Retro Game Review! SNES, Super Aleste


Shooters have been around as long as consoles. It’s fair to say everyone has their favourites, many rooted deep in their younger years, with memories of propping up arcade cabinets watching their friends load the 10p coins into glowing slots while sitting on ripped faux leather seats with stains from coke, beer or worse. You can almost smell it.

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Times inevitably had to change. By the early nineties, arcade machines were the last resort of the bored or inebriated. Most of us were tucked up at home on the sofa, playing on our favourite consoles, on a new generation of games.

However, the shooter did still make the odd appearance on the humble console, but they rarely caught on. Only very occasionally did any such game stand out from the crowd. Super Aleste is one such game.  

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Though slated in some reviews, I think the game is largely misunderstood. It didn’t take itself seriously at all, with the focus being very much on having a laugh, and shooting some big weapons at the enemy. Hardcore fans might find this disappointing, but casual shooters like myself who didn’t get past level one of R-Type find this a good bit of fun.

To summarise the game, it consists primarily of two game modes, short and standard. To the gamer who dabbles, the difference between the two is negligible, only the hardcore “Finisher” will appreciate the two games to full extent.

This is largely due to the fact that the game is hard. You do expect this of a shooter. That precedent was set long ago. But with some console shooters like Fantasy Zone , or more recent titles like Giga Wing on the dreamcast, or even “Power Strike”, which was in fact the original Aleste in Japan, we have been a little spoiled by games which can be approached by people without bionic fingers.

Don’t let the fact you won’t see the end of level one any time soon put you off, though. It’s not R-Type. The casual gamer can have a lot of fun on this game. You also have a nice feature, for a game of this age – check points. When you use up all your lives, you needn’t go back to the start of level 1. In theory, anybody could finish the game this way. But in practice, your eyes will hurt after an hour.

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Perhaps the best thing about Super Aleste is the weapons. Yes, you have weapons. Eight different ones in fact. You also have  access to the usual “smart bomb” for those moments of panic when the screen gets too hectic. Which it does.  Lots.

Couple this with on screen obstacles, some of which have to be shot through, some of which take multiple shots, and you have an eye poppingly fast and frenzied adrenaline rush of a game. The only problem is trying to protect your ship while ensuring the way ahead remains clear. Thankfully, though, one hit rarely destroys the ship. The game has a strange health system that is impacted by the weapon power. For example, at weapon level 6 the ship can survive two hits. The problem is that this comes and bites you firmly in the backside if you die, as you are sometimes reincarnated with very little hope of getting far, in the harder parts of the game.

The game looks amazing, superb, and outrageous. It makes use of a lot of the graphical toys on the snes, and it does the console proud. Fast and responsive at the same time as graphically stunning, it is surely a joy to play. Sometimes you wish the screen didn’t fly past so quickly that you can’t appreciate the artwork, but that is part of its charm. Screenshots cannot really do this game justice, as the awe inspiring elements are largely in the slickness of the animation. That the game uses the unique “Mode 7″ to create stunning effects is technically brilliant, but that it does it in a way that you don’t consciously think “aha! Mode 7!” is artistically brilliant.

The biggest downside to this game for me has to be the difficulty. I just wish I could easily get through at least 3 or 4 levels.

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Overall Scores:
Graphics: 9/10 – Superb

Gameplay: 7/10 – Fun, even in 2009, but too hard for casual gamers

Lastability: 8/10 – Massive game, if you can finish it, it will take a while.

Worth Playing? A resounding YES.

4 Responses to “Retro Game Review! SNES, Super Aleste”

  • shursuift says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article, keep up writing such exciting stuff!

  • knirlsnusix says:

    ok that’s fine, i really like this game [edited by admin to remove your spam link]

  • Silebaibe says:

    I like silly girl games like cooking mama and diner dash!

    [admin: another retarded spammer then!]

  • Epitractorp says:

    Hello, I’m a spammer. Please point at me and laugh.

    [admin: Spammers learn from this. I will name and shame you, and I will remove all your spam and replace it with rubbish that makes you look silly]

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