Vist Genki!

Format: Super Famicom
From: Capcom
Year of Release: 1991
Onscreen Language: Japanese
Campaign 1 - Banner 2


"U.N. Squadron" (UK/USA)

A redesigned port of the arcade game and one of the earliest releases for the Super Famicom.

Capcom tried something a little different with this home conversion. As with the original you have the choice of three pilots Shin, Mickey & Greg and each have the exact same attributes as in the coin-op version.

The main difference becomes apparent after you have chosen you character. Rather than immediately heading into battle you are instead presented with a map detailing all the enemy placements around Area 88. Your mission is to clear out each of the 12 placements and thereby take control of the area.

At first you can only choose one mission as the base is currently under attack but providing you defeat the enemy here you will then get to select your next assignment from the enemy forces in the local area.

As well as enemy forces there are also opposition supply camps. These are represented by green trucks which move around the map. Selecting one of these sends you into a timed mission to destroy the enemies ammo reserves which, if completed, will yeald precious extra cash for you to spend on upgrades.

The available upgrades are also an area where the Super Famicom version differs greatly from it's source. In the arcade you are given a very small selection of sub weapons to choose from as well as some minor plane upgrades like a longer health bar or sheild. In the SFC version there is a much larger selection of sub weapons available and the health upgrades have been replaced by a selection of five new aircraft for you to save for. Each one has it's own advantages and disadvantages and none but the most expensive can carry every type of subweapon.

As for the action scenes the alterations are to numerous to list. While the locations of each of the action scenes have been preserved the layout, length and enemy attack patterns are almost completely different. Boss enemies are mostly the same although their attacks have been changed. The way your fighter takes damage is also altered. One hit will send you health plummeting to almost zero and you'll need to avoid any more sucessive hits for it to recharge, minus the damage you've sustained.

The Super Famicom version is by no means easy either. Even with three continues available a veteran Shoot-em-up player would be hard pressed to reach the final stages.

On a more superficial note, the graphics are quite good-lacking somewhat in colour but keeping impressively close to the powerful arcade original although with few of the 'Mode 7' tricks that the SFC has become famous for. The music is a good recreation of the original even if it has become somewhat drab particularly the boss music.

To sum up, it's good to see a new angle rather than the standard arcade port. A highly enjoyable shooter, possibly better than the original, let down by fairly harsh diffculty.

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