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S&S; Indie Review: Superdimension Iliad

Posted on the 26 June 2012 by Sameo452005 @iSamKulii
S&S; Indie Review: Superdimension Iliad
Title: Superdimension Iliad // Format: XBLIG // Release Date: 06/15/12 // Publisher & Developer: We Love Hamsters Software // 80 MS Points // Violence: 1/3 // Sex: 1/3 // Language: 0/3
Superdimension Iliad is a side-scrolling action-platformer that takes you back to the good old days of pixelated gaming. The goddess Iliad wishes to see the evolution of the digital world for herself. As the avatar "Ball," you progress through the early virtual generations that include Atari, Intellivision, the Nintendo and Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems, and the Sega Genesis, encountering Iliad and her minions on the way. We Love Hamsters aimed to bring back everything glorious about gaming from the old days, but instead the designer exaggerated one aspect in particular that characterized the darker side of retro gaming.
The difficulty.
Superdimension Iliad's game play nearly copies and pastes in the Mega Man format. Ball can jump and shoot at the same time, control his mid-air velocity, shoot while on ladders, defeat bosses to collect weapon upgrades, and even select the next stage! The developer may as well have nicknamed the avatar "Rock" instead of Ball to honor the M.M. franchise, but then copyright issues would have probably come into play.

S&S; Indie Review: Superdimension Iliad

Those red turrets remind me of the Hammer Joes from Mega Man 3.

Although the controls are simple, the mechanics are nice and smooth, the weapons are unique, and the remastered art of jumping and shooting is fun in S.I., the difficulty is so brutal that Greg Falkingham, the creator of S.I., regretted having made the game so hard. Beating the first level is a fair challenge, but the first branching path features arguably the hardest two levels in the game. Certain traps and enemies kill you in one hit, while some routes become overwhelming with relentless incoming objects pelting you from all sides (specifically the meteors in the Coleco/Intellivision stage). Passwords will be the only means for several players to take on the latter, more interesting levels like the "Nifty Entertainment System," and "Exodus," the Sega Genesis level featuring loose reminders of the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
S&S; Indie Review: Superdimension Iliad
Given the careful layouts of the level designs, Superdimension Iliad stood out as a title that would have quickly become one of the must-haves from the XBLIG marketplace if not for the fact that beating each level could become a month-long affair. For 80 MS points, Superdimension Iliad isn't a terrible buy, but there are certainly better games out there going for the same price.
Given this title's strong setup, and the designer acknowledging that the difficulty was the game's glaring biggest issue, Superdimension Iliad Zero looks to take everything from the first game and revamp the system with newly designed levels, art, and game music. Stay tuned for its scheduled release this fall!
S&S Rating: 5.5/10

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