February 21, 2020
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CGR Undertow – STAR SOLDIER review for NES

I learned a few things from this game. One,
video games are like ex-girlfriends. They basically hate you and want to destroy you,
but for some reason, you keep playing their game. Two, any enemies you have in life, will
always come at you in formation, so pay attention. Except ex-girlfriends, they come at you in
public. And three…just ‘cause the Internet says
this’ll make you invincible… Doesn’t mean it makes you invincible. Do they even test these codes, before putting
‘em on the Internet? Like, what does the FCC even do? It’s Star Soldier, for the Nintendo Entertainment
System. Of course, “entertainment” is a relative
term. Some people go see Judd Apatow movies for entertainment, some people tie up their
lovers with ropes and make ‘em wear latex bodysuits. And if you think that’s weird,
wait ’til she’s your ex-girlfriend. Point is, “entertainment” means different things
to different people. To some people, Star Soldier is entertainment… To others, it’s a deal breaker, probably
time to see other people. This is a brutal, brutal game, that’s harder
than any game ever needs to be, and makes you angry and confused…but even after it
abuses the hell out of you, you want to play it again. And not just ‘cause you’re tied up and
have no choice. So this sick little sh*t of a game was originally
released in 1986. Three years later, it came to America by way of Taxan. Which sounds like
an alien brought it here, but that’s the name of a company. A company that, as of 2003,
only had nine employees. Chances are, one of them might actually be Taxan, there’s
no way of knowing. You fly a starship called “Caesar,” and
you have to fly around and blow up the “Star Brains.” Which are a thing that may or may
not actually exist, there’s no way of knowing—NASA’s too busy with Pluto selfies. Maybe if Taxan
worked at NASA, we’d have some answers. Did the Apollo 12 mission encounter resistance
from an alien presence? Why is Star Soldier, so goddamn hard? And why is the Internet, spreading false Game
Genie codes? What’s the connection? What are you hiding?
NASA? Anyway, I’ll tell you what the truth is.
Star Soldier is the truth. This game, is the truth. It’s an enormous pain in the ass,
I kind of hate it…but that’s the foundation, of any lasting relationship. Which is what
this one started, it launched a whole series of Star Soldier games. And I mean, who wouldn’t
want a part two, with this dreamboat? Wait, why’s he have a pistol? What good’s
a pistol gonna do in space? Unless there’s something else you’re not
telling us. NASA. You know what I’d like to do? I’d like
to fly around in space with the windows down. Blast some fools, blast some NWA…listen,
I’ve looked into the science. Unlike Game Genie codes, it seems thorough and well-researched.
At least I got all these neat weapons, though. I wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds without
‘em, phrasing. Game’s such a pain in the ass. And yet I continue to play. I guess maybe I’m the sick one. Speaking objectively, though, it’s not the
best NES shoot ‘em up—far from it, in fact. Even for the NES, the graphics are kind
of weak. It’s a little bit lifeless, and flat…the sound, on the other hand, is awesome.
Some really great music here. And the game plays well, too. Only problem is, it’s kind
of thin, there’s only like 16 levels…and kind of cheap sometimes, too. Like if you don’t kill the boss in time,
it f*cking escapes and you have to start over. What is this, a poorly run zoo? No, no, it’s not. It’s actually, despite
its shortcomings and frustrations, a pretty fun shooter. In fact, I especially liked how
the levels have depth. Like, you can actually fly behind or under the obstacles sometimes,
which is pretty cool. Kind of hides you from the enemies. And I have no idea what the purpose
is, but you can also shoot what are apparently living faces on these structures. And giant
eyeballs toward the end of the levels. Maybe it’s for points or something. Look, blame NASA. Not me. Anyway, it’s recommended,
provided you have a Game Genie, and/or actual codes, and/or actual video game skill, and/or
actual prescription painkillers. It’s Star Soldier, for the NES.

Tony wyaad