• Allan Jenks

Game Review #063: Super Hydorah (Nintendo Switch)

Updated: Oct 8, 2019


Reviewer: Allan J.

Developer: Locomalito, Gryzor87, Abylight

Publisher: Abylight

Category: Action, Shooter, Arcade, Multiplayer

Release Date: 11.15.2018



Download Super Hydorah from the Nintendo eShop here.


Keep Coming Back For More

As I have stated in the past, shoot ‘em up games are in a genre that I both love and hate at the same time. I love them because they are fun, intense, engaging, challenging, and near impossible to beat if you, like myself, suck at them. That is my one reason for hating them. That never stopped me from playing them, mind you, I just never got too familiar with anything above level 3 or 4 in most games. That’s alright though, because back in the days before games became cinematic novels to simply sit back and watch, while lightly interacting from time to time, people used to demand actual replay value in their games—hell, as a kid, if I was lucky, I would rack up two, maybe three games a year during birthday and Christmas, and the rest of the year, I would rely on the occasional weekend rentals to get me by in between.


I needed something to stand the test of time, and what better way to do that than by playing a game so hard to beat that you have to play for months to even get close to finishing it? The developers knew that there were a lot of kids out there like me who needed levels 1-3 to look and play beautifully, time after time after time, and for that, I thank them. Super Hydorah is one more addition to the ever-growing list of shoot ‘em ups that I cannot beat. However, with the addition of a seldom-included local multiplayer mode, as long as I have a friend who doesn’t suck at shooters, I stand a chance of not only seeing some of the higher levels, but actually playing them as well!



A Variety of Ways To Die

The gameplay is what you would expect from a game in the realm of Gradius, R-Type, or U.N. Squadron - good ole side-scrolling shooter action. There are various different weapons to unlock as you progress through the levels—one day, I am sure I will get them all myself—that you can select to mix and customize for your arsenal for each level. The stages split off into different paths that you can choose, rather than a forced linear progression, which is nice. It gives you a bit of variety too, especially if you are stuck on a particular stage and can’t beat it, though all of the stages are pretty difficult, so it’s not really any easier either way you choose to go. There is also an easy mode, for folks like me who aren’t good enough to select “pilot” as the difficulty.


Controls

The controls stand out to me in Super Hydorah. They are incredibly responsive, nice and forgiving for the most part, and overall very intuitive. I may die a lot, but I cannot blame it on the controller for this one! In addition, the weapons fire with a nice speed, and the power ups are very useful, ranging from double-firing, to having remote turrets flying around behind you, firing at the enemies.



The bosses are pretty intense, but not impossibly difficult. Right from the start though, you are shown that the patterns are not going to be easy to learn and overcome, and you may sometimes just rely on a bit of dumb luck to get in some of the shots. The good news is that you can pick up shield recharges and not die instantly, so it makes the game a bit more casual, and you get unlimited continues. Of course, you have the option of making it one-shot deaths as well, for all of you pros out there who need that kind of challenge in your lives.


Audio/Visuals

This is another retro-style throwback game, this time to the tune of the wonderful and oh-so-nostalgic 16-bit era—one of my personal favorites for this genre! The graphics, while retro in style, have a touch of modern styling, and the overall aesthetic of the stages and the enemies is very pleasing. The sounds are a throwback to a simpler time as well, but again with a touch of modern polishing. This game very successfully captures everything I love about the 90s and shooters. It looks just as great in handheld—and controls just as well—as it does on the big screen.



Wrapping Up

While I still haven’t beaten this game—and honestly, if I waited until I did before writing this review, you would never actually get to read it—I still enjoyed myself immensely whilst dying repeatedly in a beautiful 16-bit cloud of failure and fiery debris. The co-op local multiplayer mode was my favorite part of this game, allowing me to experience some of the higher levels without waiting for half of eternity to memorize and complete the stages on my own. If you are a fan of the genre, or even just someone who wants to experience it semi-casually, then I would absolutely recommend adding Super Hydorah to your Switch library!


Final Score: 8/10


Download Super Hydorah from the Nintendo eShop here.


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*Review Code Provided by Abylight

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