Macross: Do You Remember Love? is a 2D side-scrolling shooter—which on the hardest difficulty borders on becoming a bullet hell game. But instead of being a run-of-the-mill Gradius clone, it is actually filled with unique features (stemming from the source material) that make it an amazing shooter in its own right.
In each level, you control a transformable plane that has three modes: a fighter jet, a giant robot, and a half-and-half mix of the two. Each mode controls differently and has its own advantages—like being able to shoot in any direction when in robot mode but moving far faster in the jet mode. For the most part, you can transform between the three modes at any time, letting you chose the best strategy for the enemies you're up against.
While in most 2D-shooters you and the enemies are all on the same 2D plane—so they are coming right at you—many of the enemies in Do You Remember Love? are in the foreground or background and can only be attacked by missiles or special weapons. Moreover, these enemies will often shift from foreground to background, giving you only a second to hit them as they cross through your 2D plane.
Another surprising feature for a 2D-shooter is Do You Remember Love?'s focus on story. For the most part, it follows the plot of the movie—though it does add several extra levels set between the scenes in the film. The game even goes so far as to include scenes right out of the movie as well as still images with voiceovers to fill in the gaps. The real treat of Do You Remember Love?, however, is the set of newly animated cutscenes—one of which adds an entirely new, movie-quality prologue to the story.
What's really interesting, though, is how the story affects the gameplay. When the giant ship you're in transforms, changing the nature of up and down, your screen follows suit. When you're attacked in an unarmed training jet, all you can do is dodge. And in the final battle, when facing off against the enemy armada, you fight a sequence of battles timed to last only as long as the legendary song "Do You Remember Love." Simply put, the story of Do You Remember Love? serves to change up the gameplay and prevents it from being your typical bullet spam-dodging romp, forever moving to the right.
Macross: Do You Remember Love? is an excellent 2D shooter that is a must play for fans of the genre and Macross fans in general. And while I received my copy via a PSN code in the Macross: Do You Remember Love? hybrid pack collector's edition, this PS1 game is not actually available on the Japanese PSN normally. So your choices are to either buy the collectors edition or import the old PS1 game.
Macross: Do You Remember Love? was released in 1999 for the Sony PlayStation. It is currently available in the Macross: Do You Remember Love? 30th Anniversary Box and on the Japanese PSN.