Hi everyone. I’m here to let you know what I thought of U.N. Squadron after a week or so’s break.
It was made by Capcom and was originally an arcade game that came out in 1989. It was later released on consoles, and the version I’m playing was released on the SNES in 1991 (and 1992 in Europe).
We’ll start off with the basics. It’s a side-on side scrolling shooter – think R-Type or Gradius – but with a more modern skin than the futuristic space battle of those aforementioned games. You can pick between three characters, of which I have no clue as to what they do other than changing the portrait on your HUD.
You take down enemy helicopters, planes, tanks, gun emplacements and all that jazz. It doesn’t really do anything special and I don’t think it stands out from the crowd when it comes to its genre. One thing that is different to the usual is a levelling system, as you pick up power-ups that give you experience to level instead of getting power-ups that give you different weapons. You also don’t have one-hit deaths, instead you have a health bar and you don’t lose your level when you die. You also have a map screen to pick where you go next, kind of like Bionic Commando, but you have vehicles that move towards your base slowing progress, more so when they get there as you have to beat the vehicle’s stage to carry on with normal progression.
Visually the game is a mixed bag. The sprites are rather nice, but the backgrounds just seem a little bland. It’s probably as there’s going to be points where the game gets really busy, but I would say overall it’s pretty nice to look at. Musically it’s pretty good too. The music is really catchy and the first level has a sort of sinister undertone to it. I think the nice beefy sound effects elevate the action.
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Super Castlevania IV is the fourth entry in the mainline Castlevania series, though it’s a pseudo-remake of the original Castlevania. It was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991 in Japan and the US, but around a full year later in Europe. Super Castlevania IV was made and published by Konami.
SCIV is an action platformer, and follows in the style of previous Castlevania games, though more like 1 than 2 and 3, as 3 has branching paths and 2 is more metroid-esque. The game sees you in the role of Simon Belmont, the protagonist from Castlevania’s 1 and 2 trying to take down the dark lord Dracula in his castle. The thing with the older Castlevania games, unlike the newer more Metroid style games, is you aren’t in the castle for the whole game, you go from level to level making your way to it, which adds a lot more variety to it in its locations that aren’t really in the later games. The best addition to the game though is the 8-way directional whip, it makes it much better being able to aim your whip in these directions instead of trying to jump and get the perfect hit on an enemy. It’s simply easier, more user-friendly, and also makes for a more fun experience. The actual gameplay itself is generally fun, though it can be tough especially when having to start so far back in the level when you lose all your lives it is somewhat of a massive frustration, the knockback you get when getting hit by enemies is also a right pain, but when you do finish a level and then beat the boss, you feel like you’ve really earned the win.
Visually the game looks great, I like the sprite works and the enemies look really rather interesting, some are a bit generic, but they all fit into the game well and suits its feel and theme. The music is also great and sets the atmosphere for each level well, there’s also variety in the music. I also like that while there is original music in the game, so great tracks, like Vampire Killer and Bloody Tears make an appearance in the game.
Overall I’d say this is one of the best traditional CCastlevaniagames, I find it hard to decide between this and Rondo of Blood, but this does have the benefit of the 8-way whip. Either way, you must play this game if you’re a fan of games, that’s right games in general. It holds up well to this day and should at least be played by anyone with a passing interest in retro games.
Verdict: Highly Recommended.
Cybernator is a 2D platformer/shooter released on the SNES in 1992 and was known in Japan as Assault Suits Valken. The game has some great visual effects and detailed sprites both in the foreground and background which have a cool retro futuristic look which was popular at the time in other games and anime and the soundtrack has some cool and catchy synth rock sounding tunes.
Unfortunately for me actually playing it isn’t a great experience. It isn’t objectively broken but I feel that using the D-Pad to move back and forth as well as aim the gun at targets coming from all directions is a bit of a pain. I understand why it’s like it due to the SNES controller layout but it’s just awkward, especially from the second stage onwards when you control all those things as well as vertical movement.
While I personally couldn’t get on with the controls I would say you should try it yourself, even if just to experience it’s interesting concepts and movement/combat mechanics. This game would be greatly improved with a modern control scheme; if you had a dual analogue stick set up where one controls movement and the other controls shooting it would be much more engaging.