Alpha Mission (Available on PlayStation 3 & PSP)
ESRB Rating: E
Number of Players: 1
Publisher: SNK Playmore
Release Date: September 6th, 2011
Parent Talk: Alpha Mission is rated E for everyone and features mild fantasy violence. Being a shoot ‘em up released in 1985, this basic shooter is extremely inoffensive.
Plays Like: Any vertical shooter.
Review Basis: Played through the game.
Details: Available from the Neo Geo Station on the PlayStation Network for $2.99.
Alpha Mission was original released in arcades back in 1985. It’s a vertical shoot ‘em up where players try and survive a seemingly endless onslaught of enemies. Along the way special power-ups can be collected including ones that warp you ahead a stage. There are ship pieces that can also be collected in order to enhance your shields and weapon strength. The gameplay hasn’t aged too well though and most players will find the default ship to be extremely slow, even though that’s part of the game’s original appeal. By collecting the S power-up the ship’s speed increases allowing for greater movement.
Like all the SNK Minis this one costs $3 and offers up a real challenge. While I personally prefer the more polished MVS/AES sequel, Alpha Mission II, this one is a great showpiece to see how far Shmups have come since the early to mid-eighties.