Title - Assault Suits Valken
Developer - NCS Misaya
Game Type - Shooting Action
No. Of players - 1

High resolution scan pack download

Many of you may know this game under its western title of Cybenator.  You may also think that it was developed by Konami just like Prince of Persia was for the Super Famicom.  Well, neither were developed by Konami.  They only distributed the games in the west.  Prince of Persia and this fine game, Assault Suits Valken were actually developed by NCS Misaya.  In fact, NCS Misaya were responsible for so many great games on the Super Famicom, Mega Drive / Mega CD, Saturn, PC Engine and other systems that it’s hard to even remember them all.  They also produced quite a few stinkers, especially in the final days of the company.  Thankfully, Assault Suit Valken is one of their quality games and part of the Assault Suit(s) series.

The Assault Suit(s) series started out life on the Mega Drive in 1990 under the title of Assault Suit Leynos (Target earth in the US), Then came Assault Suits Valken (Cybernator in the west) in 1992.  NCS went back to the Leynos title with Assault Suits Leynos 2 on the Saturn in 1997 which remained a Japanese exclusive.  Up until now the series was a fantastic but quite a tough giant robot blaster.  Then came the PlayStation games …….  Assault Suits Valken II was release in 1999 for the PlayStation but to the disappointment of many who were expecting a full on follow up to the SFC original, they ended up with an average strategy war game, YAWN!!!!  The series then lay quiet for a couple of years until 2004 when Assault Suits Valken was re-released on the PlayStation 2 as one of those “enhanced” HD remakes.  In reality it was the original SFC game fitted with a really shitty graphics filter.  Needless to say it looks bloody awful.  The SFC original running on a HD TV in 1080p via a XRGB looks a million times better.

Anyway, back to the game in question, the original Super Famicom version of Assault Suits Valken.  During the western translation a few cuts were made from the game.  Most noticeably is the absents of all character portraits during the dialog scenes.  Also, there’s a cut scene near the end of the game where the president of the defeated country commits suicide by shooting himself in the head.  Finally, the ending is cut short in the western release.  Yep, Cybernator is missing a lot so your best bet would be to buy the Japanese version.

All of the Assault Suit(s) games are tough and it was this toughness that put many people off the series.  Because they couldn’t just charge through blasting away they deemed the games rubbish but that’s not the case.  Assault Suits Valken requires a lot of strategy and thought on where you want to be and how you should get there.  It’s this “take it slowly and steady” pace of game play that really makes the game stand out amongst all the other shooters out there.

Graphically the game is no slouch either.  Loads of detail has gone in to the backgrounds and sprites as well as having some very nice intermission screens that wouldn’t look out of place on a Saturn or PlayStation game.  Audio is fantastic too.  Fitting atmospheric tunes throughout as well as one of the greatest ending themes found on a Super Famicom game.  It’s right up there with the ending theme from Contra for movie style.

Assault Suits Valken isn’t for everyone but if you seriously love your platform shooters you’ll love this.  It was a great game to play in 1992 and it’s still a great game to play now in 2013, 21 years after its release.