The Game: Piloting a lone space fighter, you carve a leisurely path through an endless onslaught of alien marauders, none of whom seem to be in any particular hurry to go anywhere either. Despite all this lack of hustle and bustle, however, it must be noted that they’re still shooting at you, and you still need to shoot back, using lasers or a limited supply of missiles. Some aliens will line up in a vertical formation that, if taken out with a missile, means big points, though you should also be saving some of your heavy ammo for larger alien ships that, if lasers were used, would require several shots to kill. (Capcom, 1984)
Memories: Another of Capcom’s long line of vertical-scrolling shooters – a design craze that can be traced back to Namco’s Xevious – Vulgus may seem like it’s terribly leisurely, but it’s actually one of the most grueling hand-eye coordination challenges since Robotron. It’s all about avoiding enemy fire and the enemies who are firing it, and that may involve looping around the screen almost as gracefully as the oncoming ships. You fire straight up, no matter which direction your ship is facing, but the enemy can, of course, draw a bead on you no matter where they are in relation to you.
Vulgus sports some great 2-D background art, as cratered planetscapes, icy glaciers, oceans and grassy plains unfold beneath the action; every once in a while, inexplicably, you seem to reach “the edge of the world” and fly right past it into space for an extra-challenging boss battle. Maybe Columbus was wrong after all!