Flash Review: Frantic 3
Every time I look at a scrolling shooter, I either expect an incredibly fast pace or an incredible amount of bullets. No real thought gets put into most of the scrolling shooter flash games, except for Frantic 3.
Actually NEEDING to Choose
I was really impressed with the upgrade system, in how it's not a "last until death" kind of deal. The number and kinds of upgrades you can get are determined by the ship you pick at the beginning of the game. At no point do you get to change your ship during the actual game itself, you'll have to erase the save and restart. The upgrades go into one of two categories, weapons and accessories. You have a limited number of slots for both categories depending on the ship you picked. Your health is also determined by the shipped you picked, so make sure that you read all the stats and think about which one you want.
You can stack accessories or you can get a diverse payload of them. You can do the same for weapons, though having a too diverse or too homogenized weapon payload is bad. I rarely stay for more than 2 minutes on the upgrade screen of most flash games unless I'm reading everything on the screen. With Frantic 3 however I'm considering how everything affects me in the long run.
There are 5 areas, each with 3 normal levels and 3 much, much harder bonus levels. It's kind of insane with the sheer amount of difference in difficulty is between the normal levels and the bonus levels. All you have to do to unlock an area's bonus level is go through one regular level with getting hit... once. The number of bullets on the very first level should let you know how much skill it takes to beat all of the bonus levels... good luck.
Sights and Sounds
The ships look really cool. I mean I can actually see details in them! That's pretty rare for this genre of flash game. The enemy ships look cooler though... I might be blasting all of them into oblivion out of jealousy. The bosses aren't very impressive... until they start shooting. I thought this one boss was going to be a breeze, then bullets literally came out of nowhere, they didn't even come from an enemy ship! It was awesome.
At first I thought the background was kind of half done. Then I got to the next area and saw some effort, it was an actually scrolling background instead of this weird white room like the first area.
I can't really hear my shots (or any for that matter) with the volume turned down. It's a good thing the bullets aren't making a lot of noise because you can definitely tell someone put a lot of work into making the music for this game. I'm paying more attention to not getting hit, but I can still hear the music and tell how the pacing of the level will be.
I really enjoyed this game, and am still enjoying. I am at the point where I need to grind a little. Yep, this is a scrolling shooter that you need to grind in. It get's pretty hard and doesn't really let up during the levels. The only breather you get is when you kill everything on the screen, even then bullets can just appear and hit you.
Still, this game makes you think about how you to equip your ship. You only have so many slots and each ship has a different number of accessory and weapon slots, as well as health and energy. You can upgrade the weapons in the shop, but only the weapons (which is more or less just leveling them and making them better overall). You also need to watch out for the energy and recharge ratings. The amount of energy you have determines how long you can keep secondary fire going, which is pretty much just over drive mode. Never have I ever had to think about how to start a game like this.
I'm kind of disappointed that this much effort was put into a flash game. I really hope that the makers of this make an even cooler and funner paid version for Steam or one of the online console libraries. I really had a lot of fun with this game, I never thought I'd have to put in effort to beat a scroller before.
You can play this amazing game at Kongregate.com