Twin Eagle (NES) review
"In the early 1980s, the home console industry would fall apart (especially fueled by the bombing of Atari's E.T.), creating a lull in the gaming niche. This would pave the way for a re-emerging arcade dominance, especially as at the time they were much more powerful than what you would get out of a more convenient stay-at-home play. Oldies like Donkey Kong and Galaga looked much better on arcade than their 2600 counterparts, and without a console's constant specs to weigh them down..."
In the early 1980s, the home console industry would fall apart (especially fueled by the bombing of Atari's E.T.), creating a lull in the gaming niche. This would pave the way for a re-emerging arcade dominance, especially as at the time they were much more powerful than what you would get out of a more convenient stay-at-home play. Oldies like Donkey Kong and Galaga looked much better on arcade than their 2600 counterparts, and without a console's constant specs to weigh them down, arcade games were about to get better looking and more fun to play.
As history would turn out, the Nintendo Entertainment System would come to North American shores and go on a spree of market dominance. Being much more powerful than even the ill-fated 5200, many of the arcade games that were unable to find a home on much-weaker consoles without severe downgrading could finally be ported for some quick cash. Among this onslaught of mediocre games was Seta Corporation's Twin Eagle, a shmup that probably did not fare well in the arcades, and would not fare well on the NES.
Having been given the one line plot of an evil monster from outer space trying to take over the world (with his armada of human-design airplanes and battleships), I was given the choice of a one or two-player shootout. All said and told, the game lasted less than twenty-five minutes over five short blandly-designed levels, a low fare even compared to even the earliest shooters on the NES (Twin Eagle was released into arcades in '88, ported over in '89)
The problem with that is that you shall be GLAD that the game ends that quickly. Twin Eagle copies without shame off the generic concepts of power-ups and bombs, wherein you collect power-ups littered throughout the stage to increase the strength and range of your bullets (with four different types of weapons), and use bombs to destroy all enemies on-screen (and, for those whom need a life-saver, also eliminates all enemy ammo). It instead tries to cover up for its lack of real value by throwing lots of foes at you (and I mean lots). Any excitement that could be had by being trapped within a cage of bullets and lasers is also put into relapse by the fact that you can use a bomb which instantly destroys not only all enemies on screen, but also all enemy projectiles (and you pick up these bombs with quite some frequency). With such a situation, there is only so many times that you can listen to the constant blips of bullets and the single lopping soundtrack before your patience takes a downfall for the worst. Heck, the game does not even have a single boss, with the lone stark exception of a single tower that you have to shoot multiple times before it falls down (and it does not even fight back)!
In effect, there's only two things that has a chance of distinguishing Twin Eagle from the rest of the pack; the first of them is that some of the environments in the game have destroyable objects. Once demolished, hostages will suddenly be free of their newly-wrecked prisons, and if you pick them up, you can get a considerable number of points added onto your score. The second is a small piece of history; Twin Eagle being one of the games that Home Entertainment Systems published illegally in Australia. However, in closing, I would like to say that even with this slight innovation and a novelty of history behind it, Twin Eagle is still subpar, even at the back of the horde of NES shoot-em-ups.
Community review by darkstarripclaw (August 02, 2007)
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