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November 20 2017

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  Shock Troopers 2 - ©Saurus 1998





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Game Stats
Other:
Players:
1 or 2 player

Type:
Shoot 'em up

Size:
514 Megs
Japanese Name:

Shock Troopers 2nd Squad

Released On:

Home/MVS




Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:
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Review Introduction:

I had been looking forward to playing this game for quite a while. I loved the original Shock Troopers, as that is one of my favourite Neo Geo games, so my expectations were high for this game. Luckily, this is a very worthy sequel, albeit one that perhaps isn't quite as good as its predecessor...


Gameplay:

One or two things have been modified since the first game. There are now only four characters to choose from compared to the previous games eight. Despite the fact that there are fewer characters, the four that you get to choose from are all brand new and quite cool. Like before they all have different special weapons that they can use and as you'd expect they have different strengths and weaknesses; some are fast, while others are slow but more powerful. I especially like the new female character “Angel” who apart from being quite cute (^_^) is a good character to use and now my favourite.

One thing that is completely missing is the “Team Battle” mode from the original. In case you didn't play the first game, Team Battle was where you picked three characters and could change between them during game play. I don't think that many people used Team battle anyway (I didn't much) so it doesn't really matter. It would have still been nice if they kept it though. Now game play follows the usual pattern of selecting one character and fighting through the whole game with that person, however you can change characters if you run out of lives and choose to continue.

A slightly disappointing thing that noticed after I completed this game for the first time was that there are less weapons to be picked up. In the first game you could frequently pick up things like flamethrowers, machine guns and other heavy machinery, but in this game it rarely happens. You can now pick up power ups for the weapons you have though, which makes them more powerful. What you do get in Shock Troopers 2 are different types of vehicles, such as tanks, trucks and even giant “mecha's” that you can take control of! These vehicles are quite cool and make up for the lack of different weapons; it's just a pity that they don't usually last for all that long.

The controls have also changed slightly. Instead of performing an evasive roll when you press the “C” button you now jump. This has the same effect as rolling had in the first game though really. When you are inside the various vehicles, you can use that vehicles weapons, and by holding down the fire button you can also charge them up for a powerful blast. Pressing A+B together activates the emergency eject button, which will make you jump out of the vehicle and send it on a collision course with your enemies. This is similar to what you can do in the Metal Slug games and is very useful when the vehicle is low on energy and about to blow up. Once it makes contact it causes lots of damage!


Graphics:

The graphics have been improved upon in many ways since the last game. They were very good before, but they are even better now. The main characters, enemies, vehicles and boss characters all look extremely detailed for a Neo Geo game and most are excellently animated. There are some good looking explosions too! The characters in this game seem a bit more cartoon-ish now. In fact, a lot of the graphics are sort of 3D rendered sprites (like in games such as Ragnagard and Rare's Killer Instinct). The only thing that is really a big let down is the slow down that happens when too many thing are on screen at once; this does happen frequently and can be very annoying, but it is the Neo Geo at fault here, not so much the game. The presentation is fantastic too. From the very well done introduction sequence, to the screens that introduce you to each boss this game is very polished. The artwork is excellent!


Sound effects & Music:

The soundtrack is not a let down either. Most stages (especially the first one) have some very nice tunes to accompany them. There are a few bits of music that aren't all that good, like the music on the credits sequence when you complete the game and in my opinion could have been done a lot better. I had no complaint at all with the sound effects though, which include plenty of explosions and speech. Overall the sound could have been a little better, but I have no real cause for complaint.


Overall:

Although you can probably tell that I do like this game, I am not sure whether I can honestly say that it is better than the original Shock Troopers. There are lots of very good touches, but I can't help feeling that overall it is not quite as good. It just feels as if something is missing… for instance some of the funny animations that were in the first game don't seem to be present in this one, and that means it loses a little of its charm. It's like making a Metal Slug game and taking away all the funny parts – although it plays the same it just isn't the same. Don't get me wrong though; the animation and everything is still top notch and some of the best seen on the Neo geo.

Many people may disagree with me, but I just think that Shock Troopers was a little better. It's a close run thing, but ST1 just about grabs it. I also think this game can be even more unforgiving than before and seems to be much shorter too… as if they bumped up the difficulty level to make up for a lack of stages. In all honesty, I am probably being too harsh because Shock Troopers 2 is still a great game, and is very polished, but I just about prefer the original myself.


Graphics: 8.5/10
Sound: 8/10
Game play: 8.5/10
Replay Value: 7/10

Overall Rating: 8.5/10



Outside Links:
Related Reviews:

Reviews @ Neo-Geo.com:


- Review by BBH

- Review by Dan Elektro


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