Retro: VC Weekly #146

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe's guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo's download service. Written by Sam C Gittins.

Fans of scrolling shooters may be looking for something to satisfy their cravings and if so then this installment may interest you. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!

Available for download this week we have...

  • Super E.D.F

Points: 800
Publisher: Jaleco
Developer: Jaleco
Released: 1991
System: SNES

While well versed in many genres the SNES was somewhat lacking in one area when compared to its main rival at the time and that was the humble arcade shooter; while the Megadrive had such classics including Gynoug, Thunderforce IV and the immortal inspiration for the 'All Your Base' craze Zero Wing, Sega's console was certainly no stranger to the genre. Take the SNES on the other hand and it's somewhat lacking in quality with the first title to spring to mind quite often being Axelay with anything after that not being as well known, so most would argue that the console was somewhat lacking in this department.

In many ways Super E.D.F � not related to the more recent series that spawned a successful sequel on the Xbox 360 � is something of an underdog as it's not a title that immediately springs to mind as being brilliant but the more time you spend with it you start to realise that its subtle brilliance lies in the way that it shuns regular features of such a game like lives in favour of ship-shields. You have a stock of these and when they are knocked out you need to use a limited supply of continues which allow you to get back into the fight there and then from the point you were taken out; this is a refreshing change to the sometimes stressful approach of live which can have you unnecessarily repeating sections of a game just because you happened to slip up once.

Before starting you are presented with a choice of no less than eight weapon load-outs ranging from Grenades and Photons to the quite frankly fantastic Homing Laser which is most likely the best of the bunch though there is plenty of scope for experimentation here which adds to the replay value. There are no power-ups to collect though defeating waves of enemies will contribute to a power bar that when full enables you level up and what's more this form of increased power is retained even when you need to continue and adds a decent sense of progress which makes playing through the game all the more satisfying; not to mention that levelling-up causes the supporting orb craft that hovers around you to become more intelligent which can be interesting to see as you progress and is generally rather impressive.

The game stands out from the crowd fairly well thanks to these somewhat original elements, visually the game isn't bad though what it lacks in presentation it makes up for in well utilised graphical tricks that help to bring the experience to life; there are some decent end of level boss encounters too. Audio is worth a mention though it's nothing particularly stunning, though it's by no means terrible either just merely... functional.

Overall you're looking at a reasonable shooter here in Super E.D.F and while it may pale into insignificance against many shooters on the Megadrive it actually holds its own quite well as a SNES shooter. So if you've played all that the genre has to offer to date and have a shooter itch that needs scratching... badly then you could do a lot worse than this but if it's a case of choice from the whole VC library then you could do so much better.

Verdict : A shooter that holds its own, but only when standing alone.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

Sam Gittins
[email protected]

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