Super Star Soldier - Hudson


Super Star Soldier

Reviewed by Roger Post

Super Star Soldier, the first PC-Engine title* in Hudson's Star Soldier series, is surprisingly much than the next: Final Soldier. This goes to show that just because a game is made at a later date does not necessarily ensure quality. However, they got back on track quickly with Soldier Blade.

SSS offers four weapons to choose from: Red is multi-direction shot, blue is bubble shot, yellow is flame shot, and my favorite is green, three way lazer shot. Picking up the same colored powerup increases your weapon power, and allows you another hit from the enemy. But getting hit when at the lowest power gets you killed.

There is also a powerup that changes color, and shooting this enough causes it to blink....picking up this blinking icon allows you to start off where you died, rather than the beginning of the current level. These blinking icons are therefore invaluable, as you die a lot in the later levels.

The music in SSS in great, catchy but not too repetitive. The only problem I have with this game is that there are no bombs or special attacks! Button II just rotates these dinky little side pod ships that really don't do much for you.

But other than this drawback, SSS is my second favorite in the series, falling behind Soldier Blade (Roger's #1 all time shmup!)

Score: 9/10

* I still get emails saying "You forgot about Gunhed/Blazing Lazers!" No, we didn't. Hudson published Gunhed, to be sure, as well as publishing Star Soldier, Super Star Soldier, Final Soldier, Soldier Blade, Star Parodier and Star Soldier Vanishing Earth. Gunhed was created by Compile - notice the similarity to other Compile games like Super Aleste and PowerStrike II - and although looks a bit like a Star Soldier game, it isn't! Thanks to Grant Windsor for getting this straight for us:) - Malc.

Some of Hudson's shmups feature two and five minute 'caravan' levels where you aim for a high score, but the real fun is the actual game.

Here I am on level one (sounds like boring vacation slides the family shows.......) with the blue powerup, which looks cool growing larger as it reaches the top of the screen. This helps hitting enemies, but is pretty weak.

Level one midboss spins around you and throws bubbles randomly. It's a bit like a totally hyper version of the R-Type level 1 ring.

Don't be afraid of the speed, just concentrate on dodging.

A graphically enhanced revised boss from the original NES Star Soldier, same attack pattern too. Only this time, he can't run away :)

Second level boss: looks like an oil rig out at sea, puts up as much of a fight as one lasers work good here, you can stay on the side of his lasers and still attack.

Level three is the desert stage. Fight giant cookies, cakes, pastries, and mousses.

That's dessert you twit! - Malc. (Sorry everyone, we couldn't resist such an old joke)

I can't help but think of Axelay here, and I'm still hoping to visit the local game store and see the sequel on the shelf.

No magazine previews, no commercials, just Axelay II out of the blue.

What desert would be complete without a scorpion? This tail really stings - also beware of the little grey shot that splits up into three.

Look, its those annoying red centered orbs that follow you again. And on top of that, every time you shoot that green slime, it darts toward you. Either kill it quick, or avoid it all together.

The level four midboss twins double your trouble, watch out for when they switch places on you.

This looks like one of my old Transformer toys....what happened to his lower section?

His pattern is hard to learn: He swoops down, then fires missiles which lock on to your current position.

After that, the hands shoot out toward you and fire spread shot rings (whew!) Best thing to do is "lead" the missiles and take out the hands ASAP.


Now, we must have almost all of them online by now! Roger's done Star Soldier, Super Star Soldier, Final Soldier, Soldier Blade (as well as Gunhed) I've thrown me oar in with Star Parodier and that just leaves the N64 Star Soldier Vanishing Earth. I bought it, then I took it back to the shop after a day's play, I wasn't impressed. Is there anyone that thought it was good? Maybe you'd like to review it then? - Malc


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie