Sunday, 25 February 2018

SNES Game Review 142: HyperZone AKA HaipāZōn

HyperZone AKA HaipāZōn is a shooter video game developed by HAL Laboratory, , yep the fellows responsible for Kirby obviously its a SNES game as I am reviewing it. HyperZone's gameplay is usually defined as being a cross between a racing and shooter game, if I wanted to describe it I would do so as follows basically the game is Space Harrier meets Fzero. If you have played those titles which I guess the majority of people will have then this will probably start to put you in the right frame of mind for this game. 

OK so the object of this game is to try to safely navigate each level while shooting enemies and earning points when you reach the end of the level then you will do battle with a boss. If you earn enough points then the next time you start a new level your ship will be replaced with a new upgraded ship, I have to admit I really like the fact that you see your guy leave his old ship and enter the new one its just a neat little touch. There are 8 levels to the game and there are six available upgraded ships so its worth trying to rack up as many points as you can.

The game this game most closely resembles is definitely F-zero. The spaceships you pilot would not look out of place in that game at all, then there is also the fact that your on a track with very obvious boundaries which look quiet a lot like those in Fzero, you have the same flickering engine lights at the back of your vehicle, you also have similar glowing panels on the floor that recharge your power bar, the whooshing noise made by the engine is also pretty much the same. The game is obviously using mode 7 and all of these what feel like little node to Fzero kind of make it feel warm and familiar despite the fact that before I began playing it for this review I had never even touched it before.

So how does it control? Well your always constantly traveling forwards, you don't have to press an accelerator if you need to slow down then there is a button for this but doing so actually causes your ship to slowly be damaged. There are only actually two buttons needed one to break and one to shoot, although the controls are mapped so A, Y and R all shoot and B X and L break, this is kind of neat because you can then work out what feels more comfortable for you. Your Dpad moves the ship both from left to right but also up and down the screen so that you can steer and avoid enemies and obstacles. All of the controls feel nice and responsive so whenever something goes wrong it feels like your fault entirely which is always a good sign. As I stated earlier HyperZone contains eight levels however if you finish these then the game restarts from the beginning with you continuing in your final ship and then the game loops, apparently infinitely. If you like score chasing then you will probably like this game as its very arcade like. You can pick up and play this game in a second, its very easy to get to grips with, my daughter came into the room while I was playing it and soon she was having ago and doing very well at the first level with like sod all help. The thing is though that the game might be easy to pick up and the first level might be pretty easy but boy does the difficulty really shoot up. The game is a darn hard game, your going to have to develop some mad skills to get all of the way through it.

OK so I guess it is time to score this bad boy, well I would give it 7 out of 10. I find the game very enjoyable especially when played in short bursts, it is easy to get into but soon becomes hard, I think a lot of people would say too hard but if your the sort who likes a challenge then this would appeal to you. I was pretty darn certain that this game never came out in Europe, I did some research I talked to other collectors who seemed to agree and yet there are currently a bunch of Pal carts on ebay. So how much did I pay for this game, I spent £4 on a Japanese cart, if you want to try it well to be honest prices seem to be all over the place, people seem to be asking for £18 for Japanese carts in this country with an American import loose cart being a similar price after postage. Pal carts also seem to be selling from £18 to £25 but I really cant remember ever seeing this in the UK while I was growing up, maybe it just didn't come out here but did release in other Pal territories.I guess sometimes with these old games some of the info about where they were released and in what kind of numbers are just sort of lost to the past.

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