Cyber-Lip was SNK’s first entry (released before Top Hunter and Metal Slug) into the platforming shooter genre made famous by the Contra series. Most of the team from the game moved on to work on the Metal Slug series afterwards. While far from being the best in its genre, Cyber-Lip proves a decent pick-up for those nostalgic out there who want to see what some of the very early experiences in the run and gun genre are like.
Playing through an old arcade game you’ve never even heard about, and realizing it’s actually quite fun. While you probably won’t play much of it after the 30 minutes or so required to beat the game, it’s still a blast to experience, especially if you have a buddy around to play with.
+ Fully voice-acted. Sure, it’s laughable at best, but for the 1990, this was huge. (Note: pick up the Neo Geo CD version for improved audio quality).
+ Fun power-ups. Gotta love flamethrowers in videogames. The core bots are also a must as the more you collect, the more bad ass you become. Think of them as shields which can make you near invincible after a while.
+ Tight controls. You can even execute super jumps and flips to dodge enemy fire.
+ Short levels with slightly branching paths. They’re meant to be experienced more then once, although only the hardcore will do so.
– By far the worst flaw of Cyber-Lip is the fact that you can’t shoot diagonally (or down) while your foes have no problem doing so. The original Contra let you do that from day one. This really limits your options. The fact that this was released after Contra is even more unforgiving.
– The grenade power up will become your worst enemy. The way the game works is that when you collect a power up you automatically switch to said weapon. That means that when you get a grenade, you end up dying 75% of the time because you get attacked before you realize your weapon was switched. By the time you switch back, it’s too late.
– Extremely basic gameplay compared to other great shooters out there. This doesn’t even come close to Contra.
While it’s a nice trip down memory lane, Cyber-Lip never came close to achieving legendary status. It’s included as a pack-in game on the Neo Geo X, but those without one shouldn’t go out of their way to experience it. Even back in the 90s it got mediocre reviews. Still, Cyber-Lip does have a certain charm to it that only retro arcade games seem to possess.
Final Score: 6.0/10