Name: Area 88 - Game (70.00% in 4 votes)
Platform: Super Nintendo
Release date: 1991
Reviewed by: Bata-kun
To be honest, this was my first experience of "Area 88". Oh and like many guys, I first thought that Shin was a girl when I was little and I would always think in my mind, "Shin is pretty cute!" Thankfully, I don't think in my mind that weird statement anymore, since I now know that Shin is a guy. Anyway, "Area 88" is based on the manga/anime of the same name. Why this was renamed "U.N. Squadron" since the U.N. is never involved here and that the tankubon as well as the anime were never renamed that way here in North America is beyond me. Probably it was because of marketing reasons. The game, made by Daipro and published by Capcom, was first introduced in 1989.
Like the manga, you have to go through various missions and blow up stuff to earn money as well as getting yourself out of the group. You first have to pick a pilot: Shin, Micky or a guy named Greg Gates, who didn't get much time in the series (and a guy who is part-Danish, part American, I'm guessing). Upgrade your planes, go through 10 missions and blast everything in your way towards freedom.
Choosing your pilot is important because of their skills involved. Shin is the best at upgrading his standard weapon and for each pilot, you can hold the shoot button for a short period of time to get rapid fire so that there's no overheat. Micky is the best at the special weapons department. Greg recovers the fastest. Huh? "Greg recovers the fastest?"
Unlike your typical airplane shooter, this one carries a life point system. If you get hit, you don't die instantly. It gives off a warning and if you hang on long enough, your plane is still up. Should you get hit again during this state, you crash. There are power ups that help you though. Oh and remember to be careful. You start with three lives and you only have three credits. Extra lives are rare (and I think that every time, there's a 3 in the ten-thousands place, you get an extra life).
As for differences between the arcade version and the Super Famicom version, there are not many. Other than the arcade version being a version where one or two players can play and being released two years before the Super Famicom version, that's about it. Then again, it has been a long time since I played the arcade version.
Fun - 9
"You blow stuff up and you get paid for it? Spiffy!" That's how I was when I first played this game a long time ago.
So, yeah, the game is fun. If there's a reason why I subtracted a point, well, the difficulty can easily turn people off. The lack of repair power ups does not help either. Other than that, um, what else is there to be let down by?
Life - 10
It doesn't have a lot of extras, but geez! This is one of the better games of 1989! So, it gets a high score here from me.
Story - 10
I would have given this a perfect score when I was little and not be aware of the manga and the anime, and because of the sincere move that I know of now, it gets a perfect score from me.
Audio - 10
Even thought I have not seen the anime, the music fits real well for a shooter. I especially like the first level's theme and the song you hear before you shoot down the final boss. Those are cool songs.
The sound effects are great overall, even though you would hear them over and over again. Eh. It's a 1989 game. Why complain? The explosions sounded like explosions. The sound of you crashing makes sense.
Control - 10
Shoot, special weapon, change special weapon. Any questions?
Art - 10
This looks more like a 1994 game. Anyway, the game really does look good. The planes are sincere and the same can be said for the surroundings.
Overall - 10
Get one of the best manga/anime based games here in this one! It may not have a lot of extras, except for the "Gamer" difficulty and it may be too hard, but the feel is that good. Thank me later on.
The overall package of the game is that good.
It's flat out hard.
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