I recently sat down with a new PS3 Mini called Time Soldiers. Granted, it’s not really new, but an old SNK arcade game from 1987. You play as one (or two) soldiers that must travel through different eras in order to rescue their comrades and defeat bosses from that time period. It’s rather simple both in concept and game play, but it suffices for a game made in the mid 80′s.
The game is essentially a top down shooter where the player can move the character all along the screen while firing off your gun and other weapons depending on what power ups you collect. You can even aim in different directions in a 360 degree rotation. It’s basically Ikari Warriors with time travel. You can pick up a rocket launcher and a laser blaster that do more damage and reach farther across the screen. For the most part, if you get hit once, you’re dead. There are power ups that give you armor for about 4 hits, but even then, you will die…a lot. Get used to that muffled death scream. Luckily, there is a button for pumping more quarters into the game, so you can never really run out of credits.
You will be traveling to a number of time periods full of people and creatures that really want to kill you. You can go back to the land before time and take on cavemen and dinosaurs, travel to the medieval period and fight knights and even go into the future. The game has a unique mechanic where you must travel to a specific time period in order to find you squad mates. You’ll see time gates throughout levels that will take you across history. You need to remember what gate takes you where otherwise you’ll have to go back through time once again and start over, fighting all the same enemies and bosses you already had.
The game has those standard 1980′s glitches, where an enemy will be in an area you just can’t shoot even though they can hit you. The game is also rather difficult even when you have unlimited lives, largely due to the fact that to rotate your character you have to hit the L1 or R1 buttons. It becomes a bit of a mess. Still, for a game that came out over 20 years ago, it’s still fun with a buddy playing local co-op on the couch. Plus, with the multiple squadmates to rescue, and the numerous time periods to go through, it can last you longer than your average shooter.
For only three bucks, you can get a good two or three hours out of it, and PSP owners can take the game on the go. The controls may be wonky, but you really can’t lose in the game as long as you keep hitting the infinite quarter button. If you’re into those old school shooters, you may like Time Soldiers. Other players, may want to find a different game to play that may have more streamlined controls.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.