Also available on Wii U, Switch, and Windows
Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 01/28/2022 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Armed 7 is proof that the Dreamcast is still getting great games in the many years following its last “official” release thanks to the folks at Astro Port. Having since been ported to Wii U and Switch as part of Shmup Collection as well as being released on Steam, Armed 7 is an exemplar of horizontal shooter excellence. As a disclaimer, all screenshots were captured from the Switch version so as to avoid having to borrow someone else’s screenshots.
Armed 7 is a retro-styled arcade shmup that not only captures the feel of the 16-bit era perfectly but, in my opinion, surpasses most of the offerings from that era. The visuals are colorful with gorgeous sprite work, the music is fantastic and upbeat enough to capture the action of a shmup but not so much that it distracts the player, and best of all, the controls are perfectly tight and responsive without the slightest hint of delay. With seven stages each capped with a boss and four difficulty settings, it’s approachable for newcomers but challenging for veterans. It’s not quite perfect – multiplayer would have been a welcome addition – but it’s damn close.
Armed 7 is one of the best shmups on the Dreamcast, and it’s a welcome addition to the Shmup Collection compilations on Switch and Wii U. While most folks won’t play it on actual Dreamcast hardware, it plays like a dream no matter your platform of choice. Unless you’re going for the physical Wii U release of Shmup Collection from Europe, it’s affordably priced and a definite must-own for any shmup fan.