Battle Squadron review - Sega Megadrive
Earth has been at war with evil Barrax Empire for hundreds of years. Millions are dead, and not many people are very happy about it. Two such people are Commanders Berry D Mayers and Lori Bergen. After a successful battle mission, they have been kidnapped by the Barrax Empire on the return journey to Terrainia - and it just so happens that they're being held hostage on the flag ship of the Barrax Empire's battle fleet.
Enter the player (and his friend, if he's got one). They've risen to the challenge of busting out Bergen and Mayers and travel along the vertically scrolling worlds of the Barrax Empire, destroying the enemy battle fleet in their search for the hostages.
There's a huge variety of enemy craft in the fleet, and arcade shoot 'em skills are tested to the max if you choose to take on the enormous fleets of fighters and even more enormous mid-level and end-of-level guardians!
What the Mean Machines staff thought
Although Battle Squadron has the option for simultaneously two-player blasting and a full screen to its credit, there's a couple of major let-downs that stop it from being a terrific game. First of all, the extra weaponry is dull and uninteresting compared to the likes of Truxton. Your joypad is also likely to wear out because a rapid fire option hasn't been included. The sound is a bit disappointing. Apparently, Rob Hubbard was contractually bound to copy the Amiga version's tunes and they're not really suited to the game at all - this strikes me as a real waste of the Hubbard's talent. Battle Squadron is still a very addictive game with excellent graphics, I just think that the potential of the game has been fully realised. Try out Hellfire for the ultimate Megadrive blast.
Sporting some stunning graphics, this is one of the most attractive Megadrive blasters around - the backdrops and sprites are excellent. It's not just a pretty face, either - it's tough too, especially when you play it on the single-player option. The odds are really stacked against you, with a huge amount of enemy craft all with their sights locked onto your ship - if you don't grab some power-ups quick (and hold onto them) you don't stand much of a chance. Personally I love this sort of situation, but there are some people in the office who found the high difficulty level really offputting. Check it out if you're a hardened blasting fan.
Don't be mistaken: on its default settings, this game certainly makes you earn every point of your score. It's harder than my mum's meatloaf and relentless in its intent to bombard you with as many bullets as it can muster. To help you along, there are a few unique options to access from the get-go to tone down the game's death-spewing agenda.
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