Super Aleste (a.k.a. Space Megaforce) (SNES – 1992)
My 8th favourite video game of all time is a space shoot-’em-up, although one that may not be hugely well known. However, it was one that I played as a kid, and fondly remember.
The basic premise of the game is that an alien sphere has invaded the Earth, and we have to save it, piloting the ship Super Aleste through 12 different areas. But stories don’t really matter too much in shoot-’em-ups, as we’re more interested in the action!
One of the notable things about Super Aleste is the vast array of weapons available. There are 8 different weapon types, with 7 power levels. From what I’ve seen on YouTube, different people seem to prefer different weapons – personally, I always found the laser the most useful weapon, although not so much in its weakened state.
With Space Aleste I always get a great satisfaction out of just blowing things up. I remember that, when I was a kid, and was going through Area 8 for the first time, my brother commented on the fact that I was making my way through, and blowing up, the entire alien fleet. Which was fun!
The game was called Super Aleste in Japan and Europe, but, for reasons unknown, in America it was renamed Space Megaforce. Also, there were some changes to the story around the action between the original Japanese version of the game, and the American and European versions. In the Japanese version, the Super Aleste was piloted by two people, a man called Raz, and an alien girl called Thi. Thi is instrumental is destroying the alien sphere at the end of the game, as revealed in the ending of the Japanese version. These characters were removed from the American and European versions of the game, with the ship just being piloted by a single unknown pilot, and the American and European versions have a completely different ending. If there’s anyone out there interested in seeing some of the differences in the Japanese version, you can see them here.
Shoot-’em-ups are a genre of game I quite like, and I have a few of them on my SNES, but I’m not aware of much in the way of modern shoot-’em-up games. It’s a type of game that works very well in 2D, but since modern consoles focus more on 3D graphics, this classic video game genre appears to have been left behind, which I think is a shame. (Although, if anyone does know of any modern 2D shoot-’em-ups, please let me know!)
Join me again next week where I’ll be revealing my 7th favourite video game of all time, a game that started a series that is still going strong today...