Aug 02 2009
Konami really have made so many benchmark games in so many genres that it’s hard to keep track! Axelay, released to very little hype, turned out to be an excellent shooter.
What began as a nice vertically scrolling shooter, with cityscapes scrolling smoothly by under the cloud cover, soon turned into a shooter closer to Thunderforce in origin.
Some superb graphical trickery particularly transparencies, meant that Axelay’s environments were extremely varied. Shades of R-Type could be seen in some of the ship interiors although maneuvering was even tighter than that!
Some of the enemies didn’t kill you on contact, but clung to your ship, weighing it down, making just staying off the ground difficult.
Weaponry, a vital part of any shooter was also well implemented, with controllable angles on the guns and the ability to be able to switch weapons to suit the occasion.
With a wider-than-screen playing field, you really could try and choose a path of least resistance, however this usually turned out to be the wrong decision as another alien, hiding in the rocks jumped in, blowing your ship into tiny shards.
One of the best 2D shooters on the SNES (but then, it didn’t have a lot of competition.)