version: jp - year: 1996 - developer: naxat - publisher: naxat - format: super famicom, cartridge - condition: mint - rarity: hard to find
The rendered intro is pretty cool
6 stages, high difficulty,
The orange orb floating will
give you an ultra-rapid shot. Very effective in latter levels
out of the thickness of the
...into a breathtaking
scenario where the boss awaits
While flying over
extremely thick layers of clouds, relentless waves of enemies
keep coming out of the grey, but then, for a couple of seconds
you fly out of the clouds as the sun- glare blinds you before
you sink back into darkness...
The ending sequence consists of 1 single static shot...in pure shmups tradition :)
Review-Not to be confused with the uber-rare pcb Spriggan Powerd.
When it comes to shooters, I have never been a huge Mech fan. The reason is simple: usually Mechs tend to be bulkier than spaceships and when your sprite is too big, it becomes hard to dodge bullets successfully…Also, many of the best Mech shooters out there either have a bulky main sprite (like in Assault Suits Valken /Cybernator or Psyvariar 2) or they have laborious slow-paced gameplay with strategy elements like in Ex-Ranza (Ranger X) and Bangai-Oh. The Spriggan / Robot Aleste series seem to be a lucky exception: they feature Mechs instead of spaceships but they are just straight shooters.
Anyway, Spriggan Powered has many distinctive features: The rendered intro looks nice and crisp while in-game graphics are for the most part well done. Interestingly, the dark, machine-like look of the cover-art doesn't actually reflect the universe of the game.
Except for the last stage, you won't be flying over industrial, gray-looking futuristic landscapes but rather over forests (nicely rendered through Mode 7), waterfalls, clouds, oceans etc. Spriggan Powered bosses normally consist of 1 on 1 duels against other Mechs but occasionally, some bigger boss will show up. Boss fights will often require you to either charge up your weapon to unleash a more powerful attack or to use the shield (both options deplete a meter that loads up when shooting enemies). Using the shield is crucial because your Mech is often to slow (or big) to dodge bullets constantly.
Interestingly, flying very close to bullets without dying will get you "tech bonuses", an idea that was later borrowed by other shooters like Psyvariar and Shikigami No shiro. When the screen gets too busy, slow-down and sprite flickering occur but luckily, this doesn't happen very often (the SFC CPU runs on 3.58 Mhz, remember?!).
There are 4 weapons to choose from (rapid fire, homing missiles etc), but none of them cover a wide enough area to make you feel safe, so it will be necessary to constantly move to take out most of the enemies.
There are only 3 credits available to complete the 6 levels of the game, and although far from being impossible, Spriggan Powered puts up a decent challenge.
Finally, I just wanted to spend a few words on the music, which sounds a bit like that of Gynoug. Personally, I thought it was great (especially in Level 3) but it might not appeal to everyone since it is significantly different from standard shooters tunes.
To conclude, Spriggan Powered is probably one of the best shooters on SFC, probably up there with Axelay, Area 88 and Super Aleste.
Bottom line: It might not seem as polished as other shooters on super famicom, but I greatly enjoyed the gameplay here. Addictive and tough like a good old shooter should always be! 8,5/10