It seems as though there is a rising tide in remasters of old games cherished by many in their youth. Some of them are true and faithful remasters and the others , well the opposite of what I just stated . In the case of Assault Suit Leynos they made a solid effort in making this game look beautiful while keeping everything that was loved about it before the same, the verdict? Mission accomplished
The game starts off with a neat introduction straight from the original , it explains the premise of the world of gundam-esque mechs you are about to enter, and rest assured it is as cheesy as you would think. That being said it isn’t a bad thing. it starts off as something we’ve seen before “save humanity from the invading cybernetic forces” but soon develops into a more deep and thought provoking story (as much as a 1990 mech suit drama can). One scene in particular tugs on the heartstrings a little more than you’d expect . I’ll keep the spoilers out of this but bottom line is there is a twist you really don’t expect.
Gameplay wise the game is as solid of a side scroller action-shooter you’d expect, move to the right and destroy anything in your path. There are certain things that do separate Leynos from other side scrollers from back in that era, this being a wide array of weapons and armour that can be picked for a load out before each of the 8 chapters. The gear choices range from shotguns, gatling guns, shields, missile launchers and additional armour for you mech. Each mission has it’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your load out. Heavy tanks in this mission? bring a grenade launcher that can break off into tinier explosives on impact, the variety adds replay value to the game.The only downside to the gear selection is that it works less on an explanation of how each piece works and more on a try and see type learning. Sub missions present themselves almost immediately, whether it be saving a comrade from burning up in space or an optional boss. The sub missions when completed drop more of the weapons mentioned earlier and makes playing through the game a second time around as exciting as the first.
One piece of gameplay that the game should be remembered for the most though is when you leave gravity behind . Space battles are truly the most enjoyable part of the game, they are fast paced and highly manoeuvrable if you know how to work your boosters. Boss battles are what you would expect, dodge and shoot, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable . The length of the game is 8 missions that each take about 15 minutes maximum, average length for the time it was released . An arcade mode also boosts the replay value .
The art of the game remains faithful to the original but with more of a modern twist. Gone are the pause screen weapon change system and replaced with a hovering weapon wheel that sits near the top of the screen. Full (Japanese) voice overs with subtitles. The game overall feels like a playable anime with an awesome atmospheric soundtrack to boot.The only flaw is sometimes the bigger bosses seem a bit awkward when moving .
From the first mission on Ganymede you get hit with a pleasantly thumping soundtrack filled with synth, heavy distortion guitar and slap bass, it sets the tone for every mission in the game. The gunshots and explosions sound deliciously sci-fi as one would expect from a game from that era. The best part of the audio engineering for ASL is that it’s catered to the generation of run and gun fans that wanted to keep pushing on to the next stage, walk forward, kill everything, repeat.
It really seems like when developing this game the team said ” Let’s make them remember this game but give them something new to smile about” .If you love side scrollers, mech suits, space battles and enough explosions to put Michael Bay out of business, then Assault Suit Leynos is worth your time and the money (20$ CDN). An improvement on a cherished classic with a polished art style and fluid gameplay.
-beautiful art and sound track
-Game length (great for it’s time , not great for 2016)
-Animations get awkward sometimes.
-Not much explanation into the use of each weapon/gadget
*This Review is based on the full released game available now on PSN, that was personally Purchased