Sunsoft & Tokai Engineering released a title back in 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) back in 1990 which was quite akin to Contra. Those craving for a side-scrolling action shooter were in for quite a treat when this title was released.
The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world and involves a young male protagonist. If Wikipedia is believed to be credible then apparently this was supposed to be a game based on the movie Terminator but licence issues were abound and changes had to be made. Contra was known for its high level of difficulty and Journey to Silius – while not as hard – will certainly test the ability of the players from start to finish.
The basics of the game are run and gun. As you progress through the game you will unlock an assortment of weapons to use, which are readily available in your start menu. You have a limited amount of ammunition for these weapons so it is best to use them sparingly. Each stage is comprised of left to right or right to left side-scrolling and the quintessential boss fight at the end of each stage. The boss fights can be quite tricky unless you learn to pick up on certain patterns. The boss battles themselves can range from tanks to simply out of this world battles, which look like they were taken straight out of an early sci-fi movie. Each boss his its weak point that usually consists of a red gem – similar to some Contra battles.
The sound track for this game is something of a marvel. Quite simply some of the best music to be produced on the NES was used in this title. The music consists of highly uptempo tracks with a sci-fi techno feel to them. This game really showcases what the NES can do as well as what a shame it is that developers are no longer taking advantage of this art form. Although, there are modern-day exceptions with some titles as of late such as Mega Man 9 and 10.
If you are craving for a decent shooter and you have access to this game then it is a must play. It is a shame a sequel to this title was never produced.