Undemanding but enjoyable blaster
Anyone who has ever played a horizontally scrolling shoot 'em up, from R-Type to Gradius to Gunstar Heroes, will recognise most of the elements to be found here in Stargunner. While its lack of originality is undeniable, it does contain enough fast-paced blasting action to keep the hardcore fan satisfied for a few hours or so. The plot on display here is the usual disposable nonsense (although it is different depending on whether you follow the game or the manual) and revolves around the typical sci-fi cliches of an alien race battling against another in their quest for power and resources. None of this really matters of course, as the game is all about shooting lots of alien spacecraft and making them go 'BOOM' and in this respect, Stargunner is reasonably successful. No self-respecting shooter would dare call itself a shooter if it didn't have a lot weapons to offer, and Stargunner has an impressive arsenal which includes auto-aiming cannons, missiles of both the homing and dumb variety, and high strength dual lasers. Weapon can be attached to either the top or the bottom of your ship, altering their effective fire arcs, and can be upgraded along with your engines. Satellites are also available and which function in pretty much the same way as R-Type's 'pod' but which add a neat, if typically unoriginal element to the game. Stargunner doesn't really do anything wrong, with plenty of fast and furious action, fairly slick old-school graphics and lots of of cool sound and visual effects. It doesn't do anything new but this isn't necessarily a bad thing and for shooter fans this will provide plenty of entertainment. Just don't expect anything earth-shattering.