Who doesn’t like a good shooter? I don’t hear any objections, so let’s assume we all do. To some extent. Let’s quickly define the type of shooter I’m talking about her: TwinBee.
Not an FPS like Call of Duty, Fortnite, or something modern like My Friend Pedro. My definition, for the purpose of this post, are the classic vertical (or horizontal) scrollers that are just endless button mashers.
When snooping around for an NES Online game to play, I came across TwinBee. I’ve never heard of it, so just clicked it – hoping for the best. What a pleasant surprise – it was an old school shooter, well, this is the NES, and I quite enjoyed it. Well, for the brief time I played.
Why just a brief play, and why am I starting each paragraph with a word beginning with W? It wasn’t a quick go as such, I didn’t get very far. As is the case, it’s a bloody hard NES game which I’m sure there are loads of YouTube videos that counter that and ace it without taking any damage. Ah.
I don’t care if I die or get a low score – I’d like to be reasonably good at the game as it’s quite a lot of fun. The soundtrack is quirky, and the graphics and colours are rather pleasant. However, it would be good if there were some cheats for us who are rubbish at the game. It’s like you can plug a GameGenie into your Switch. Can you?
Peripherals aren’t always the way for a cheat. Ignoring consoles and the likes of the Konami code, computers used to have this device called a keyboard. The keyboard wasn’t remotely musical unless the sound of typing is music to your ears – if so, you’d love to hear my typing right now, it’s… beautiful. Anyway, with the keyboard, you typed in your cheat. Simples.
One of my favourite cheats and one of my favourite shooters was SWIV. SWIV was another shooter, but it had the benefit of a ground vehicle too (most of the games from the genre were airborne, even though you destroy tanks and stuff), and was an excellent two-player. Of course, I had this on the Amiga so I could type in the cheat for god mode (infinite health) which was NCC-1701 and case sensitive. Apparently, this was something to do with a spaceship from Star Trek with someone called Han Kirk.
SWIV was also available on the SNES entitled Super SWIV and on the Mega Drive, Mega SWIV. It didn’t make it to the Playstation, so no Sony SWIV. I may have mentioned before about Xenon 2 in my Gradius post, but jumping over to the consoles, one of the standout shooters for me was Ikaruga. Such a great game and I highly recommend it if you can get hold of a copy. Emulators are the same, baby. I tried to get it on the Dreamcast again, but the price is around £100, which is about 23 gil.
So the Amiga had SWIV and Xenon 2 to name a few, and of course, we have Ikaruga. The NES had Gradius and TwinBee which can be relived again for those who played if the first time around, but that wasn’t me. I consistently don’t like a lot of NES titles – sometimes because of the gameplay or theme (Tecmo Bowl), but mostly due to the difficulty. Another challenging game in the genre, but something I did complete was 1941.
1941 is on the podium for vertical shooters. Forget any sequels. While it wasn’t a particularly good year, it was a great game. You play a plane named Trevor who must take on a multitude of enemy planes and ground vehicles. It’s a little bit inaccurate as you have a lightening power up and located in the Pacific and the Atlantic too. But, best of all, you have vitality points, so for the lesser humans, there’s hope to get past the first level.
So I’ve strayed from TwinBee, but I’ve touched on a few classics you should play or have in your collection. Sure, they’re the staple of this website’s diet: Amiga and Dreamcast, with a sprinkle of the arcade, but y’know – talk about what you know. I wasn’t familiar with TwinBee and I haven’t got very far in it either; hence, this isn’t a review, nor am I an expert. That is unless you give me a cheat code.