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mars 16, 2014

Assault Suit Leynos (Target Earth) on Mega Drive


No one ever bought this, even after I lowered the price many times, so I assume it would be an interesting game. Most people only buy familiar games.
Shop link: here

And yes, it is an interesting game.
For me, who don't like scrolling shooters or generic platformers, I enjoyed it at first. It also has a real story mode unlike most MD games I've played so far. But boy, is it HARD. I made to the fourth stage but it gets crazy there.

The worst part of the difficulty is: randomness. Random enemies appear! I beat the second stage the first time I tried it. But three hours later, I die. If the game throws all the hard enemies at you, it will be very difficult. There are two continues and then game over so if I have trouble on stage 2 it feels like it would take a very long time to beat all 8 levels. I know there are 8 because the manual says so.

It can be a bit hard to understand gameplay too, especially in Japanese, but I did manage to figure that out!
On level 1, there will be a huge spaceship you have to blow up. You can use your clusterbomb and hit it 4 times or so, that will take it down quickly. To get bonus weapons, you should get a high score. On level 1 you can get a useful rocket and a tank will give you armor. The armor increases the life by four bars.

On stage 2, you should go to the right. There will be an escape ship there, and if you wait for a while your friends will jump into it first, and when you feel ready you can jump in too.

On stage 3, gamefaqs says you should destroy the enemy space ship but I didn't do that. After flying around for a couple of minutes, the door opens to your own spaceship. Then I wait until around 10 seconds left and get it.

I didn't make it too far into stage 4, and if you look at the end of my gameplay video you will see why.

_

I think I should just have moved forward instead of going back.
In stage 2 I do sometimes stand still or move back. This is because you refill health automatically with time. Doesn't work on stage 4...

The game has eight stages, and the problem is that even after making it to stage four, I still have problems getting past stage 2 because of the randomness factor. As can be seen in the video I almost died already around 04:40. So I give up.

Some good reviews as usually on gamefaqs: http://www.gamefaqs.com/genesis/586520-target-earth/reviews. Reviewer Sandcrab says he beats it consistently so it must be possible. The other reviewers didn't make it past level 3.

Another opinion:
It's such a remarkably difficult game that it's hard to really enjoy it without turning on the invincibility code, which was added to the North American release. (Just hit Start on controller 2 during play.) -- http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/assaultsuits/assaultsuits.htm
Hmmm... I agree that it is hard to enjoy. Right now I feel like a sad failure.

Though I should say that a gamer who enjoys this kind of Contra-game probably wouldn't mind playing until he beat it. I'm sure it can be beaten consistently for someone who has the patience and time.  It isn't impossible and the game isn't unfair. It could be compared to Contra, possibly, but with more enemies coming at you. If you want to give your kid one game only and make sure he doesn't beat it in a day, this could be a good choice (maybe sadistical though). The invincibility cheat in the US version would also ensure you could beat it when you wanted to.

Well, it was a nice experience and nice to play a game that feels original. The controls are a bit stiff, but in a mecha game this is to be expected. As the gamefaqs reviewers said, the game isn't broken or bad, just frustratingly difficult. Funny thing is, the game has two modes that are even harder than the default Normal called Hard and Hyper.

Here is some further interesting reading:
* http://segascrutiny.blogspot.se/2011/01/what-is-this-crap-robocops-ugly-brother.html. (all Sega blogs are black apparently)
* http://www.giantbomb.com/videos/encyclopedia-bombastica-target-earth/2300-6714/

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