Starblade Alpha



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A mechanized planet named "Redeye" has reached the Federation of Planets and is heading towards your mother planet. Redeye must be neutralized by destroying its power source located in the center of the planet. You are a star fighter named Geosort and your mission, Operation Starblade, will be to reach Redeye and destroy the Octopus power reactor that controls the defence systems of Redeye. The mother ship is under attack and is unable to navigate. You are instructed to pursue the fighters.

Starting your mission 508 km from Redeye, the team leader will be instructing you on where you should be concentrating your fight. Flying about in space on autopilot, shooting everything in sight and trying to keep the energy shields up is what Starblade is all about. You just point using the control pad and shoot everything in sight aiming for the red areas. Each ship or laser defence system has one or more red areas which indicate where you should shoot. Some of them will be firing back at you and you'll have to shoot them to avoid being hit.

Once you have broken through the enemy's last defenses you will descend to the planet Redeye and enter through the enemy access passages. Your shooting skills will be put to a test while you navigate through different ravines and passages avoiding the many defence systems. If you are successful, you will be given a chance to destroy the Octopus power reactor. Once destroyed, planet Redeye will crack up and disintegrate.

Receiving orders to head back to the mother ship, more enemy ships are detected and you are asked to eliminate them. You discover a battleship and must penetrate to its center to destroy a crystal like object. Once that is done, the game is almost over.

Starblade comes in two graphical modes that are both in 3D. The first mode is the same as the arcade version and is not textured, while the second is a pre-rendered fully textured mapped version. Having the two modes is quite neat for comparisons between the old and the new. Although the textured version is nicer to look at, I found the non-textured version to be easier to play being able to travel further before my shields went down. You'll find the score located in the top middle of the screen, the energy shield power in the bottom left, and the distance left to your destination in the bottom right.

When your shields go down you are given up to three continues that will restore them and retain your score. A map is displayed to show the distance you have traveled and how far you are from your destination. Once the continues run out, the game will be over. Points are awarded each time you blow something up or hit a red area on a target. At the end, the Wall of Great Fighters will be displayed with each name appearing from different angles and spinning around, all in 3D.

The sound in the game is not bad. Lots of laser sounds accompanied by the Team Leader who is constantly giving out different instructions and information. The explosions sound like balloons bursting except that the sound is muffled providing more of an explosive sound. A warning system will inform you of different events such as, "We are under attack" and "Energy shields decreasing".


Starblade is a shooting game and nothing else. You don't control anything on your ship except for where you shoot. If you like shooting games, then this game is for you. But if you are good at shooting games, then this game may be long enough for you since there are no options or difficulty levels to be set. I myself had fun playing the game and came within seconds of finishing it. I'll get it next time!


In North America:

Namco Hometek, Inc.,
150 Charcot Ave., Suite A,
San Jose, CA 95131-1102

In Europe

In UK:

Namco Limited,
25/27 Mossop Street,
Knightsbridge, London SW3 2LY

In Asia

In Japan:

Namco Limited,
2-1-21, Yaguchi, Ota-Ku,
Tokyo, Japan


Overall: ***


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