With the WiiWare update yesterday (not to be confused with the European and Aussie update), we decided that we needed to get our review on with Hudson's Star Soldier R. Of course, you all know that we fell in love with the title upon first seeing it and anxiously awaited its release. Now that it's here, is it worth your hard-earned money? Read on and find out!



What is Star Soldier R? It's a shmup from Hudson that emphasizes scoring. You see, this game is all about the bragging rights of fragging as many enemy ships as you can for as high a score you can possibly get. Leaderboards keep track of scores based on country and region within that country, allowing you to measure your skills against your whole country, as well as your closest immediate surroundings.


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Scoring is determined in three different play modes. First, you have the Quick Shot mode, which tosses you into a small area with a lot of destructible pods. You have mere seconds to shoot down as many as you can, providing you with an overall score. Simple enough, right?

Then there are the 2-Minute and 5-Minute modes, which are more the meat and potatoes of the game. Here, you start off like in any other shmup and progress through two areas in the 5-Minute mode and one area in the 2-Minute mode, eventually stumbling upon bosses you must defeat. Scoring here is determined by how quickly you can clear each respective mode, as well as the usual stuff (power-ups, how many enemies you killed, how many times you died, etc.).

Your available controls come down to three distinct styles: Simple style, where the Wiimote is held sideways, Nunchuk style, in which you use the Wiimote and nunchuk and Classic style, which allows you to use the Classic controller. For myself, using the Simple style was the best choice available.

Playing the game in any of these control schemes is just plain fun starting out. You can switch between fast and slow movement at will, allowing you to bob and weave through enemies and their projectiles at your own pace. There's also some nice power-ups, which let you, upon gathering enough of them, clear screen after screen full of enemies with ease. You also gather these rotating orbs that surround you for the majority of the game and, upon pressing a single button, you can send them out from your ship where they'll fire on their own targets. This is incredibly valuable during boss battles.

As great as all of this sounds, Star Soldier R is not without its faults. For one, the emphasis on short bursts of gameplay for scoring does encourage replaying the title, which is a good thing, however extended play sessions cause the game to become a bit too repetitive me. The enemy locations aren't random, and you're playing the same segments over and over again. Adding a bit of randomness to it means continued surprises for the gamer, whereas the formula as it exists in the game now means that picking up the game and playing the game for the first few times is fun, but outside of that, there isn't much there.


In the end, Star Solder R is a very competent shmup. It's better than a lot of the similarly-priced shooters available on the Virtual Console and offers you some competition with the implementation of leaders. But, ultimately the game loses points because it suffers from too much repetition. With such few play options that themselves are so short, the game can become pretty stale, pretty quick. Its saving grace is its great controls and the fact that the actual gameplay is so tight and sound.

Final Score: 7/10

With the recent launch of the WiiWare service on the Nintendo Wii, we've been busy getting our time in with some of the titles available for download. Be sure to check out our reviews of Defend Your Castle, Pop, LostWinds and TV Show King, as well as our early impressions of My Life as a King and its review here. We're hard at work on reviewing the European and Australian releases, as well! So be sure to keep up to date with WiiWare by checking out our WiiWare category.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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