The StarSoldier


Artist touch: It's weird that you see two heroic tiger helicopter on the box art since this is only one player now but otherwise it still looks good here. Cover art rating: 7/10
Month it won: January 2007

(American Sammy/Toaplan, January 1990)
Special note: This is the first home translation of the arcade hit.
Introduction and Story:
If anybody remembers going to the arcades in the late 80's then there is a good chance they remember all the bad hair styles and Toaplan's Twin Cobra as well; a very popular game in its day. This legendary arcade shoot em up also made an appearance on the NES believe it or not and it isn't too bad at all considering this is on the limited 8-bit Nintendo here. See why you should not leave this in the classic bin with the rest of the junk out there.
Controls and Game Play:
The first thing you will notice about the game is how freaking hard this is. Like most vertical scrolling arcade-like titles of this type (i.e. Legendary Wings and Fire Shark) you can only take one hit and this is a one player game as well so you're on your own (sadly, the original arcade game two player so that's why upset about this). This is one tough vertical shooter where you control a helicopter that must go through 15 long and grueling levels filled with tanks, battleships, tough bosses and even rival helicopters all trying to kill you.

It sounds hard and it is but fortunately, there are tons of different power ups too you can collect as well. You start out with basic machine guns but you can increase there range with 'S' icon power ups. If fun to see how powerful you can get and there are 4 different guns altogether ranging from the forward spread (blue) to the muliple direction shot (yellow). All the different guns are in fun candy coated colours to help take the else off that you're killing a bunch of people, eh? Don't worry, they probably had it coming. If the action gets too heavy you can use one of your limited amount of bombs to help clear the screen and so these enemies know you mean business.
Graphics and Sounds:
The game is great so far but if you are fan of the arcade game you'll notice how the visuals had taken a hit compared to the original. Not only to the graphics look blurry and less detailed overall but the frame-rate doesn't move that smoothly as well. If you ever played other NES shooting games like Twin Cobra's prequel Tiger Heli and very crappy Thundercade you should know what I'm talking about here. It isn't all bad though. Each stage still has a good amount of shading and shadows to help bring the gritty warlike environments here to life and some enemies even leave craters after you destroyed them. The game even has five different and pretty good background soundtracks and tons of cool effects to liven things even more. The music is so good that's it still struck in my head.
The Bottomline:
If you are looking for an intense shoot em up with a lot of furious action then don't look past the awesome Twin Cobra. Although it's a shame the game is only one player now and it's a little choppier too compared to the original game, it's still cool how they left the continue after you die in place unlike in the insanely hard Sega Genesis translation. I loved the original arcade game and it's great playing it here on the NES as well thanks to the great list of weapons, intuitive controls, music, and challenging game play. Get off your butt Nintendo and stop re-releasing crap like Donkey Kong and Urban Champion again (don't download those losers from the Wii for example) and give us this one instead!
overall rating: 74/100

Find Twin Cobra on eBay here!

For 1 player only
graphics: 6/10
sound: 7/10
gameplay: 7/10
replay: 7/10


(Ryan Genno) 2007

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