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Phalanx The Enforce Fighter A-144

version: jp - year: 1992 - developer: kemco - publisher: kemco - format: PCB - condition: mint - rarity: uncommon

 

Phalanx levels feature an incredible amount of layers of parallax scrolling

 

This boss will spit tons of bullets and one would never think that with a 3.58Mhz CPU, the SNES would actually be able to do that

 

This boss is irritating since spiders will keep on jumping unpredictably from the floor to the ceiling and vice-versa...

 

The last boss isn't very hard, unlike the rest of the game

 

1-Access the first part by running onto the small red sign right above the ship...

 

2-You'll suddenly be surrounded by many power ups and look-alike powerups. Destroy the fake ones and collect the genuine ones

 

3-To access the second part of the hidden level, run into the sign you see in front of your ship (bottom, slightly to the left)

 

4-Back to the hidden cave and now, it's boss time. Lots of nasty bullets all over the place. Play like a hero, kill the damn crab and collect the weapons and power ups he leaves behind

 

While in Europe the cover art remained the same as the Japanese version, in America things went differently. In an attempt to differentiate the product from the sea of shooters on offer, the box designers came out with... a bearded old redneck in overalls intent to play the banjo while a spaceship is flying up in the sky!

Review - Phalanx was originally released in 1991 by Zoom on the X68000 computer and a year later, Kemco ported it (apparently with mixed results) to the Super Famicom and the SNES.

About 10 years later, a GameBoy Advance version based on the SNES port was released. The Super Famicom version of Phalanx might not be as good as the X68000 original, but it still is one of the better shooters on Nintendo's 16 bit console (not that it was a hard thing to do, given the poor choice of shmups on the system).

Although occasionally uneven, the audio-visuals are generally convincing. In certain spots, Phalanx looks very good while other times, the murky color palette and the lack of inspiration of some backgrounds will badly hurt the graphics. Also, the multi-layered parallax scrolling is a bit jerky but nevertheless, it makes a good impression .

On hard mode, bullets will be flying everywhere with very little slow-down while nicely drawn mid-level and end-level bosses will never fail to put constant pressure on your nerves. Levels tend to be pretty long and keeping a high level of concentration through-out is really no joke. Luckily, your ship can take up to 3 hits before going down and to avoid speedy enemy fire, you'll be able to increase or decrease the speed of your ship (up to 3 levels of speed).

The weapon selection is decent, also considering that you can keep every weapon you come across (although when you lose a ship, you also lose the weapon in use). I must say that I didn't really find a weapon of choice as all weapons seemed to be slightly underpowered for my taste (except maybe the laser).

In the end, Phalanx is a nice little shmup a bit on the hard side. Worth checking but only if you are looking for a shooter specifically for the SNES as it is an overall good attempt at the genre, but it certainly doesn't break new grounds.

Secret Stage: there is a secret level in Phalanx which can be accessed from level 2. I don't know if it's exclusive to the SFC/SNES version or if it was also present in the original X68000 version.

Bottom line: a fairly challenging and reasonably good looking traditional shooter. 7/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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