Revolutionary Style: Ideas for better play
Revolutionary Style: Ideas for better play
Gridrunner Revolution is intrinsically a pretty simple game to play. The basic essence of it is simply to shoot the things attacking you, to collect the sheepies, and not to die. Basic shooter stuff, and if all you do is stick to those basics you'll have a solid and satisfying game.
Above that level there is a further guideline which will, if followed, yield better scores. It is simply this: if something looks beautiful, then you are getting a better score.
Let's begin with some basics.
ARGH NOES not those Basics, I mean something useful...
Tip #1: the first sheep is the most important sheep. When you begin a new level you only have a single puny gun firing. Your first priority upon entering any level should be to engender that first sheep, which you can do by shooting any one of the snake enemies, and then to collect that sheep to give you half decent guns.
It could be that the level you've just started is a very difficult one, and you get hit right after starting - you would still like that sheep to be there if that happens, for the purposes of Sheepie Saving you. So in any case and on any level it behooves you to get that first sheep out as soon as you can.
Tip #2: Learn to operate your ship in any orientation. The Rotate controls are there for a reason, and it's not just to be able to point at bad guys, as you'll see. You can even get by without using Rotate at all, but only if you play in the most basic style. There's no reason other than shooter convention for your ship to always be pointing up the screen, so get used to operating your ship at any angle.
Tip #3: Approach the Sun to concentrate your firepower. You'll notice that the Sun emits shots in bursts, with pauses in between bursts. If you look carefully you'll see a distinctive visual clue indicating when the Sun is about to fire. Become aware of the cadence of its firing and, when the opportunity arises, get in close to pummel it with shots. The closer you are, the more force your shots have on the Sun.
Now, on to the most significant idea in all of the gameplay: graceful and interesting bullet trajectories are rewarded with better scores. If you use the game's gravity sources to create lovely-looking flowing curves and intriguing glowing knots out of your bullet trajectories, then you will get more points.
Gridrunner Revolution is, I believe, the first shoot-em-up to employ calligraphy as a gameplay mechanic ;).
A good place to begin learning this technique is on Korma (Easy) difficulty, level 2.
As you gather up the sheep on that level, your bullet streams will grow longer and longer. Try positioning yourself near the Sun and observe how the bullet streams curve. This beginner Sun does not fire any shots, making it ideal for experimentation.
Look at the Boost gauge in the top left of the screen. The higher the value there, the more you score for everything you do - enemies killed, sheep collected, everything with a score is affected by the Boost gauge.
Play around and observe how changing the position of your ship relative to the Sun changes the bullet trajectory, and how certain trajectories make the Boost gauge go higher.
There are both visual and audio cues you can use to tell if you are making a good trajectory without having to constantly look at the Boost gauge - useful when you are also dealing with a screenful of attackers. Whenever the Boost value reaches a new high, you'll hear a sizzling noise, and the bullet trails will pulse with large dots momentarily. As you learn you'll get used to using these cues to guide you towards better trajectories.
In general, though, you'll find that if your bullet trajectories look good then they will score well. Simply play beautifully, and you will be rewarded.
Korma (Easy) difficulty is a good place to explore bullet trail calligraphy. There is only one gravity source so it is easy to make some big, bold and pleasing curves.
It is best to open the Black Hole promptly - this stops it firing and also increases the speed of your shots. Experiment with positioning yourself in various positions around the Black Hole and watch what happens to the trails. Try rotating your ship and see what happens to the trails.
Listen for the sizzle and watch for the throb that indicates 'best trail yet'. Fine tune the trail by slight positional and rotational adjustments. How high can you make the Boost gauge go?
Don't miss any sheep though - missing a sheep has an effect on the gravity - and hence your trail curve scores.
Try to keep good trail curves going even as the level ends - the final Boost is applied to the between-levels sheep rescue bonus so you want to keep it as high as you can right until the end.
Higher difficulty levels such as Madras (Medium), Vindaloo (Hard) and Phaal (Very Hard) have more than one gravity source. This makes finding the right position for pleasing trajectories a little more tricky, and the shape of the trajectories a little more complex.
You should learn how each different ship type behaves. Some have guns that are almost unaffected by the gravity sources, making them useful for firing straight shots over long distances but not so great for bullet calligraphy. Others have bullets that curve like a mofo, making them excellent for scribing an auspicious sigil.
At first I would recommend not bothering with choosing ship type manually. Simply use each ship as it is presented, and stick with it until it is destroyed. This way you'll get to spend time with each ship and become familiar with its nature. Once you are familiar with the whole fleet you'll be better informed when it comes to choosing a particular ship type to suit a particular level.
You can often find a position where you can send one bullet stream off to twine amongst the gravity sources whilst allowing a couple of others to escape out to provide defensive cover at the screen edges.
In general, though, simply follow your intuition - what looks good probably is good. The sizzle and the throb will back up your intuition.
Adjust your position and rotation to find the most visually appealing bullet streams.
Once a good location is found, work it and milk it as best you can. Make fine adjustments to position and rotation to maximise the Boost, and make sure you can return yourself to that lucrative spot accurately when you have to move away (as you will if you get hit, or when you need to move to collect a sheep).
Some ships have fast, straight bullets at the front and slower, more curvable bullets at the rear. Position them so as to generate a pleasing and lucrative curve from the rears, then rotate your ship to use the fast, straight front guns for necessary defensive work.
The simple basic rule of bullet calligraphy is that if it looks pretty then it's doing you good!
Expert, high scoring play is beautiful play - which is exactly how it should be.