Title : Alpha Mission
Publisher : SNK
Genre : Vertical Shooter
Release Date : 1986
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $2-$4
Yay! Another vertical shooter! I haven't played one in so long........ahem - I have inserted heavy sarcasm there in an attempt to make a valid point. Anyway, so this bad boy comes from the early years of the NES right before it hit its prime around 1988-1990. And as far as vertical shooters go, this one isn't too bad. It's pretty much ripped straight from the arcade, and graphically isn't too far off.
I just really wish there was more of a story in these shooter games besides the ones they give you on the back of the box. Come on, change it up a bit. Light my fire, baby. I wanna be pulled in! Okay, okay. I have an obsession with great stories and video games. I'll take it for what it is. So, here we go.
Now as far shooters go, this one is pretty damn hard. I'm not going to lie when I say I didn't die multiple times on the first stage alone. Because I did. I never said I was good at these games. I can't stress how important is to grab those power ups as soon as possible, because you're going to need every single last one. Especially speed boosts, because your ship is crawling through space in the beginning.
There's an endless spawn of enemies, and they follow the typical patterns of shooters zig-zagging across the screen and always ending up in your flight path. Keep spamming that fire button, and you'll be golden.
Alpha Mission, to the best of my knowledge but I could be wrong and usually am, was one of the first games to introduce both AIR and GROUND enemies. You've got your basic cannons for the enemies attacking you in flight, and bombs to attack the enemies on the ground. I always loved this in shooters, as it forces you to plot how you're flying, instead of just darting from one end of the screen to another.
And as any good shooter would have, after clearing each stage you are pitted against a monstrosity of a boss, who are surprisingly hard as hell. Clear all 13 stages, and you've got yourself a GOLD MEDAL! CONGRATULATIONS!!
I can't complain about Alpha Mission too much. It's a pretty damn good Vertical Shooter, I just get sick of them real fast. It's great for a quick plug and play game session, and you can beat it in roughly 20 mins or so. All in all, not too bad for 1986 but it doesn't do anything different or crazy to make it really stand out that much. Difficulty wise though, I wanted to shoot myself. And that's always fun.
Oh, and by the way you - if you die, you start at the beginning with no power ups. HAVE FUN!
Final Score (out of 5) :
Until next time. Keep on gaming!