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version: european - year: 1993 - developer: athena - publisher: activision - format: super nintendo, 8 mbit cartridge - condition: near mint- rarity: uncommon

Biometal features some neat special effects


These enemy ships will quickly surround your ship and act like bird flocks


Level 4 has beautifully drawn backgrounds


Level 5 is where the game becomes tougher. It will take you a few tries before knowing where to shoot


Level 6, the last stage is very short but pretty hard. These things are hard to kill! Destroy what you can and dodge the rest


The final boss will require many hits before expiring and when he gets low on health, he will throw an insane amount of bullets everywhere. These can pierce through your shield so use it only to attack. The top-right corner is kind of a safe spot.

Review - I use to own this game when I was still a teen and I could never get past level 3. Eventually, when I sold my SuperNes, the game had to go along with it and it got lost in the sands of time.

Only recently, I found out about the sequel so this triggered in me a sudden nostalgic attack that pushed me to grab the original Biometal once more.

Originally developed by Athena and published in 1993 in Japan , Activision got the rights to publish it in the west.

To differentiate Biometal from the sea of other similar games and probably to appeal to a wider audience, Activision replaced the soundtrack with a techno score by a popular (at least for the time!) techno band called 2 unlimited. I usually enjoy a lot techno music in shooters but this time around, I have to say that the music isn't as good as I remembered it to be. Some of the tracks aren't just evocative enough and some of them did get on my nerves after some time….

Looking at the misleading cover art, one could easily think of Biometal as being another direct rip-off of R-Type. Well, in reality things are much different.

Biometal is a very fast-paced shooter which actually plays nothing like Irem's classic. There is no trace of the POD for instance but by pressing the Y button, you'll activate a rotating shield. The instruction manual refers to it as the GAM or General Analog Mutant which in other words would be the designation of a prototype biological weapon. What is very interesting about it is that it can be used as a shield for defensive purposes or it can be aimed directly onto enemies although this will leave your ship wide open to enemy fire. Also when in use, the GAM drains its own energy bar so if you leave it activated for too long, you'll run out of energy. The GAM energy bar will start replenish itself when the GAM is not in use. This component adds a lot of strategy to a shooter that would have been otherwise very ordinary.

Aside from this cool gameplay concept, Biometal features some amazing audio-visuals. Graphically, Biometal is probably one of the best shooters on SNES. The multi-layered parallax scrolling is very smooth while backgrounds are richly decorated with detail and colors. Everything moves very fast and enemy sprites are big and very nicely drawn.

To conclude, Biometal is an unjustly underrated shooter that has been sadly over-looked by many players. If you still have a SNES, you should give it a chance because it will provide you with some very intense alas a bit short quality shmupping action.

Bottom line: tough, beautiful, with a fairly original weapons system. 9/10










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