Deep Blue (TG-16)

Deep Blue Box Art

Deep Blue

System: TG-16

Release Date: March 1990

Developer: Pack-In-Video

Publisher: NEC

Genre: Shoot ‘em Up

It certainly feels bad when you go from playing a really good game in a genre to a terrible game in the genre, and that’s what happened with Deep Blue. Apparently aliens have invaded the ocean, so you need to hope in an A.N.G.E.L. Fish Attack Sub and blow away all the aquatic animals in your path through four scenes.

The sub is incredibly slow and quite big. This is always a terrible combination in a shoot ‘em up. Both Buttons I and II shoot your weapon. There are three different weapons that grow as you pick up their icons. The Pulse Bullet is your starting weapon that can be rapid fired, it’s weak, but becomes bigger and more powerful as you level up. The Swirl Cutter is powerful and grows bigger and more destructive as it levels up. I stuck with this one as I played through. The Bubble Beam grows in size as you hold the attack button down.

The number of enemies on screen gets pretty ridiculous right away. A big issue is that if you grab a Speed powerup, you lose it if you happen to get hit. You lose a level of your weapon if you’re hit, as well. On the plus side, you can take a lot of damage before you die. The eye color starts blue and turns green, yellow, then red when you’re about to die. The downside is once you start getting hit, you’re going to snowball to your death. Healing powerups exists, but are few and far between.

The only way I made it out of the first scene was cheating. The levels are incredibly long and slow and there are many points where you don’t have a chance of avoiding getting hit. Even with rewind, it took me multiple tries to get through an area of the level. If you make it to the end of a scene, you fight a boss. I had fully powered up weapons, so they went down pretty quickly and easily. After beating the boss of Scene D, I got sent back to Scene A for another play through and quit.

Graphics: 3.0

It looks pretty good. The sprites are big and detailed. There is some nice parallax scrolling and many enemies can be on the screen at once without issue.

Sound: 2.0

The music tracks aren’t super pleasant to my ear, but they aren’t terrible.

Gameplay: 1.0

The sub is too slow and you lose your powerups too quickly and easily.

Difficulty: 0.5

This game is cheap. You’ll spend most of your time on Scene A and you’ll hate it.

Fun Factor: 0.0

This is not a fun game. It’s an awful showing for a shoot ‘em up.

Overall Grade: 1.3

Deep Blue earns a D+. This feels like a tech demo and it’s not any good. Stay away.

Deep Blue Video Review on YouTube