Retro Game of the Day! Gun Force
Gun Force by Irem, 1991 arcade release. Ported a year later to the SNES by BITS.
Here's an interesting little tidbit. First of all, you can't beat the game's name "GUN FORCE BATTLE ENGULFED TERROR ISLAND." Yeah, that's a mouthful alright. Secondly, you can't argue with the game's teme - Contra-style shooter on the 16-Bit SNES? Why weren't there a few more of these, anyway?
Whatever the case, this game lacked something special to put it up there with the greats. An odd name, a bizarre box, and some very drab screenshots relegated Gun Force to the end of the line in spite of its fabulous pedigree. What should have been a celebrated run-n-gun was likely done-in by a late release date and bland aesthetic.
Still, Gunforce has a few things going for it. Maybe not the most wonderfully designed layouts, GF made up for a lot of things by letting you climb about several different vehicles/machines to mow down your enemies in style. Something that was barely touched upon in Contra and the like, Irem really nailed the point in this game and it became a wonderful feature.
Gun Force was followed by a sequel, before ultimately morphing into one of the most-loved, enduring franchises in all of videogaming: Metal Slug. That's correct, that series had it's origins directly tracked back to this little game. Isn't that reason enough to check it out?