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Space Megaforce (SNES) artwork

Space Megaforce (SNES) review


"With foreboding music playing in the background, the Earth is exhibited at a technological pinnacle with the blue-and-green planet’s nations united in one single coalition. Copilots Ti and Razu of the Earth Defense Force currently lack a diversion from the monotony of their military duties – but they’re about to get one. Cue extraterrestrial space vehicles coming in from the celestial above, their only intent complete and merciless destruction. Mother Earth sends out her offspring to stop this b..."



With foreboding music playing in the background, the Earth is exhibited at a technological pinnacle with the blue-and-green planet’s nations united in one single coalition. Copilots Ti and Razu of the Earth Defense Force currently lack a diversion from the monotony of their military duties – but they’re about to get one. Cue extraterrestrial space vehicles coming in from the celestial above, their only intent complete and merciless destruction. Mother Earth sends out her offspring to stop this bastardized threat, this foreign intruder from damaging her womb. Their homeland in peril, Ti and Razu, strapped into their seats, are in for take-off. As they embark, the title Super Aleste throttles onto the screen at lightning speed, blazing the way for a shooter that digs deep into the titanic well of gameplay.

Eleven levels play out Super Aleste’s plot, each long and sometimes taking up to 20 minutes. Accompanied by perhaps some of the greatest inspirational music ever created, traveling throughout a single level will bring you past several different terrains as you plow through enemy spaceship after enemy spaceship. Once you reach the end, you’ll meet up with the head honcho, more often than not one badass motherfucker. Granted, there are many out-of-this-world bosses in space shmups, going so far as the solid snake-penis of Wings of Wor fame, but next to nothing tops a life-sized jello defended by viper-like tentacles!

Of course, Super Aleste has its own arsenal of artillery. Eight different weapons are at use, and can be upgraded six levels. Each is dissimilar from the rest and powerful in its own little way, such as the Hyper Laser, capable of shooting homing lasers that can go through barriers, or the Power Shot, which fires a massive amount of bullets while charging up a bolt of pure energy. Additionally, you can use a limited supply of bombs to finish off every nemesis onscreen. However, in order to strengthen your firepower, you need to scourge the stages for power-up capsules, orange capsules, or green capsules. If the power-up capsule matches your current weapon, it’ll upgrade your capabilities to cause fiery havoc. Green capsules level you up one regardless of weapon and orange capsules (collected in bulk) will make your forces become even stronger. By grabbing every single power-up within reach, the entity that is your spacecraft becomes a herculean force, a deity in the disguise of a human spaceship, an abyss of oblivion among alien ranks, capable of crippling and destroying every foe on the screen. Once this happens, nothing is able to withstand your very own onslaught of raking lasers.

But that doesn’t mean you’re invincible.

The game starts you start off with three blocks of health, and three lives. Suppose you do upgrade your ship to level six. Getting hit by a single bullet lowers you down to level two, and another successful attack sets you back at zero. After that, two more failures to dodge, and you’ve one block of health left. One last sneak hit, boom, you’re dead! Considering the armada that the alien navy sends after you, your skills would have to be insane to make it through a lengthy playthrough of Super Aleste without dying once; but consider that that is just Normal mode. Things only get tougher as you ascend the ranks of difficulty, with enemies capable of taking more abuse and substantial weakening of your own ship. If you wish to get started on Wild, the difficulty that is resemblic of the ninth pit of Hell itself, you’ll have to watch out for the massively powered-up spacecraft and the debris their exploding frames leave behind in the form of space junk that is naturally attracted to your ship.

Super Aleste - a game created by Compile, arguably the greatest of retro shmup developers. Although it might not be as groundbreaking or earthshattering as Compile’s Guardian Legends, Blazing Lazers, or a handful of other shoot-em-up releases, it still holds its ground by having aged incredibly well in all aspects of its foundation and retaining the core fun value it started out with in 1992.

Rating: 10/10

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Community review by yamishuryou (January 20, 2005)

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