This combination beat-em up and platformer has something special for those with a subtle eye for Japanese ingenuity. The graphics are very stylish and well-crafted. The game play goes back to the old days of running, jumping and fighting, picking up gems and coins for points and food to replenish your life. You can choose between three anime girls to be your heroine, each with her own fighting style.
The characters all have strong personalities and anime fans will fall for their voice. Anime humor is present as well, like the sweat drops appearing on you and the enemy when the enemy does something totally awkward or strange. Attention to detail is a mark of every great game and Rapid Angel will keep you amazed.
The game’s finest features come in the character’s depth. Each heroine has a vast array of moves, blocks, powers and subtle nuances that make the game a unique and long-lasting play.
The Rapid Angel (or to use its full name, High Tension Comical Action Game The Rapid Angel) is a side-scrolling beat-em-up developed by Techno Soleil and released for the Japanese PlayStation back in 1998. The plot of the game but from the actions of the characters, apparently it involves important documents, large sums of money and a villain group that wants the documents at any cost.
Menu Translations (from top to bottom)
1-Player Mode: The basic 1-player game. Guide your chosen heroine through 13-plus areas of High Tension Comical Action.
2-Player Mode: A 2-player mode for the game. Player 1 takes control of one of the main characters, and Player 2 takes control of a little angel-thing. Using the little magic-meter that appears in the bottom-right corner of the screen in this mode, the Angel can fire little light beams, activate a shield, and even turn into a sword.
Options: Change the various options. Translations for them are below.
Options Menu Translations:
- Return to Title: This is pretty obvious.
- Difficulty: Set the games’ difficulty level. Options are Easy, Normal (default) and Hard.
- Button Settings: Changes what the X, Circle, Triangle and Square buttons do.
- Press Circle to access this menu, then move the cursor to the button you want to change with up/down on the control pad and change what the highlighted button does with left/right. Fortunately, this part of the menu is in English.
- Auto-Zoom: Turn the Auto-Zoom on or off(Default is On). The auto-zoom feature causes the screen to zoom out when your character is running or otherwise moving really quickly in order to give you more reaction time.
- Voices: Turn on or turn off the in-game voices(Default is On)
- Rumble: Turn the Rumble on or off. The default is On, but the PSP doesn’t have Rumble functionality.
- Control Pad: Move Character (in-game), move selector (in menus)
- Triangle: Use Bomb
- X: Jump (in-game), Cancel (in menus)
- Square: Attack
- Circle: Defend(in-game), Accept(in menus)
Advanced Controls and Special Attacks:
Double-tap a direction to run in that direction. You’ll continue to run for as long as you hold the button, until you attack, jump, or get hit by something. Make certain that you watch where you’re going, your character can move VERY fast while dashing and there are enemies that can hurt you just by touching you.
Tap the Jump button in mid-air to double-jump. You can attack while in mid-air in order to get to hard-to-reach enemies, or run and then double-jump in order to cross really big gaps, jump over enemies or evade traps. The game actually keeps track of the biggest jumps you’ve made, and an indicator pops up below the health-gauge whenever you spend enough time airborne. See how long you can stay in the air for.
Each character has a dashing attack that you can use by pressing the attack button in while running. It’s an excellent way to take out most of the standard enemies you encounter, however it can’t hit crawling enemies, and there’s a brief delay between when you start the attack and when you start dealing damage, so you could end up missing an enemy or two, or getting hit if the enemy is in mid-attack.
Defending will reduce the damage of any attack that hits you to 1/6 of what it would normally do, and also prevent you from getting knocked back or stunned.
Bombs are used by pressing the Triangle button. Your Bomb stock is shown in the lower-left corner of the screen and you can have up to 5 bombs at once.
There are three characters to start with, and two more that are unlocked once you beat the game (unless you got the Bad Ending). Each one plays differently, and each one has different cut scenes, endings, and in some cases, routes through the levels.
Natsumi: Natsumi is the martial artist of the group, fighting primarily with her fists and feet. Her strong point is Combo Attacks, she can get 5 hits off a normal enemy just by hammering the X button. She’s also the only character capable of attacking straight down, by holding down in mid-jump and pressing the Attack button. Her dashing attack is a flying kick that goes a nice distance, but only hits any given enemy once. The major problem when playing as her is that she has trouble hitting crawling enemies. Her crouching combo CAN hit them, but you have to get in very close and hope that an attack manages to trigger the combo.
