So once again I am doing a review of a SNES game which started out life as an arcade machine before being converted, which you would think means once again I am going to be talking about things that were left out and changes that were made but no the main difference here is that the game I am talking about today is probably one you have never heard of as it was only released in Japan. I cant remember ever having seen or played the arcade machine so I am just not going to worry about that and judge it based on its self and to a least some degree its competition on the SNES.
When I tell you that the name of the game is Acrobat Mission you will probably say what kind of name is that for a game? Is it a game where you are an acrobat, some kind of platformer but no it is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up
The first thing I noticed was that as the game began the story scrolled up the screen and I could read it, yes its a Japanese game but literally all of the language in it, the options, the story is in English which makes it pretty cool for importers.
To start with the graphics looked colourful but basic, in fact you could almost believe that you were playing a NES game, add to that the fact that I pressed all of the button and only one of them actually seemed to do anything and that was shoot, the next thing I tried was holding down the button assuming that there would be some kind of charge attack and well nothing happened. I carried on playing it not really expecting much from it then as things went on it hit me this game ran at a nice speed, even though the players ship seems to be a really basic sprite a lot of the enemies seem to be larger and more detailed. Then I began to collect power up's and found that not only did they effect the way my ship fired they also allowed me to do charged up shots if I held the button, and the bombs I collected actually appeared on the ship and disappeared once I worked out the button which you have to press to fire them (So in the end there are 2 buttons to use). When you die, which you will because it is a reasonably tough game, instead of instantly exploding or disappearing your ship actually sort of limps along with steam coming out of it, while this is happening your still in control and can steer your burning space ship, you can in fact steer it into something so that when it explodes you can take enemies with you, I found this to be a really neat and interesting little idea.
The graphics are not the best but there is a lot of variety it puts Super Stirke Gunner I played about 10 days ago to shame in this area. It also has large bosses the first is a large battleship which is so long it is actually about four screens in length and covered in guns. The bullets It fires are larger than your ship and it can be tough because it tracks your movement and shoots at you.An other interesting little fact is that you don’t die if you physically touch enemy ships, sure if you run in to bullets your screwed but you can fly through enemies and get away with it. There is also space debris which can get in the way of your ship and your shots, this is something I like sure its another simply touch but the beauty of this game is all of its simple touches.
OK as for the bad side, by shoot-em-up standards this game has a very limited selection of weapons pick ups, there is the standard shot and then two or three special shots you can get by picking up letters, compare this to the absolute tonne of weapons in other shooters at the time like UN Squadron and its a little disappointing.
Another problem some people have with the game is how short it is, this game relies on being very hard after the first 2 levels to kind of prolong the game, there are only 5 stages and when you think that this game was at one point a full priced retail game that seems to be just a little short of what I think would be a fair number.
I would give this game a hearty 7 out of 10, its not perfect but it was a very pleasant surprise. Unfortunately its not available either as a Pal cart or American but with its heavy use of English and the fact that it ran on both a modified machine and a very simple converter this is not a bad game for someone who wants to start importing or at least it would be if you could find a cheap copy, the only copy I can see online at the moment is like £25, I brought this from someone as a package deal 7 Japanese carts for £14 all of which apart from this were sports games.