UN Squadron review - Super Nintendo

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The enemy menace have massed one of the biggest armies ever, bristling with tanks and aeroplanes of just about every description! This massive force is the tool of a dictator intent on taking over the world, and by the time this game starts, he's almost done it!As we speak, emeny forces are massing to take over the last remaining alliance base: Area 88. Only three pilots remain with which to take out the enemy, namely Shin Kazama, Greg Gates and Mickey Simon. It's their job to take to the scrolling skies as the UN Squadron - the last remaining force upholding truth and justice (with a little help from some rather massive artillery and a choice of death-dealing ships!).But as time passes the enemy move ever nearer, so part of the UN Squardron's job involves protecting the last base from enemy attack. Strategy was never the good guys' forte, because the base is vulnerable from air, sea and land-based attack! So keep an eye out for enemy subs, lorries and stealth bombers!

What the Mean Machines staff thought


" The excitement level generated by Super R-Type was enough to have most people running for a change of underwear, but UN Squadron (or Area 88 as those funky Japs call it) is better still. It's got better graphics (and very artistic they are too), it hardly slows down at all, it's bigger, and it's very tough to master! The game's difficulty level is pitched at just the right level. Things start off pretty simple but by the time you reach level four, the sheer amount of enemy hardware out to blast you really makes things difficult. UN Squadron simply oozes polish, from the excellent intro to the massive explosion of the last end-of-level boss. If it comes to a toss-up between this and R-Type, UN Squadron comes out on tops every time. But if you're a really flush (or indeed, flash) geezer, get 'em both for the best console blasts available in the omniverse! "

" I thought that Super R-Type was good - but this is even better! Featuring knockout graphics, stunning sound, superlative gameplay and a tough, tough challenge, UN Squadron (or Area 88 as it's known in Japan) is one of the best blasters available on any system. It's not a true arcade conversion; instead it incorporates levels from the coin-op and adds a whole load of new features, making this a much bigger and more varied game. The graphics really are stupendous, with beautifully drawn backdrops and perfectly detailed sprites - check out the screenshots and see what I mean. What you can't see, though, is how it plays. But take it from me, this is a fast and hard game. The action is frantic, and much dodging and weaving is required to battle through the levels. The difficulty level is nicely balanced, and the action completely addictive, keeping you playing until your trigger finger aches. I've already said that Super R-Type is a must for your Super Famicom. This is even more of a must! "


Overall Score94%

Retrospective comments


Although the SNES has a reputation of being a bit of a duffer when it comes to shooters, there are plenty of stunning blasters on the console - US Sqaudron being one of them.

Based on the brilliant Area 88 anime, the game is full of innovation. The player has the ability to pick their attack plan, and although there are only a set number of levels this does give the impression of freedom - something usually lacking in this type of game.

The graphics are simply gorgeous, with some brilliantly designed enemies. The action is thick and fast, too. Some shooter purists will no doubt be put off that the player has an energy bar, thus removing the tension of one-hit kills, but everyone else will enjoy what is one of the best 2D shooters of the 16-bit generation.

Tris Wicks - 05 Nov 2008, 01:42 GMT

I re-bought a snes to play this game. It's still awesome.

Richy Girth - 08 Feb 2009, 22:44 GMT

Fantastic game. I loved this.
As well as its sequel 'Carrier Airwing' in the arcades.

Very representative of the pinnacle of 16bit arcade shoot em ups back then. Basic but classic stuff.
The Forgotten Worlds style Zenny/weapons system was a familar feature in the Capcom universe at that time, at it fit this game like a glove. The graphics and sound were top notch and the gameplay was smooth and balanced feeling. Particularly satisfying wallop behind most of the weapons and imaginative end bosses.

If the UN was no good for anything else, its existance would be single handedly justified by being something to name this game after. :p

Dan - 25 Feb 2009, 16:58 GMT

The Girth sez it all - this game is the reason the United Nations was actually created. What a total and utterly fantabulously warm wagina of a game this was, it was soooooooo perfect in every way. The action itself was bang-on, but the elements of character selection, plane/weapon purchasing, which route to take etc. etc. all rose it above it's competition and made it stand out as a true classic.

These games were great, they'd come out of nowhere and blow you away, all hail UN Squadron!

Adrian - 11 May 2009, 04:56 GMT

UN-Squadron/Area88. Hands down, THE BEST GAME on the SNES; PERIOD!

ONLY Gradius3 and a FEW OTHER 2D SideScrollingShooters Can pull off something THIS maginificient on a 16-Bit Console and STILL have STAYING POWER after all these years!

I REALLY hope ONE DAY they bring this game bak on a Next-Gen Console or a Souped-Up Sequel/Update 4 PSNetwork/XBLive!

Till then, I await the call as I fly toward the heavens with my unstoppable fighter jet while laying waste to all my enemies in a STORM of hellfire!


Zed - 20 Jun 2010, 23:43 GMT

I started out playing R-type as the first side-scrolling shoot 'em up to SNES, but a few years later I found this piece of kick-ass at a very low price. It was one of the most appreciated games of my younger days, and just yesterday I picked it up and ran through it.

Heck, as a "youngster" (only 20 atm) I never realized what I loved so much with this game (except the gigantic, hectic and variating bosses). I guess as said in the review(s) the impression of freedom is an important factor. Choose your pilot, your favorite special weapons for each mission, buy new planes at your own discretion... You really can beat this game in many ways!

But most important for me, you have a life bar. Alright, I'm clearly no super-fan of shoot 'em ups, but this made the game a whole lot more bearable than R-type (which I also loved, frankly) and a lot of the other similar games, and without harming the difficulty.

A 5/5 for me this one :)

supernintendosp - 25 Nov 2010, 01:28 GMT

The very best shooter of all time. Its smooth graphics and catchy music are just the icing on the cake. It piqued my imagination when I was very little, and after becoming a master of video games, coming back to it was like going to "hellfire" heaven.

Its different difficulty types ("Gamer," anyone?) allow the slower-to-learn to play the game without really putting a dent in the game's polished performance.

The only thing that the arcade version has on this one is the arcade's two-player mode, and the sad lack of it on this one. DO NOT let that bum you out though.

If you've been looking for something to master over years and really triumph over, U.N. Squadron is the game for you. It is for me. Still the ultimate.

Signature - 18 Feb 2011, 08:52 GMT

Great, great game. It's funny how all the best games for the SNES seemed to come out in its first year though... This and Contra Spirits were the first games I played on the Super Famicom, and all of a sudden my Megadrive suddenly looked antiquated!

Mean Machines Issue 12 - September 1991
Shoot 'Em Up Super Nintendo
Buy today!

Mega Game

UN Squadron

UN Squadron

UN Squadron

UN Squadron

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