Ayane: Ayane fights using a Sword, and is physically the strongest character of the three, able to take out a standard enemy in two hits. Compared to Natsumi, her combo-ing capabilities are near non-existant, it’s difficult to get a combo of more than 3 hits going without making use of a Bomb. Ayane’s dashing attack is a running kick, much like Natsumi’s, however this one is capable of hitting enemies multiple times. Of the three characters, I found Ayane is the easiest to use.
Haruna: Compared to the others, Haruna takes a LOT of getting used to, but once you learn how to use her various attacks, she can be the most versatile of the three default characters. Whereas the other two are primarily physical fighters with very little in the way of range, Haruna’s a long-range combatant that fights using a variety of magical attacks.
Her standard attack involves her throwing pins at her enemies. These pins have the most range of all the standard attacks, but deal the least damage. However, if you’re standing RIGHT next to an opponent when attacking, instead of throwing a pin Haruna will plant an Explosive Tag on her target, which will explode (obviously) and deal far more damage than the pins do. Her crouching attack sends a spell-card along the ground that explodes when it makes contact with an enemy or has travelled a certain distance. You can hold the attack button to charge this for extra explosions, which means extra damage.
Her running attack isn’t so much an ‘attack’ as it is a ‘trip over her own feet and smash into the enemy’. Depending on how fast you’re going and if there are any obstructions between you and the point when you come to a stop, Haruna may do a somersault and keep going (but not at a run) or just end up flat on her face. Yeah, physical attacks are NOT Haruna’s strong point, by ANY strech of the imagination.
Haruna’s defense is also different from the other characters, in that rather than physically blocking attacks and getting decreased damage from it, she has a magical shield that will damage anything that touches it, destroy projectiles and take a second or two to charge up. It only lasts for a brief second or so before it has to recharge, but while it IS up Haruna is effectively invincible.
Now, the big part about Haruna is knowing when (and most importantly HOW) to use her Stance-based attacks. By pressing the L2 or either of the R buttons (remember, L2 and R2 are Analog Nub Left and Analog Nub Right on the PSP), Haruna will enter a stance from which incredibly damaging magical attacks can be launched. Actually using these attacks in the heat of battle is another story altogether, though.
Each attack requires the Attack button to be hit multiple times and letting go of the stance button or messing up the timing of the button-presses will stop the attack, as will getting hit before the attack is launched. However, these attacks are VERY damaging and very combo-able if used in the correct combinations.
Holding the L2 button(Analog Nub Left) and hitting the Attack button 4 times will have Haruna throw a little magic spell-bomb-thing-y that will paralyze anything it hits. This includes bosses. Until it wears off, the target will not be able to move. This means you can rush in and plant some explosive tags, hit them with another of Haruna’s stance-based attacks, whatever you want to do. Also, the target not being able to move means that the target will NOT get knocked over if hit enough times while the spell is in effect, meaning that you can abuse this to get a LOT of combo hits.
Holding the R2 button and hitting the attack button 6 times will have Haruna toss a red spell-card down and forward, lighting the ground where it hits on fire. The fire actually covers a decent area and combines nicely with the paralyzing spellbomb to take care of ground-based bosses. And regular enemies.
Holding the R1 button causes Haruna to hold out a scroll (that looks kinda like a dinner plate). Holding the R1 button and pressing the attack button 8 times causes Haruna to summon some sort of blue warrior-woman-thing out of the scroll. The aforementioned appears in front of Haruna and unleashes 3 powerful attacks before vanishing. I’m not entirely sure what this is supposed to be, other than “Really Powerful” and “Awesome to Watch”.
The power-ups in this game are pretty simple. Food items restore your health, with apples and those shishkabob-things that enemies occasionally drop restoring a small amount of health, and riceballs restoring more. Coins give you 200 points each, Jewels give you 500 each, and Moneybags give you a whopping 2000 points. Clocks give you an extra 30 seconds, and Bombs (red cans with a yellow ‘B’ on them) add 1 to your bomb stock(maximum of 5)
You can walk right past the spike-traps in the final areas once they’ve been tripped. Just make sure you’re not still standing there when they start to reset.
Don’t hurt the cat.