Back in the 90’s it was a bullet-hell of a time for shump lovers. Assault Suit Leynos, or Target Earth as it was known back then, was released by Masaya for Sega Genesis and Sega Mega Drive. The golden day of 16-bit gaming was an exciting time, and it’s no different now, just everything looks better. Developed by Dracue Software, Assault Suit Leynos returns with Rising Star Games letting us have a taste of the action. This mech shoot’em up has been reworked with all new HD visuals, but does Assault Suit Leynos stand out from the crowd? If you’re an old-school shooter fan then walk this way because this horizontal-scrolling shooter serves up a full scale war that looks as good as it plays.
Earth has just recovered from a fourth world war and things are looking bright and prosperous once again. That is until an unknown enemy emerges from outer space and wants to change things back round again. You guessed it, don that suit and prepare for monumental battles in the skies as gigantic boss battles coupled with a stupendous amount of enemies come rushing forth. For first time players it’s an eye full. A screen full of mayhem, bullets, explosions, rotating weapons displays and to make things more interesting you’re subjected to blasts of the Japanese language. Assault Suit Leynos takes a few minutes of settling-in time, but once you’ve homed in, there is a rewarding and extremely fun shooter to explore.
The game is a mission-based one, eight in total, and completing each objective opens the next and pushes you deeper into space. Tasks include escorting allies to safety or rushing forth and taking down enemy craft as swiftly as possible; it’s a varied display of tasks ahead with an arrow pointing you to where the action is. The different types of firepower is fun to experiment with and there’s lots to burn your fingers on. Bear in mind some of these badass guys are large space craft which take time to dismantle, so a good aim and the right combination of weaponry helps. More weapons are unlocked as you progress and the starting menus let you select your favourites before locking and loading. There are six different weapon slots to fill including boosts and a fancy shield. Firing such weapons does take time to get use to as aim is controlled via the directional pad or left stick. This action also is used for movement too, a little strange at first but you’ll soon get to grips. There is a huge amount of satisfaction to each payload you release, and weapons feel high and mighty and deliver a knockout punch.
Stomping about in your cyborg battle armour feels hefty; that said, once airborne, nipping in and out of oncoming attacks can still be performed with nimble ease. You have the best of both worlds and that’s where the game shines. One level you’re wading through dense woodland and metal structures on foot, the next you’re flying high in outer space. A perfect mix and both complement each other.
Even though cocooned in a titanium shell, chunks of your health bar deplete quickly thanks to the scores of bullets flying about. I wouldn’t say this is a bullet hell shooter, but it does have its moments. Health is restored over a short period of time. It’s just a matter of dodging everything on screen until you hit full strength again. You can select a shield which flips up with a tap on the shoulder buttons but I found myself preferring to fill my weapon slots with fearsome firepower.
Assault Suit Leynos isn’t brutally hard. You can complete the game in less than three hours, and it’s helped also by some very nice save and checkpoints along the route. The game includes Arcade Mode, Classic Mode and Challenge Mode (featuring both the Arcade and Classic Mode stages) along with a short anime sci-fi story. The game comes with a cool thirty five trophies and a Platinum trophy too.
Huge explosions detonate and erupt over intense fights, Assault Suit Leynos wallops everything at you in abundance. It’s a bright and very smart addictive shooter that stands out of the crowd. Even though the campaign is a short one, you’ll want to return to the fight to better those ranks and unlock the ton of extras. Assault Suit Leynos is a worthy purchase and can stand proudly in your PSN vault for years to come.
Lizard Rating 8/10