A remake of Hudson’s classic Famicom/NES vertical shooter from 1986. The GameCube remake version of Star Soldier features upgraded 3D graphics and characters, while the gameplay remains in 2D. There are a total of 10 stages, and the game modes include Attack Mode, Normal Mode, 2 Minute and 5 Minute Modes.
Colorful, with really nice 3D elements. Nothing comparable to Ikaruga, but still rather nice. It might get hard to see what’s what, but that’s pretty standard practice for these frenetic kind of shooters. The game is quite ugly compared to today’s games, though it does run at a very solid frame rate. There are quite a variety of enemies but, sadly, bosses look pretty lame.
It’s easy to get the hang of Star Soldier: shoot constantly and try to demolish everything on the screen, grab power-ups, which grant upgraded weapons or allow you to incur one extra hit. The game plays pretty much as the NES version does. You might think Ikaruga was hard, but this game is actually just as hard. Dying results in you losing all power-ups and the game might become a bit too difficult for the average player. Controlls are easy to learn, A to fire, B or Z to use a laser to destroy incoming blasts infront of your ship, which is vitally important most of the time. You can switch speeds for your ship by pressing R. If you like a game in which you get into the action from the get-go, then Star Soldier is the game for you.
This is actually the best facet of the game. It has some really good rock-music. You’ll want to continue through the whole game just to listen to the great soundtrack. Sound effects do their thing, though, nothing spectacular here.
Without a two-player option you might finish the game quite quickly, and probably only once, there really isn’t that much replay value. Sure there are a couple of unlockable items, but nothing except the great music that’s going make you play the game for endless hours, and even that’s a stretch.
To sum the game up in one big chunk: Star Soldier’s an easy to learn classic shoot ’em up with great music, and a couple of nice unlockable bonuses. Not much time was spent on the graphical part, and not including a two-player mode in the game is simply insane these days. Since the Gamecube lacks an abundance of quality shoot ’em ups, Star Soldier and/or Ikaruga are the games to focus on. If you want great music while playing an old-skool scrolling shooter, then pick this one, or else go with Ikaruga. Either way, you win.