Whoa! What’s this? A 1983 shmup review?
Am I in a time warp or something here? You betcha!
Stinger is the name - and excitement is the game. Now I know what
you’re already thinking - “Has the Twisted One completely lost his
marbles, asking us hip millenium shmuppers to go out and play an
18-year old side-scroller?” No way Jose - this isn’t just any old
ordinary, run-of-the-mill generic shooter from the MAME emulator
time-machine. Oh no. Far from it friends.
Stinger - in a nutshell - is nostalgia that will dazzle you silly.
And I’d have to say that it’s one of the most passed over ‘diamonds
in the rough’ from that era. There’s no question about it - the
arcade game crash from back then did this one in - and that’s unfortunate,
because it should have received for more adulation than it did.
Of that you can be sure. Heck - I still find myself itchin’ for
it constantly - even when I could be playing the lovely R-Type series
or something like that! That’s saying something.
The game concept involves you - a wee humble double-cannon space-ship
- against a large alien platform colony in outer space controlled
by a large evil brain harnessed to this technology. So once this
brain is decimated - the stage is won, and you start all over again
fighting his replacement, who is much more insidious - (ad infinitum).
So let’s go over the details, shall we.
The sound quality itself is just standard issue for the early 80’s.
No stereo or voices here. But I did give an above average score
for the simple fact that this music tune becomes ridiculously catchy
after hearing it a few times. It’s something that grows on you with
time. The rhythm is just so bizarre and unexpected, that it eventually
glues itself to your brain. Resistance is futile.
Sound - 80%
Again - nothing fancy dancy. But for its era - it was rather good
indeed. What really sets it apart thought - is its bright, vivid
colors - of both enemies and background. No drabiness here, and
very pleasing to the eye. The actual designs of the various enemy
craft are quite varied and imaginative. I cannot overstate that
Graphics - 75%
Now this right here - boyz & girls - errr….I mean boyz - is what
this game is made of. Stinger epitomizes the very concept of game-play,
and is a fine example of what is sorely missing in many of today’s
video/arcade games. Pure creative brilliance. There is no question
whatsoever in my mind, that it blows Gradius right to smithereens
in this category. The deft moves and phenomenal concentration required
to succeed in it - are mind boggling. It just rides that razor-thin
edge of not being totally impossible, but there’s no cake-walk here
either Tex. Any time a mile-stone is reached in this game - trust
me - you’ve earned it.
Forget about playing this gem after a reckless week-end - heheh
- because you’ll end up making a bloody fool of yourself in a real
hurry. At least don’t try that stunt with friends around ;)~
Gameplay - 95%
All things considered though - I would be a fool to trash this shmup
in any way. It is simply that good. There just isn’t any aspect
of it which is lacking, or sticks out like a sore thumb. This has
to easily be one the very best side-scrollers ever created in my
opinion, and makes some 90’s games look like crud in comparison.
If you’re looking for instant drool, zillion bullet count eye-candy,
then you shouldn’t bother with it. However, if adrenaline is your
friend, then you’ve just hit the jackpot. Now go play it already!
Overall - 90%