Just when you think you're an expert, someone always comes along and proves you wrong. Such was the case with me, and a little "lost in time" gem known as Crisis Force. Why do I say lost in time? Well for starters, it was only released in Japan. For the Family Computer (Famicom) game system, also known in the West as the NES Nintendo Entertainment System. If you are in the market for a bit of collecting, and a shooter fan to boot, then you can't go wrong with this one.
So what is so special about Crisis Force that is worthy of your undivided attention? It was the last shooter game that Konami made for the Famicom system, and was intended to push its hardware specifications to their limits. Released on August 27 1991, it was right around the time when game developers were pushing the hardware beyond what was previously done in order to keep the fans happy and continuing to play games for the console.
After all, you had three new systems that were currently introduced to the gaming scene. Super Nintendo (Super Famicom), Genesis (Mega Drive), and Turbo Grafx-16 (PC Engine) to contend with, and Nintendo was at the height of their popularity at the time, while still trying to make a major dent with the fans.
The game itself is an entirely different story, as it makes use of the same chip that the home version of Gradius II used. The famous VRC4 chip, which allowed four-way scrolling and the ability to have some really large bosses. You control one of two ships piloted by the main characters, Asuka and Maya who ascended from the lost civilization of Mu. Their mission is to save the world from the artificial monsters from the lost city of Atlantis.
A unique ability you have in the game is that your ship can transform into three different forms, each with its own method of attack. Sounds like a winner to me, and while most of you have likely never heard of this cool shooter game, it's likely due to the fact that the Super Famicom had recently surfaced, and was somewhat taking the gaming industry by storm, and sales of Crisis Force were not like Konami had expected and hoped for.
It was something of a late bloomer to the market, and fans were starting to shift to the newer and more sophisticated game systems. Still, keep an eye out for this one, and take a look at the game play video below. Who knows? Perhaps Konami will see fit one day to bring this darling gem out on a popular format, like PSN, Xbox Live, or Nintendo eShop. If we are lucky that is.