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Uninspiring shooter thrills
The vertically scrolling shooter genre isn't one which is entirely lacking in classics, from 1942 to Raptor to Raiden so any game which wants to tempt players into its delights, has to be something pretty special. Sky Jaguar is a little known effort from Konami and while it doesn't really do anything wrong, it's still a tricky one to wholeheartedly recommend to anyone but the most diehard of shooter fans. Everything that you'd expect from the genre is here, from the usual nonsense story about a lone warrior taking to the skies in a last ditch effort to destroy the oncoming hordes, to the weapon upgrades and endless waves of bad guys to take down. As such, if you like this sort of thing, then there's much to enjoy here. The game itself is pretty challenging, with some tough enemies to take down and which should keep you hooked for a decent while. The weapon upgrades are straightforward enough, lacking the visual splendour and eye-melting glory of later, more hi-tech, efforts, while the landscapes and enemies are decently, if unspectacularly, designed. The environments are perhaps the best part of the visuals, with some quite striking colour schemes which provide a nice sense of atmosphere, while sound effects are serviceable rather than awe-inspiring. The controls are tight and responsive, perhaps a key aspect of any shooter, and everything moves along at a reasonable pace but which isn't too daunting for any genre newcomers who might be testing the waters with this game. As said, there's nothing really wrong with Sky Jaguar, it's just that there is plenty of competition out there which does it better and with more style, so unless you've played every shooter out there bar this one, look elsewhere first.