Viper Phase 1
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Fabtek
1995
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An entry in Seibu Kaihatsu's long-running Raiden series that wasn't quite a Raiden game, Viper Phase 1 takes the just-right mechanics of the earlier games (satisfying but not punishing difficulty, attractive graphics and simple weaponry) and launches them into space. Your mission is simply to blow through waves of enemy ships, capped with increasingly impressive boss ships, but the weapon system encourages regular weapon switching rather than incentivizing you to power up a single weapon and stick with it. What Viper Phase 1 lacks in true innovation it makes up for in straight-ahead fun, and it's a great entry for shoot-em-up fans looking for something less than a panic attack in their games.

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