Superbly entertaining shooter
While fairly little known, this deceptively simple shooter is a hidden gem that deserves to be played by any self-respecting arcade fan thanks to its intense blasting action and surprisingly varied gameplay which provides several clever twists on the genre's established conventions. Ostensibly similar to classic vertically scrolling shooters like Xenon 2, Raiden 2 or The Reap, Tyrian introduces players to a plot where the galaxy's best pilot must face off against the forces of the evil galactic mega-corporation MicroSol. Featuring a twisting storyline which involves betrayal, personal loss and of course copious amounts of blasting, Tyrian is a riot from start to finish. It is of course a simple enough scrolling shooter so it is not exactly brimming with depth and complexity but it is supremely enjoyable. There are a number of impressive weapons to have fun with (both front and rear), while you can also customise your ship with new hulls and engines to add even more variety. There are also plenty of impressive bosses to face off against while several modes, including two-player, full story and time-battle sit alongside secret numerous mini-games which are just waiting to be discovered. Visually, Tyrian is highly appealing and just oozes old-school charm, with cool and chunky sprites and environments and lots of slick effects for weapons and other visual touches. The action is fast and furious, with controls that are smooth and responsive and even genre veterans will find a lot to challenge them here. If you're in the market for a proper retro shoot 'em up, this has to be near the top of the list.