Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Retro Game of the Day! Sinistron

Retro Game of the Day! Sinistron

Sinistron was a product of the year 1991, and it was printed onto a HuCard available for your TurboGrafx-16 higher-energy video game system. What's that? You didn't have a TurboGrafx-16 higher-energy video game system? For shame!

To note, a lot of people didn't have a TG-16 either. A few reasons for this, mainly it was mishandled big-time with the marketing. Another was that a lot of the best software was only available in the system's motherland Japan, so while the Japanese kids were enjoying ports of Shinobi, Ninja Gaiden, Golden Axe, Rainbow Islands et al., (actually - did that one release over here, I forget - probably not!) we American kids - those few of us who actually took the plunge and bought this system - were playing tons of shooters like this, right here.

Not to insinuate that shooters were a bad way to go - not hardly. It's just that this system was being downpoured upon by the Shooter Gods pretty much indefinitely, and other than that there was not much else going on. For my money, shooters were looking and playing better on the other system (Sega Genesis) with the extra parallax layers and such. Yeah TG-16 had R-Type (cream of the shooter crop!) But that was at launch, and after some time it, too, got a little stale. Okay not really. One thing I can't seem to get tired of, is R-Type..

Anyway, on to Sinistron. So, lost in a sea of shooters, and this one didn't do too much to differentiate itself from the pack. Each game of tis type had it's gimmick, here was Sinistron's - you had this giant mouth-like apparatus affixed to the front of your cockpit. You could keep it closed, open it partway, or blow it completely open. Depending on your choice, your weapon ability would be stronger or weaker - but to detract, if you were maxing out firepower with a fully-opened maw, you'd also be making your ship more vulnerable to enemy fire (the out shell of the maw was impervious to some bullets). Anyway, there was your choice. Of course you could pick up the usual assortment of weapon types, and the little options who ghost your ship.. you had a little charge-attack remniscient of R-Type as well.

Anyway that's about the gist of this game. It was preceded and followed by much better, but I suppose it was a solid enough blaster to earn some merit. Personally, I never got too far into the game as the levels were drawn-out, tedious, and not very exciting. As well, the graphics - not bad, but they were not quite up to spec with, say, a Technosoft game or a Compile game. A lot of that gooey bio-mechanical space junk of which I was never too fond. Anyway, as far as I was concerned, I kinda liked the title music and the first level tune as well.

My favorite thing about Sinistron (besides the tunes) was the fact that the original Japanese edition was called "Violent Soldier." I remember hearing that name dropped back in the day in the game mags, but never realizing ti was referring to this game until years later. Sigh, so there was no separate Commando-style kill-fest called "Violent Soldier?" It just was the Japanese "Sinistron?" Bummer! They always had weird funky-named games that'd pop-up once in awhile- Bloody Wolf springs immediately to mind. And who could forget Silent Debuggers. Aw, well..

Anyway, take Sinistron for a spin if you like. As for me, I will keep my alien organism space-assaults limited to Life Force for the time being.

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