Idinaloq is a bit dated with its PS1-quality 3d graphics, but it is an older game. For a free mini-shmup, though, this game brings a lot to the table. Even if the game is a bit short, at least they compiled one for us, and they even went to the point of having voice actresses and an opening song and cinema (and even a hidden character)! There is a downside, and that is that all the content is in Japanese, but even if you can't understand exactly what everyone is saying, the fact that they are still saying it at key points in the missions (accompanied by little portraits) adds a lot of personality to the game.
Although the graphics are 3d, it plays like any other top down shooter. You have a front shot and two side shots, one for a forward angle, and one for a backward angle, but I found myself mostly only using the forward shot. Your real trick is the ability to soak up enemy shots and release them as a high powered super-beam, which both gives you a defense in sticky situations, and a powerful super attack that you can refill on a regular basis. By pressing your front and diagonal shots together, you can use your force gauge to suck up shots (and even damage enemies), and when you release it, the gauge rebuilds. Sucking up shots also builds up your super shot, which is a spectacular screen-cleaning beam.The gimmick can make parts of the game pretty easy, but it is a neat idea, and well executed.
The game gives you a variety of characters to choose from, including an excellent secret character as a reward for beating the game. This adds a little replay value by allowing you to experiment with different bullet spreads and power levels, and different charging times for the super beam and the defensive move. Each character also has their own story with excellent voice acting, but it's in Japanese. I have no idea what the hell people were saying, but I can't say it hurt the game any. If you're one of those weirdoes who learned Japanese just to understand your cartoons better, maybe you can explain it to me.
Eat seriously huge beam, Boss of level 1! Luckily, the huge ship is just a background element of your allies. Those would be the curving homing lasers of doom.
The visuals to the game aren't anything impressive as far as technology goes. The game is a little old, and looks a lot like something you'd have seen on the PS1, but the design is excellent. There are a lot of nice ship designs in the waves of enemies that come for you, and it's easy to distinguish the onscreen pellets of the enemy as they try to mow you down. The game scores really big in attention to detail. Even the space levels have backgrounds of huge armadas of ships or giant cruisers to keep them from being the same old boring starfield. It really makes the whole space battle seem considerably more immersive. Sounds are very appropriate to the genre, with decent explosions that may lack the visual impact to fully match them.
The variety on the levels should keep you interested, as well. From plain space levels to debris-filled asteroid fields and giant space stations, the design team came up with a nice set of levels for such a short game. The bosses are bland but appropriate, except for the final boss. The last guy is impressively massive, and is constantly joined by wings of fighters to make your life more interesting. Be ready for mobs of fighters and screens full of lead, as well as the occasional unblockable homing laser. The homing lasers added a neat challenge without being cheap.
A Star Wars style armada background. A big firefight later in the game, with more homing beams. You can pick your saucer-eyed hero(ine) out of three girls and a gloomy lad.
Idinaloq is a great overall package that may lack some of the visual flair of a modern 3d game, but more than makes up for it in every other area. The game clocks in a bit short after 4 levels, and unlimited in-place continues make it a tad on the easy side, but there are some great ideas and challenging gameplay in there. If you want to go whole hog, there's an opening cinema, which will unfortunately not work under 2000/XP, but can be viewed as a stand-alone MPEG movie. It's a quick download and worth checking out. I did have some annoying slowdown on the second level, but I never noticed this on my old machine. If anyone finds out what may be causing this, drop me a line and let me know!
But don't take our word for it! Go on and grab the whole game here!