You like robots and explosions? You’ll love this week’s Retro Game of the Week!
The 16-bit console era was a wonderful time for many of us in our formative years. Though the NES and Sega Master system were nothing to scoff at, the vibrant and colorful games from the SNES and Genesis days burned an important after image into the collective consciousness we share as gamers. Also, it gave SNES and Genesis owners something to hate: each other. Side scrolling action games are absolutely a dime of dozen from this time period, but one stands out in my memory in particular for it’s excellent music, graphics, and very distinct anime setting and story.
Cybernator, released in 1992 in the US by Konami, had all of the giant robots and explosions our Super Nintendo’s could handle and more. Players took on the role of Jake, an assault suit pilot for the Federation who’s job is to blast bad guys in orbit and on Earth. The plot and setting could have been ripped right out of Mobile Suit Gundam, but in 1992 most of us didn’t care. The sprites and backgrounds all look great for the SNES capabilities and the music provides a good background for all the robotic destruction. The dialogue is the weakest part of the whole package, much of it localized poorly by folks at Konami, but the action is frenetic enough to make up for that shortcoming.
The game follows a pretty standard side-scrolling shooting control scheme, with additional weapons and power ups scattered throughout each level. Enemy soldiers and assault suits all look varied and have different attack patterns, and the multitude of weapons ensures blasting them to bits never gets old. Each mission has side objectives that can be completed or missed, but the game has two endings depending on whether you took the time to be a perfectionist or not. Multiple endings is often a given nowadays but was a rare novelty back then, especially outside of RPG’s. Cybernator can be picked up these days for between ten and twenty bucks and can provide a great afternoon of nostalgia especially if your a fan of sci-fi anime like Mobile Suit Gundam.
Check back next week for another walk down electronic memory lane, and be sure to listen to the JustUs Geeks Podcast for all your tech, toy, games, and movie needs!
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