Date: 11-12-2011 22:01
Author: Steve Whitfield

PDC profile: Steve

Alpha Mission is a top-down scrolling spaceship shooter developed by SNK as an arcade game back in 1985. Is Alpha Mission still a mission success? Read on to find out.


The goal in Alpha Mission is to progress through the different levels of the game, shooting and blowing up enemies along the way. In Alpha Mission there are two different weapons; a laser-like weapon used for air-to-air combat and missiles used for air-to-ground combat. These could be used by pressing the and buttons, while the directional buttons were used to move around the stage. Blowing up most ground targets causes them to drop pick-ups which would upgrade my ship and give me things like double or triple shots for my weapons. If I died I would lose these and start back from the beginning of the stage. At the end of every stage there is a boss battle. Every time I got to a boss battle I died, but I was still taken to the next level regardless. Pressing the select button brought up a menu which allowed me to save my progress and access settings to change the difficulty of the game and number of continues and lives.

Pew Pew Pew!
Alpha Mission, being released in 1985 and ported to the NES in '86, is a very fun and enjoyable Mini. Even though the concept of just shooting enemies might seem a bit boring and simple to you, I did find the game rather challenging right from the start. Graphically the game is great for something that is 26 years old. In the sound department the same applies. Alpha Mission had a very catchy tune in the first stage and after a few plays I found myself humming along to it while playing. Pressing the button once on the starting screen made it a one player game but pressing it twice made it a two player game (pressing L1 for PS3 or L for PSP, started the two player game), so if you have a friend handy, it allows you to take turns to see who can get the highest score. I thought this was a good feature to have but sadly had nobody available at the time to play it with, so I had to experiment with it by myself. I thought that the option to be able to customize the difficulty of the game and the number of continues and lives was a very nice feature as well.

Overall I think that Alpha Mission is a very enjoyable mini and should be bought by anyone who is a fan of vertical scrolling shooters, or just anyone looking for something different to play. The game is challenging and the several different difficulty settings can further add to this. I look forward to trying to beat the game on hardest with no continues. A great little Mini.

Originally developed by SNK as an arcade game, Alpha Mission was ported over to the PSN by G1M2. I played this game for 2 hours on my PS3 prior to writing this review.

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