Capcoms Canon Spike is
the type of game which makes you want to curl-up to an old school NES and relive the glory
days of the shooter. Once the disc has been loaded, youre given that prototypical
shooter menubaby, child, very easy, easy, normal, hard, very hardthe ranges of
which dont necessarily offer more to the storyline or the overall length, but more
to the games ability to be played over and over and over ad infinitum. Part of this
is achieved by bringing together some of the coolest Capcom characters such as Cammy,
Megaman, and Arthur (of course, hes decked out in some kind of super armor, but oh
Spike rings of a developers side project, something they would do on the
weekend involving as many coworkers as possible to create a subtle surprise for the boss.
The levels are tight. Theres little choppiness (just some slowdown) in the graphics.
The boss characters become more and more difficult to defeat, forcing you to think on your
feet and develop a running-strategy to avoid the variety of gunfire coming at you and the
hordes of enemies swarming all around. I found myself running circles around my enemies;
more, I ran around the screen, just one, big circle, being chased by tiny, pixel bullets,
some of which happened to enjoy following me. The game keeps you moving. And, yes, parts
of the game, as you approach the end, are what I like to refer to as a real bitch to get
As far as
control goes, this game utilizes a targeting system which allows you to lock on and, as
long as you hold down the trigger, continuously hit the enemy until either theyve
been destroyed or you get out of range. Granted, this is the toughest portion of the game,
since if you let go of the trigger youll need to turn around and shoot your enemies
until youve targeted them again. Youre also offered a special weapon which,
much like other shooters, comes in a limited supply, but promises to do major damage to
the poor wretches who stand in its path. Other options are physical attacks (as in
punches) and a smaller, more semi-powerful weapon, like missiles or large canon, which
youre able to get refills on.
must have some of the coolest explosions seen on the Dreamcast. Large and rendered. The
character animation is crisp, particularly the boss characters, one of which I can imagine
becoming a classic, recurring enemy if this series were to keep going. And the levels are
well designed, graphically speaking, and stick to the Capcom style of themed surroundings.
Youre taken from haunted courtyard to robot filled swamp to the mountain slopes with
a boss character snowboarding after your ass. In the graphics department, nothing went
The reason for
the four stars? Simple: no matter how cool of a game, Canon Spike still lacks in
many areas. For one, the overall game is way too short. There is no roam and shoot;
rather, the game has you contained to a small area (and I mean small) in which it crowds a
reasonable amount of foes for you to go against. Usually, this is done in two or three
waves, i.e. beat all the characters on the screen and more aggressive ones come out of the
binary crannies. And, the biggest downer for me, I could see so many avenues of difficulty
and complexity this game could have gone down to both increase its length and challenge
the shooter norm (granted, it does this to some extent). It would be great if (Capcom must
be thinking this, since theyre the king of sequels) that when they begin work on el
Canon Spike II they headhunt the development team for Silent Bomber from Bandai and
merge the two ideas. Oh, now that would be an intense shooter.
But, what are the pros? If you go and buy it new youll be down thirty dollars,
making it an ideal buy for one of the coolest shooters on the market for the Dreamcast.
Lets put it this way: Canon Spike is cool, Contra cool, except
theres no up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, A, B, START here.