Neo Geo Station - Alpha Mission II

For shoot ‘em up lovers this game is a very good addition

By Daavpuke, Posted 06 Feb 2011

Alpha Mission II is one of the first SNK title sets that are being released for the Playstation Network. Players who have played this game before in the arcade will not be left disappointed, since the gameplay experience is exactly the same, minus the use of arcade sticks. SNK has managed to implement this game smoothly for use on PS3.


Originally known as ASO II: The Last Guardian, Alpha Mission II is a top-down shooter originally released way back in 1991 for the Neo Geo arcade and home system. Like other shoot ‘em up games, the game follows the typical formula: collect power-ups, shoot and bomb enemies, destroy the level boss and clear the level. Like other standard arcade games, the game maintains the competitive difficulty, meaning the game is hard at first but eventually gets easier, when the players get used to the game. Even in easy difficulty mode, the game will be challenging.

NoobFeed Review - Alpha Mission II Neo Geo
Choose your controls for Alpha Mission II, as seen on Playstation Network

The game offers 2 control formations: one for beginning players while the other one is meant for the advanced people. There are three types of power ups: Laser for air attacks, bomb for ground attacks and the game’s notable feature: armor. There are satisfyingly great numbers of variations of selectable armor that can be used during the gameplay. In later levels, players have to rely on these armors since the armors make life easier. Getting those armors can be a tedious problem, since the players need to find the armor parts and combine them into a fully functional armor, ready to use in the arsenal. When activated the power of the armors can be initiated and in the process consumes energy. There is an energy meter which is displayed when the armor is activated and can be refilled through energy power-ups. Notable armors include fire (which acts like a flamethrower), black hole (which sucks in everything in its path) and Phoenix (which summons a giant firebird to aid you in destroying everything).

NoobFeed Review - Alpha Mission II Neo Geo
Boss battles in Alpha Mission II are big as shoot 'em ups would like them to be.

Boss battles can be hard and get intense as early as level 2. There are some money items that can be collected and used at the end of each level to buy armors or refill the energy of the armors. The game also rewards players with money based on skill points from how many enemies the players killed and how much damage the players inflicted. There are even some power-downs in the gameplay that reduces the power of any power-up the players have.

The game also offers co-operative play and a second player can jump in straight away during the gameplay. It could have been better if the developers could add an option to start a two player mode, but that is not a significant issue, since it is basically how the arcade Neo Geo based games work. SNK has managed to implement a network play option where players can have a quick match with another random opponent in the PSN network. Also there are the standard invitation and match search option, where players can create gameplay settings and have the network search players for them. The player can create a new match and invite friends to play the game. This is the best way to get players around in the PSN network, since it is hard to find players in the network for quick match. There is another interesting feature, which is the Replay mode, where players can record their gameplay, save it in the hard drive. Sadly these files are not encoded to standard video format and the only way to run these files is to run these files from the game.

NoobFeed Review - Alpha Mission II Neo Geo
Alpha Mission II's huge power-ups fill your screen.

A drawback of this game is that there is no trophy and leaderboard support. So basically players will not get the chance of boasting their gameplay, which is unfortunate. Plus the lack of these options will back off players to play for greater challenge. However, if players are looking for just plain fun this game is highly recommended. The $8.99 ($7.99 for PSN plus members) price tag may not be intriguing due to lack of some features, which the developers could have added. However, for shoot ‘em up lovers this game is a very good addition to their shoot ‘em up library.

Syed Rubayyat Akbar, NoobFeed.

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General Information

Publisher(s): SCEA
Developer(s): SNK Playmore
Genres: Shoot-'Em-Up
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2010-12-21

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