Psyvariar: Medium Unit

A vertical-scrolling shoot-'em-up by Success and Taito, in which players can upgrade their ship's level by destroying enemies and skimming past them and their shots, allowing that ship to gain new firing patterns and access more difficult stages.

Overview

Psyvariar: Medium Unit is a sci-fi vertical-scrolling shoot-'em-up developed by Success and released by Taito for arcades (using PS1-based Taito G-NET hardware) exclusively in Japan on March 2000.

A danmaku-style shoot-'em-up from the studio behind the Cotton series, Psyvariar features a unique level-up system known as the "BUZZ System", in which players can level up their ships by both eliminating enemies and grazing past them (and their bullets) in order to receive temporary invincibility, gain new firing patterns, and access more difficult stages. It is also known for its rolling mechanic (used for dodging), "short bombs" (which gives temporary invincibility for use with the BUZZ System), and branching stage paths (based on the player's level).

The game later received an enhanced re-release on September 2000 as Psyvariar: Revision. Along with updated graphics and rearranged stages, this version revamps the buzz system (now allowing players to buzz the same bullet multiple times), updates the rolling mechanic (allowing the Bomb button to be used to roll easily when the ship is out of bombs), and adds a new "replay mode" (where players can choose a stage and watch its high score replay before starting).

Both the original and Revision versions were later ported by SKonec to the PlayStation 2 and released as Psyvariar: Complete Edition in both Japan (by Success on March 28, 2002) and Europe (by Xplosiv on September 29, 2003). The Japanese version received two special editions: one with an audio CD of the game's soundtrack (Special Sound Box) and one with a video DVD of both versions being completed by experts (Special Capture Box). This compilation was later digitally re-released for the PlayStation 3 (as a Game Archives title) on April 17, 2013.

Both PS2 versions in the compilation were also released separately by Success a year later as part of their SuperLite 2000: Shooting series of budget games (with the port of the original released on September 11, 2003 and the port of Revision released on October 9, 2003).

The game, along with its Revision update, later received a revamped high-definition update by City Connection for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC in 2018-2019. Titled Psyvariar Delta, this version allows players to mix-and-match both playstyles and stage progression between both Medium Unit and Revision while adding new game modes and an enhanced widescreen UI.