Review: Sol Cresta - PlatinumGames’ Intriguing Shmup Doesn’t Do Enough To Stand Out

Ready, aim, formation change.

PlatinumGames, perhaps best known for the Bayonetta series, is an odd fit for a sequel to a shoot-em-up series that began in 1980 as a Galaxian hack. Moon Cresta, by Nichibitsu, introduced a ‘docking’ system that would power up the craft after four alien attack waves. It was a novel idea at the time, and landed well with arcade audiences.

The 1985 sequel, Terra Cresta, is where Platinum’s effort borrows most of its design basics, including enemies, bosses and bullet spreads. Moving into full vertical-scrolling territory, Terra Cresta allowed the player to collect ship add-ons to increase their firepower, and then split those parts into formations for broader weapon coverage. It also featured ground-based enemies to destroy, some of whom — such as its dinosaurs — have made it wholesale into Sol Cresta.

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