Forgotten Old Games – Assault Suits Valken (Cybernator)

Hi everyone it´s me again.

Today is a special day because I´m starting a three part mega review of the Assault Suits series. For those who aren´t familiarized with this series I´m gonna explain a little about it.

In Japan there´s a series of games about mechs called Assaut Suits. I´m a huge fan of mechs [or mecha, it’s the same thing] and specially Japanese mechs so I´ve played a lot of mech games but this series has the best mecha games that I have played! Most of those games are pretty unknow so I decided to make a review of them. The three games that I´m gonna review will be:

Assault Suits Valken (SNES) => called “Cybernator” in US

Assault Suit Leynos (Sega Genesis) => called “Target Earth” in US

Assault Suit Leynos II (Sega Saturn) => released in japan only

So the first one to be reviewd is Assault Suits Valken for SNES.

Assault Suits Valken was released in 1992 in Japan and in 1993 in the US where it was renamed as Cybernator. There´s few differences between the two versions. The main difference I notice is that the American version, for some unknown reason, removed the characters portraits during the dialogs. I remember that a friend of mine mentioned that the American version also don´t have a scene where the president of the enemy nation commit suicide after being defeated but I have never beaten the American version, only the Japanese version so I´m not so sure about it.

Valken´s plot  it´s not very original but is pretty decent for a 1992 action game. In the future, all earth´s fossil fuels are depleted and become the main reason behind a great war between two nations.

These nations are The Axis and the Earth Federation. (sounds just like Mobile Suit Gundam´s plot…)

You take the role of Jake, a soldier that serves the Federation´s army and as in all this game series, soldiers use those humanoid mechs called “Assault Suits” to fight. Jake and his platoon main objective is to destroy the most powerfull Axis´s mech, the Bildvorg.

Something that is really awesome in this game is that during action, the main characters keep talking to each other, revealing lot cool details of the plot itself.

Valken´s gameplay is very “realistic”. You really feels the weight of your mech when you jump and move around; the physics is very realistic for a 2d game. You can jump, hover for a certain amount of time, punch and even dash. So, for example if you punch some enemy it will cause damage on him but if you dash and them hit him with a directly punch while dashing, the amount of damage will be very superior. If you´re in the space there´s no gravity so you´ll feel the inertia of your movements so if you´re walking in an asteroid and suddenly jumps you´ll go up forever because there´s no gravity of course.

There´s also a bunch of choices in the weapons department as well. In the beginning, you start with a standard machine gun and during the game you can get other weapons like Missiles and laser beams. These weapons can be upgraded if you collect lots of “power chips”.

During the combat you can also defend yourself using a shield. It´s very useful because in this game there are bullets everywhere.

As you progress through the game you need to take some actions that can make a huge difference in the end. For example, there´s a stage that you need to destroy the main engines of the enemy space station before it enters in the Earth´s atmosphere atmosphere (I love this stage, it´s EPIC). So if you fail to destroy the engines before that you´ll fail and the station´ll crash on Earth but the game isn´t going to end and you´ll proceed to the next mission and this will change some events in the plot during the rest of the game. This game has two different endings, one “good” and one “bad”  depending on how well you´ve succeded during the game.

There are a total of seven stages in this game and limited continues with no password or save feature so you´ll need time and practice to finish this one.

The graphics are superb. I´m freaking serious, there´s a lot of cool details in this game like when you shoot the bullet capsules will fly around. Firing in the ground or walls will left marks. If you destroy an enemy assault suit the pilot destroyed mech.

When you hover too close of a wall or something like that dust´ll be raised because of the engine´s propulsion.

Animations are really fluid, everything is heavily detailed and the mecha design is awesome too. The characters and mechas are very well draw in the cutscenes, looks like a high quality anime.

Sound effects and musics are very well done too, check out this playlist that I found on youtube:

So that´s all I can say about Assault Suits Valken so take the rom and check it out because next week I´m gonna review Assault Suit Leynos for Sega Genesis!

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