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!)
* 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.