Burning Soldier


Review by Matt Paprocki


FMV Shooter

Graphics: 6

Sound: 3

Gameplay: 4

Overall: 4

It's pretty incredible to think what we, as gamers were once impressed by. Back when it first appeared, full motion video was the most amazing thing any of us had ever seen. Now, well, it doesn't quite work as well. "Burning Solider" is one of those games in a long line of short, simple, and easy FMV shooters.

Players control an on-screen cursor, which is supposed to be a ship from the Earth Defense Force. Since this magnificent aircraft features (and I quote) "automated navigation," the player is lucky enough to focus "just on combat." There are a whopping total of four stages giving the game a total time of around 20 minutes. You would think such a massive war would last longer, but these Kaisertians never stand a chance.

Surprisingly, the game does support two-player co-op. Each player gets their own cursor to shoot at enemies with, but bringing a co-pilot does eliminate the "Blast Smash." In a normal game, a solo player can charge up his laser to fire a more powerful shot. Since the addition of a second participant makes the game even easier than it already is, this is just a meager way of handicapping the player. Plus, if you have a quick trigger finger, you can do more damage the standard way.

If a lengthy cinema had not followed every stage, this one might have lasted longer. Rarely do they serve a purpose, generally just showing a ship flying towards the next target. While it does last, "Burning Soldier" does offer a few unique viewpoints, including a really nice stage featuring some sort of "jumping" craft, which takes place in a canyon. That's really the only high point.

Otherwise, it's just the player and a cursor, shooting badly composed sprites. Video quality is fair, but it has some real trouble when it comes to the city (area 2). Enemies are obscured by a lack of color and compression. Targets are generally spotted easily in other stages. CG is on par with other games from the era and some of the ship designs are nice, but it's hardly enough to compensate for such stupid gameplay.

Music is really spotty, at times giving the game a nice action-oriented beat, other times is resembles something heard at Wal*Mart while shopping. Obviously nasty are the sound effects. Firing a laser (which you'll do a lot of) produces an annoying, tinny effect. Charging up and holding a powerful shot sounds something like a car alarm.

There's really little left to say. As far as gameplay is concerned, you'll find deeper and more engrossing titles on the 2600. It doesn't do anything worse or better than its closest competition, but what does that really say? Not much.


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Last updated: Saturday, December 04, 2004 08:28 AM