fails to establish its own identity. ΔZeal may be consistent, but it's not essential.
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