Friday, September 7, 2012

Update 9/7 - Silpheed, Galaxy Force, Hyperzone, Hover!, Metal Storm

When I was a kid, I was pumped as hell for Silpheed. I was a Genesis lad, and Electronic Gaming Monthly was telling me for months on end that this would be the game to put Star Fox to shame. didn't quite turn out that way, but I was still mighty impressed at the visual trickery it used to make it seem like the Sega CD was a polygon pushing monster. Anyway, while the Sega CD Silpheed is by far the most popular, the series actually has its roots in home computers like the PC88, and was localized by Sierra back in the late 80s, who had a partnership with developer Game Arts. A third game was released for the PlayStation 2 near its launch, and is well renowned for being Treasure's most unimpressive game. Most recently, it's shown up on the XBox 360 and Android mobile phones as a Colony Wars-style flight combat sim, leaving behind its isometric shooter predecessors. Anyway, they're rather impressive, and it's a great read.

Most of the rest of the articles have a similar theme, which was quite unintentional, that being early 3D shooters. Galaxy Force is Sega's most impressive super scaler game, though like most arcade ports, it seems to be defined by its awful Genesis port rather than the original arcade game, which was released in some really amazing motion cabinets. Hyperzone is another 3D game, not quite as impressive but still pretty cool, developed by Hal and released for the SNES, using Mode 7 for its visual trickery. And Hover was bundled with copies of Windows 95, an interesting little tech demo to prove that the operating system wasn't total garbage at running games, like its precursors were. The outlier this update is Metal Storm, Irem's cult NES classic, where you play as a gravity flipping robot.

Your Weekly Kusoge involves >Dexter's Laboratory: Mandark's Lab. One might automatically assumes that such a game would be crap, except one of the Dexter's Lab games for the GameBoy Color was actually just a reskinned Elevator Action, so there was some precedent for good games from the license. Our spotlight article is a double feature, revamping the articles for Space Channel 5 and Rez, two rhythmically infused games developed by United Game Artists, one of the many talented teams at Sega in the Dreamcast era. And page 16 of the iOS Shooters article covers Ace Doodle Fighter, Ace Fighter, ArcadeGuardian PRO / iGuardian and Angel Rush.


  1. one thing that sucks about Silpheed Lost Planet getting analog treatment in the US is that it is not compatible with digital controllers. IE: I can't use my PS2 arcade stick with it, which kind of ruins it being a shmup on PS2 :\.

  2. Thanks for the awesome review of Metal Storm. It was appropriately NP-heavy as the sun sets on that storied magazine (also that NP was the only magazine I knew that covered the game beyond a preview).

    I liked that the HCG article pointed out the Japanese edition had a harder Stage 6 (and a blinding color palette), but why was there no mention of the 2nd quest? The normal game is moderately difficult, but the 2nd quest borders on Ninja Gaiden-level masochistic (and is the only way for US gamers to see the animation that became the opening to the JP game).

    Also, hi noise! Long time. (Apologies if this gets posted twice.)

  3. A note on Galaxy Force: Like most Amiga games of the 80's, it was also available on Atari ST. I own two copies.