Stinger - Seibu Denshi

StingerTitle of game

Reviewed by Mister Twister

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 fact.
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%

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Thanks for that review Mister Twister! You must be pleased that you finally reviewed your favourite game ;^)

I can remember playing Stinger in my local arcade a very very long time ago. This dingy little arcade used to house the oldest games, and Stinger was there, along with the likes of Galaxian and Scramble. I played Stinger to death, and although I don't quite rate it as highly as R-Type, it is a very good game for it's time. It ate up enough of my loose change to start! Definitely recommended if you like something old and diverting... - Akira


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