by Antonio on Thursday, October 3, 2002
This one one of the more rare instances of what Capcom should have done to "another" game. This game is actually what Strider on the NES should have been. With this title's release, it was alot closer to the Arcade/Genesis version. They actually share alot gameplay-wise: The fluid animation, the crisp graphics, eccentric soundtracks and an insane difficulty level. It was one big sword away from being Strider!
The concept was actually pretty cool (for the NES anyway). You can zip through space from planet to planet using what I'm guessing to be a portable worm-hole creator that works by using the energy of the various enemies you expell. Once you've collected enough energy, a portal opens somewhere on the level and you have around 10 seconds to get to it before you're stranded, although instead of just collecting more energy if you fail, you die. Your character (Ken) wields a plasma cannon built into his elbows and knees and has a rapid fire attack and a more powerful attack using kicks and punches to enable the plasma to twist and turn while using a much high attack percentage. You can do flips which are not just for show. You basically can shoot while upside down, but only once. It actually comes into play on a regualar basis as you'll need to escape enemies and attack them as you jump over them. As I said the moves are quite fluid and are easily pulled off due to the emaculate control. Simple enough hey? I think not, this game is one of the most difficult ever made.
The saving grace of this title though is the tight control as you'll need it when maneuvering your way through some of the tougher scrolling levels. Not to mention those "limbo" zones where you seemingly make a pit stop and collect more energy from enemies to complete your trip to another planet.
There are five planets in all complete with stages and level bosses. You'll see some really cool special effects and nicely fitting environments that actually reflect what kind of planet you're on. The only gripe I do have is that there are a limited number of enemies and it can get a bit repetitive after destroying the umpteenth DeathEye. The bosses give that aspect of the game a lift as they are well presented and inventive. One of the more cooler bosses is the plant on the fourth level. You have to do some pretty tricky moves to destroy this one.
The sound is quite good considering only four channels gets you such an assortment of audio in this game. The effects are right on par with the gameplay as is the wierd, but interesting music in this title. I believe that Capcom was actually going for much of what they did with Strider for the Arcade with this one. Very cool sound to say the least.
It's one of those games where your frustration with it is directly related to your skill with the control pad. A seriously underated game which is superior to many popular games for the NES and showed how capable the humble system was at producing quality graphics, sound and an overall fun and challenging experience.
4 of 5
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