U.N. Squadron

Super NES

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 9

The 16-bit shooter is a category all it's own. So many flooded the market in a span of a few years, not even the most die-hard fan could keep up with the gluttony. The genre has evolved to a point in which so many bullets litter the screen, they nearly become impossible to avoid. Harken back to the calmer days of shooters in which the challenge level was decided by pure skill, not the luck of narrowly missing 747,597,324 bullets on a single screen.

Not only is U.N. Squadron a great horizontal shooter in it's own right, and it's in pushed into the classic category by the fact you can purchase extra weapons, new planes, and tackle the missions the way you choose too.. You also have the ability to choose your pilot, and this becomes an essential part of the game.

Each of the three pilots available vary in their abilities to repair their planes and how quickly they power up. Repairing your plane is a mandatory feature. Once you've been hit by an enemy, you must avoid being hit again until the plane is fixed up. You can generally take around five hits until you'll permanently be in the danger zone until you beat the stage or take another hit. There are a few power-ups strewn throughout the stages to help you out, but these are always cleverly hidden, never in plain view.

Each of the levels have their own unique look, but they are probably too few in number. You'll fight inside of a thunderstorm (lightning blazing in the background with a stunning parallax effect), inside a mountain cave, a desert with an outstanding heat wave effect, and 30,000 feet in the air. The backgrounds feature an incredible sense of speed in certain stages, creating the sense even in this third person view that you're flying. As is the norm for an early SNES shooter, some slowdown is present, but is mostly regulated to the use of special weapons.

If all of this greatness wasn't enough, the soundtrack ranks amongst Capcom's best. Engrossing is the only word to describe the tunes crammed onto this cart. The sound effects are nothing truly outstanding, although they are in the right place as far as shooters are concerned.

Even though it was an early release for the system, this one defies all logic for a game released early in the life of the hardware. The minor slowdown issues aside, this is still one of the best 16-bit shooters of all time. It does everything a shooter needs to do right to become a standard. Those accustomed to the more faster paced SHMUPS of today's consoles may seem a bit underwhelmed by the speed; rest assured they'll quickly learn a harsh lesson.


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Last updated: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 01:08 AM