It’s always a joy to discover a game that is not only wonderful, but manages to stay under the radar as if the game was just made for you. One such game is the title above. It is a top down shooter in the style of the top down stages in Super C and Contra 3. What set this game apart though, is the strafing feature they added to the gameplay. Holding down the R button will lock your weapon and create extremely fluid and addicting action. It is perhaps more similar to games like Robotron 2084 and Smash TV. (Also take note of True Lies, a blood soaked game in the same vain).
Starring a bionic super soldier, you are sent into a lab to investigate a power outage. Believe me, it isn’t a simple blown fuse. A dimension shift is far more likely. Rather than bore the player with tons of text to scroll through in regard to story, the cinematics uses silent movie like cut scenes that take on a more “show don’t tell” style.
Graphics: For a 1993 game, they look fantastic. Mode 7 effects shine with the bosses. There is much detail on the games varied enemies too. Unfortunately, there are not very many varied backgrounds. Much of the game takes place in the lab, with industrial style walls and corridors. Level two is a breath of fresh air though, as it takes place on a mountain top with pretty paralax scrolling underneath the mountain top.
Music: The tunes are actually not bad. The first level rocks, while the others don’t quite reach the same level. They fit the game nonetheless. Good basic techno tunes.
Gameplay: This is the best part. The game plays fast and tight. You can pick up a variety of powerups that will help out along the way. But it isn’t as simple as all that. Many times you have to choose a weapon that is essential to progress further by solving various puzzles. Flame throwers, heat seekers, spread guns and richocheting lazers are a few of what bionic soldiers are equipped with these days. The various puzzles will make you scratch your head in places, but they aren’t overly difficult, focusing mainly on action. The game isn’t short for an arcade style game, but it only has three bosses, a repeated mini boss and lots of recycled enemies. The game could have used some more enemies really, and arguably more levels. The problem with adding more levels though is that perhaps the game would lose something if it was longer and hurt the great replay value. The use of passwords or a battery backup would change the arcade feel of the game.
Cover art: I always liked the graphic novel look on many video games. This one is no different. Does it fit the dark and serious look of the game? Not really. But it does stand out, and hopefully it helped to push a few more copies of the game off the shelf back in the day. It deserves it.