Developed by Saurus and released on the Neo-Geo in 1997, Shock Troopers delivers some of the most intense action in an overhead shooter. With an endless supply of heavy artillery, enemy soldiers, and tanks trying to eliminate you, there is very little time available to think about your next move.
Shock Troopers is a 2D overhead shooter that is very similar to Ikari Warriors, a classic shooter by SNK that was released in the 1980′s. Unlike Ikari Warriors, Shock Troopers offers eight characters to choose from with options to play alone or with a team of three soldiers. Choosing the ‘Lone Wolf’ option leaves you with a single solider with additional lives if you die. The ‘Team Battle’ option allows you to choose from three different soldiers. There are no additional lives when this option is chosen, so the game doesn’t end until the entire team is killed.
The gameplay will overwhelm you with enemy soldiers and war machines that fill the entire screen. Enemy soldiers will jump from cliffs, attack from behind sandbag barricades, and even surprise you by swimming through jungle rivers. While each soldier is equipped with a standard machine gun and fifteen grenades, additional weapons are available during combat.
There is a large selection of weapons that range from the standard 3-way spread gun to the powerful Vulcan machine gun. During some of the later stages, bazookas and rocket launches can be equipped to even out the odds. Since your soldiers are under constant enemy fire, it’s very important to destroy every crate, barricade and tower you come in contact with. These will sometimes contain health replenishers and/or 1-ups.
Shock Troopers has a total of 14 stages, but they are divided into three routes: the mountains, the jungle, and the valley. All three routes lead to the main objective, so the only way to experience every stage is to play the game more than once. This gives Shock Troopers additional replay value.
Despite having online co-op gameplay, Shock Trooper’s online community is small at best. Finding gamers online for a 2-player experience could take hours and it may discourage some people. This is a shame; Shock Troopers offers an excellent 2-player experience. When a player can be found online, the experience is smooth and has little-to-no-lag, despite the enormous amount of 2D graphics on-screen.
Graphically, Shock Troopers has aged well. The large sprites and colorful backgrounds look great in HD. The bosses, which fill the entire screen, look fantastic. Watching a massive tank roll in, with gun in hand, is a rush. Especially when the screen fills with projectiles and explosions.
As a shooter, Shock Troopers is a classic that still delivers enough action and gameplay to keep any gamer busy. Even if you’re not a fan of the Neo-Geo system, Shock Troopers – as a standalone game – will deliver hours of enjoyment.
Platform: Playstation 3
ESRB: T (Teen)
|The 2D graphics still look great after all these years.|
|Loud explosions, screams, and a rockin' soundtrack round out the experience.|
|The in-game controls are solid and the action is non-stop.|
|Fans of the genre who are looking for a challenge shouldn't overlook Shock Troopers.|