Macross - (from Universe)


Reviewed by Aurang M. Shah-Stone (Disco Stu !)

Before I start this attempt to objectively review a NES game, be forewarned that I'm not trying to compare this game with the graphically stunning super shooters of the Sega Saturn! I am rather going to review this game against the graphics potential of the NES.

With that said and ˝ of shmup visitors asleep, lets begin. Macross (NES) isn't for the faint of heart, this game is at least as hard as Flying Shark on its easiest settings in the arcade, not to mention the NES port, Skyshark. Its easy to hate this game for its substandard graphics by today's standards and its less than stellar music tracks, but you have to love it on a purely Nintendo basis.

This game did a lot of things that were very revolutionary by yesterdays standards. It was the one of the first games to feature a variable aircraft (an aircraft that changes modes and shapes) and place different limitations on its various modes.

10 out of 10

This game introduced some spectacular new elements of gameplay to the gaming industry. You will have to pilot your VF-1s Super Valkyrie against a fleet of Zentreandi vessels, sounds simple enough, right? Well its not, Even though you fly a variable fighter with more missiles than the Russians put on their cruisers after Reagans "evil empire" speech, you will be treated to hoards of enemy fighterpods and battlepods. Also in your arsenal is a 3-barreled 55-mm auto-cannon the size of a Mack truck! Each mode you fly in has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Mode/Configuration F
Fighter Mode:
Dead Stick Mode is more like it. You go faster than a bat out of hell but you can hardly move, let alone shoot at any decent rate.

Mode/Configuration G
Gerwalk Mode:
Like in all macross games, you spend the most time in this mode, it's a lot more maneuverable than Fighter Mode and your firing rate is higher. Unfortunately your speed decreases a lot due to the loss of main engine thrust.

Mode/Configuration B
Battroid Mode:
I use this mode even less than I use dead stick mode. The main reason is the ridiculously large surface area in which you can get hit and your maneuverability is way to high. Unfortunately you have now lost the thrust from your primary booster packs and now are essentially drifting in space. An upside of this mode is that you have a much higher firing rate.

Enemy planes

Tactical Battlepod:
Light mecha, armed with a particle cannon…its very maneuverable.

Light Artillery Battlepod:
Light mecha, armed with a single missile launcher and a particle cannon, mildly maneuverable.

Heavy Artillery Battlepod:
Light mecha armed with a dual missile launcher, sort of maneuverable.

Recon Scout Battlepod:
Light mecha, armed with a particle cannon, mildly maneuverable.

Light fighter, armed with a particle cannon and occasional a laser cannon. It's a very fast aircraft.

Officers Battlepod:
Medium mecha, armed with a particle cannon and a laser cannon, mildly maneuverable.

Female Powered Armor:
Harbinger of doom to your Valkyrie, avoid at all costs, destroy it before it destroys your. It's a Heavy mecha that's very maneuverable and is extremely fast. It has a 3 shot particle cannon and a load of missiles comparable to your own!

Male Powered Armor:
Heavy mecha, armed with a gun similar to yours. It's armed with a repeating particle/laser cannon. This mecha is also mildly maneuverable, but not as maneuverable as you are.

Ship Turret:
Dual lasers cannons


(M) Macross missile burst increase
(P) Energy Powerup
(?) There is another powerup in the game, I don't know what it does and I can't remember what it looks like, anybody know?

10 out of 10

Ok so maybe 8-bit is out of style these days, but I think that we can forgive a game that's older than most of the cars people drive (void in Mexico). The game makes the best out of the color palette it had available at the time!

8 out of 10

This game has a total of 3 sound effects, but we can forgive it because it is a Nintendo game and because most game for the Sega Genesis and Super NES had no more than double that amount. Sound 1: Gong sound/Blowing up enemy ship Sound 2: Gun firing Sound 3: Enemy fighter blowing up/you blowing up

8 out of 10

1 BGM track and 3 misc. tracks can get on your nerves, but it is an NES game and I can not in good conscience give it less than an 8. Saio Pi Long, Saio Pi Long, catchy huh…I tends to get kind of old, but what the hell so does 1942 and that was a damn good shooter for the NES! Raise your hand and give your self-a good ol' job well done if you beat that game (I did).

9 out of 10

Though I don't recommend this game for anyone but the most serious SHMUPS fan…It's a wild ride. Macross will keep you up late at night wondering why the Universe invented this infernal game! If you think I'm blowing smoke up your ass, just try to get past level 9, bet you can't do it SUCKA! I sure as hell didn't!


Oh goodie, Aurang's let me do the captions! YAY! - malc

Bombarded by explosive croissants, the Valkyrie retaliates with missile bursts.

Remember when these graphics were so advanced you'd drag your unwilling parents into the room to gawp at them with you?

This is a battleship flyby, watch out for the deadly gun emplacements

This ascii-art derived monstrosity is actually a boss.

Gasp in amazement as you watch how it cunningly turns red when destroyed!

Here's the missile burst in action.

It's actually most effective when there are enemies onscreen.... this!!! Heh heh!! (I love photoshop!:)

I fear you may have over-rated the graphics somewhat Aurang me mate, but I think I must be blinded by graphical whizzery in modern shmups these days.

Like many old games, it's the gameplay that counts I suppose! Mind you, trying to convince one of your friends brought up on a polygon-rich diet of Quake and Unreal to actually play the game is going to be no mean feat! I have this problem ALL the time ... :/


Macross is a bit of a phenomenon, eh Aurang? An anime series that has a huge following in the west, with a goodly amount of video games based around it too. Macross otaku can be fanatical about the characters, ships and general premise, and you'd better be clued up before starting a discussion with one!

Apart from the NES version, I have played the SNES shootemup, from Zamuse, which was surprisingly fab. There's a couple of PC-Engine CD ones (a shooter and a strategy/RPG affair afaik) and a terrible 3D Playstation shootemup too. Truly awful it was.

The Saturn got in on the act too, with it's own version of Macross, which I did not rate at all either. It was a shmup too, but interspersed with extremely long cutscenes, and uninspired clumsy gameplay which didn't do the license justice. Just goes to show that 32-bit doesn't necessarily guarantee a good game eh? - Malc


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