Compile certainly knew how to make a scrolling shooter. They created the Aleste series in Japan. Some their titles were ported over to North America’s Sega Genesis and Sega CD. We got M.U.S.H.A. (who remembers what that stands for?) and we got Robo Aleste here on Sega CD to name a couple. One title that we did not get was Aleste for the Game Gear. That is a shame as this was an interesting overhead scrolling shooter.
While today gamers take for granted that there is any kind of opening cinema, back in the day we didn’t get them all that often. Especially on 8-Bit consoles and portables. Aleste for the Sega Game has an intro, granted it is pretty short but it is there. You get to put a face with the pilot in that little spaceship that is taking on the horde of enemies.
The action in Aleste is fast and challenging. Enemies are coming at you from all edges of the screen. Power ups appear from time to time. Grabbing one other than the one you have could be detrimental to your success. There are the trademark “p” pellets that power up your main weapon so make sure to collect those. Unlike many shooters, when you do die in Aleste you are not sent back to square one. You restart with pretty much the same weapons you had before the fatal shot was received.
Besides the action on the screen, something that Compile did that was quite cool was in the background. Aleste on the Game Gear has parallax scrolling, something that is usually not possible on 8-Bit platforms. While not adding to the challenge level or anything, the multi scrolling backgrounds are cool to see in a Game Gear titile.
Aleste on Game Gear just proves that Compile were amazing developers, no matter the platform. The challenge from their games is alive and kicking here.
Aleste by Compile
Platform: Game Gear
Genre: Overhead scrolling shooter
Year of Release: 1991 in Japan, no North American release