Shock Troopers review by Sifl
Review by Sifl
It's time to play Army in this action-packed shooter from Saurus, Eight grunts are yours to command as you infiltrate and decimate the enemy's stronghold. Time to kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out.
Graphics - This game was released before "Giga Power", and it shows. It's better than SNES graphics, but the Neo can handle better graphics than this, even back in '97. Many backgrounds look great though, I really like the Submarine (How they got one I haven't a clue. Hey, It's only a game.) and the Urban stages before hitting the enemy base. There are also lots of small details that I enjoy, mainly the enemy grunts (belonging to a terrorist outfit called the Bloody Scorpion) getting blown apart. I should mention that this game is the goriest game I've seen this side of Mortal Kombat, especially seeing limbs flying off and bodies burned so beyond recognition that dental records won't even help. Ah war, ain't it fun? This game even has a disclaimer warning us of the strong violence, and for a sick bastard like me that's only a magnet.
Sound - I really like the music in the first stages, it does the crucial job of getting you pumped to play the game. Other music isn't quite as notable, but nothing that will drive you insane. Sounds of war are all included as well, like tanks blowing up and what not, ambient noises like the sewer stages are also present. My only gripe is the fact that there is only one scream sample for dying enemy grunts.
Gameplay - This is action at it's finest, shown in a top-down perspective like NES classics of yore, Ikari Warriors and Guerilla War. Firepower is abundant in this game, you will hardly ever be using your standard weapon unless you intentionally don't pick anything up. But for all the fun weapons, the game really rewards the use of your trusty Ka-bar, the Official knife of the Navy SEALS. Slashing rewards you with more points and health items. Slash a boss to death and get a metric fuck-ton of points and a full heath bar.
You also have the option of going it alone or bringing two war buddies with you. The Eight masters of Death and Destruction that you may select are not all created equal (unlike another certain action title on the Neo-Geo, which shall remain nameless.) with varying speeds, bombs, guns, and Health. In Shock Troopers, you are not always just Running and Gunning, you are also Climbing and Gunning, Scaling and Gunning, going hand-over-hand on a rope and Gunning, and (my personal favorite) riding your bad-ass Hog and Gunning.
Miscellaneous - You Have 3 sets of 5 stages that all lead up to the BSG base where you will face off with King Fugly. After the third stage in a given route (Mountain, Valley, and Jungle are your choices) you will get the option to switch routes. Should you choose to do so, you will get to wreak havoc on a special train stage, giving us 17 stages in all. 3 routes, 8 characters, a shitload of team combinations, and that elusive ending (see below) add up to lots of replay value.
There are also 2 different versions of this game, both regarding Team Mode, one version has a shared life bar while the other does not. The cart won't tell you which is which but both are enjoyable. Also adding to the difficulty factor is the fact that your game cannot be saved on a Memory Card, so you have to really earn the right to see the ending.
Overall - This is a must-have for MVS owners and I compel all of you Homecart owners to convert a copy as SNK somehow didn't deem this game worthy of an NGH release, Instead they gave us a sequel that left everyone cold after this masterpiece. As for NGCD owners, you're all SOL.
This game really grew on me, I am starting to agree with other esteemed forum members that hold this game in higher regard than that other Neo-Geo action series. Play it and I'm sure you'll get just as addicted as I am.
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by Dan Elektro