IGS - PC ENGINE
by Roger Post
the quest to keep shmups fresh and exciting (C'mon now: all shooters
have the same plot, gameplay, and basic format, shoot the bad guys enough
times and win the game...) the developers usually play with a new element:
a theme. Keeping the basic elements of a shoot-em-up while changing
the theme can produce great results: the Techno theme of Thunderforce,
the bio theme of Salamander/Life Force, and the buggy theme of such
games a Bio-Hazard Battle and Cybercore (almost forgot the fish theme
of Darius...how could I ever do that!!!) While Cybercore for the PC
Engine is nothing to jump up and down over, its simplistic gameplay
and "insecticide" look at an earlier time of shooters make it worth
The main ship of Cybercore starts out as a small insect thingie. Shooting
the powerup bug drops different colored orbs, each of which transforms
you into a different bug, and collecting the same color powerup strengthens
the little critter you happen to be playing. Each insect has a different
strength, such as forward shot or a protective circling shot. Like Xevious
(this is the earliest example of ground\sky separation I can think of),
some enemies are airborne and some are on the ground, which need bombs
to destroy. Your critter also has a shield meter, which is good because
I hate games where one hit and you're dead.
There isn't much more to comment on, other then the fact that this game
loses me at level 8. It's relatively simple to blast your way here,
then all of the sudden these annoying lightning fast gnats, which are
almost impossible to avoid, wipe you out quick. I hate when games get
ridiculous at later levels, too. I managed to get to the end boss once,
how I just don't know, but prepare to be frustrated by the last level.
This always happens right before the prom! Where's my dermatologist's
The first greeny slug boss, not really much to comment on here...
The powerup bug, shoot him (it?) as much as possible to get icons.
Up, another boss, this one's as uncommentable as the first.
I know what you're thinking...the main character is different...
this is what about four red icons will morph you into.
The green critter has circular shots which act almost as a shield.
This is interesting, a bug with a jetpack. Technology meets biology.
Sorry for the lack of commentary, but the more I think about it,
the less commentable this game is... kinda fun to play though.
Now I can vent my anger!!!! These stupid blue things swarm out in
packs of five or six, all throughout the level. Very hard to dodge!
I wanna throw something at this point. If I ever finish the game,
I'll send the "CONGRATULATIONS" ending snapshot. All shmups prior
to 1993 have them...