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Assault Suit Leynos 2 (Saturn) artwork

Assault Suit Leynos 2 (Saturn) review

"Assault Suit Leynos 2 is still a good purchase for your Sega Saturn, but don't try paying an arm and a leg for a copy expecting some sort of heavenly masterpiece."

The Mix

Being the follow-up to the second Assault Suits title, the wonderful Cybernator (Assault Suits Valken), it's unfortunate that Assault Suit Leynos 2 never saw release outside Japan; fans of the series outside the rising sun might've had the opportunity to experience something that could have been a superior product to the SNES classic. Worse, players that imported the game often tout it as one of the Saturn's great action titles. Of course, those who've really, really wanted the disc, the hardcore, already own it, but for the curious and those on the fence on nabbing a copy on some auction site, is the third Assault Suits creation worth the investment?

A mixture of Target Earth (Assault Suits Leynos) and Cybernator's play mechanics, you'll get a chance to customize your mech, in limited capacity, at the start of every stage, then control that flexible suit, built with a jet pack, dash, and destructible shield, with speed and fury on the battlefield. For me, the modification feature from TE was its only highlight, so it's nice seeing this aspect make a comeback in Leynos 2. And what a comeback it makes, as you get a ton of gadgetry to mess with this time: weapons consisting of gatling guns and epic, heat-seeking lasers, various devices that affect your suit, and different types of armor to choose from. But, like TE, you don't get these for free, you have to acquire them at the end of every stage, based on your actions in said missions. These range from the number of kills, penalties for damage, and the time it takes to complete a level. If you play your cards well, you might even be given a new mech to play with!

The only issue I have is that there's too many customization options, just for a straight-forward action release that's not very long. If this were some sorta action-rpg title spanning dozens of stages and objectives, it would have worked better. Also, gamer's that never experienced TE's mod feature may feel overwhelmed and perplexed by the expansion in this sequel, at the number of menus to go through. A little help on the interwebs may be in order if they can't read the Japanese manual.

Now, while your assault suit feels very Cybernator-ish in controls, the game flow is quite similar in spirit to Target Earth, throwing a bunch of mechs, tanks, air carriers, and flying turrets your way. Before you become disconcerted, Leynos 2 is much more forgiving in this department, and with Cybernator elements, like the aid of your shield and dash, backing you up, it's pretty flexible. However, nearly every single threat on screen likes to whiz around a lot, which is why NCS included a short-ranged radar... as well as a default, forced lock-on for nearby foes. Sounds terrible, and it's not perfect, because you'll sometimes lock on to a missile instead of the mech that's pounding you with lead, but in a game where everything zips around like mosquitoes, it's a necessity. The real problem I have with this radar/lock-on combo is how, at times, I was more focused on the mini-radar than the actual combat, which is a shame, considering how cool the chaos appears to look at the corner of my eye.

Ultimately, Leynos 2 is a good action game for the Sega Saturn, if you view it as a standalone product. However, as the successor to Cybernator, it feels lazy, particularly in the game's level designs. Leynos 2 teases you at its potential for greatness in the first stage, when a legion of aircraft carriers with assault suits arrive over a forest, ready for drop. The game's trademark, frenzied combat then goes underway. Minutes later, you see the end boss, a ginormous turtle-mech that loves to constantly roll in and out the screen. It leaves you wanting more and, somehow, you just end up getting less.

You get more of the hectic action, thankfully, but in uninspiring, short stages:

Stage 2 involves briefly jet-packing up a drab mountain, briefly battling a giant laser cannon, and briefly fighting an onslaught.

Stage 3 is an arena battle...

Stage 4 is an escort mission, taking place in front of a lifeless, dawn backdrop, that's simple if you just dash ahead of the convoy and shoot everything that appears.

Stage 5, 6, and 7 are basically space battles.

That's all there is; Cybernator-architecture this is not. Though, when you finish everything, the game is kind enough to restart from stage 1 with all your equipment intact, and the difficulty adjusts itself depending on how good you are. But seriously, the in-depth customization is wasted on such a simple title. If it weren't for the fun fights, even though they're kinda on auto-pilot, this game would have been an epic letdown. Assault Suit Leynos 2 is still a good purchase for your Sega Saturn, but don't try paying an arm and a leg for a copy expecting some sort of heavenly masterpiece.


pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (April 03, 2011)

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