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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Developer: Hudson Soft
Genre: Shooter
Players: 1
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: November 27, 2006
Written By: Alex Sohani

The leap into 16-bit graphics is regarded as a huge deal to the older gaming community, giving a completely refreshed look to gaming, and still maintaining a style that won’t be forgotten to this day. The 1990 release Super Star Soldier, sequel to the NES game Star Soldier, improved upon the mechanics of a top down shooter drastically, implementing a unique approach to the system and intense situations. Super Star Soldier was the game to have for competitive gaming back in the day, and it further proves how 16-bit gaming can still live on.

So, what makes Super Star Soldier unique? Well, for starters it’s one of the most difficult games someone can find on the Virtual Console, and will keep fans glued to their chairs. The real part that sticks out, in my opinion, is the title’s unique weapon system that can basically make or break a gamer’s experience. Throughout each of the seven courses, there are four differently colored spheres scattered. Each of these houses a new type of blaster containing different pros and cons.

In order to stay intact, players have to strategize which weapons to pick from at which time, and look for any possible form of upgrading. The system is based on four different weapons assigned a different color, and a different ability. A red orb will upgrade the regular blaster into a multishot version, firing at several angles with more upgrades, while a blue orb will create a wave gun type of effect, firing straight forward, but expanding as it goes off the screen. An electric power is contained with the green orbs, and a flamethrower is snagged with a yellow orb. All 4 have different ranges and benefits, and depending upon the enemies and level layout, each one becomes an important asset.

An interesting addition to this game is the fact that upgrades also act as a form of “protection”. The more a ship is “tricked out” the safer it will be, because with every upgrade, one more hit is allowed before an explosion. However, the consequences of this result in the latest upgrade being lost, and therefore making the ship more vulnerable. Keeping a safe ship is especially important in the game, because every death usually causes players to have to begin the entire level from scratch.

While the main game may have players struggling for life, it’s the two other modes that really make this game enjoyable for multiple players. These are the 2 minute and 5 minute modes, otherwise known as Caravan Mode. In this mode, unlimited lives are given in the set time period, and players compete for a high score. It was created to be a hot seat event, although it can be played alone, and proves to be quite fun in big groups. Respawns cause time to keep ticking by, and the setting is there mainly just to show off high scores.

All in all, Super Star Soldier is one hot shooter out in the big pool of over 60 Virtual Console games. While its sequel is out on the VC as well, Super Star Soldier isn’t one to be viewed as a push over. With unique features different from its predecessor and future installment in the series it forms a unique gaming experience that withstands almost 17 years of time. At such a low price, and with a huge fun factor, this highly overlooked game is a nice one to add to your collection if you’re looking for something that’s simple but effective.

Highly recommended for arcade fans and people looking for something hidden away from the spotlight.

Recommeded: 7.8/10

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