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Thread: Game of the Day 3/14/2016: Burning Soldier

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    Default Game of the Day 3/14/2016: Burning Soldier

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    When I first got my 3DO, Burning Soldier was one of my early favorites. Honestly, its style isn't a type of which I typically enjoy, but in that first batch of games I picked up, which was loaded with stinkers, it was easily one of the most playable. Sticking with it, I've found it to remain one of my favorite cursor-style shooters, and its presentation, while dated, has held up better than most games of its ilk.

    Burning Soldier is an FMV-based cursor shooter in which pre-rendered sprites are overlaid on an FMV background. You whip your cursor about the screen, firing away at enemy targets and gunning down their projectiles before they can crash into the screen, trying to stay alive long enough to make it to the final boss of each of four major areas comprised of a total of 18 brief, but action-packed stages. The FMV is of course fairly grainy, but the enemies blend in effectively while still being obvious targets. They are marked for target in your HUD as well, which changes from stage to stage depending on the current form of your fighter. The game moves on rails, leaving you as the gunner to save the universe from the evil Kaisertian Empire and their insidious plan to resurrect Mu.

    You have a simple laser blaster and a charge blaster in single player. You can't fire while charging, but a charged blaster will target all on-screen foes at once (but not projectiles). In co-op mode, the blaster is disabled, but a competent partner is definitely more effective, and both cursors have their own color to help differentiate easily.

    While a style of game that is mostly extinct, Burning Soldier still works well for what it is primarily due to a strong presentation and balanced difficulty. There is very little noticeable loading to be seen, as the story scenes fill the gaps between areas nicely with action related to what has just happened, and pacing that never really lets up. There are mere seconds between stages, and the narration is told over both action and transitional cutscenes, making everything feel seamless. There are three difficulty levels as well, and you only get one life bar for the game, seeing as your assault never really has a break in it. There are continues, though, and the difficulty never gets out of hand.

    Playing through Burning Soldier again tonight felt surprisingly fresh in how seamless the experience was, and the FMV generally never gets too campy. The techno music at times feels a bit too upbeat for the on-screen cutscenes, but overall everything feels very cinematic as a whole in a style similar to the original Star Wars arcade game from Atari. It's not for everyone most likely, but if you have any kind of soft spot for cursor shooters, the presentation, pacing, and control all work great here.

    Played it?

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    I also got this game early on in a large lot of games that were dirt cheap when I first bought my 3DO. I played it about 3 times and thought it was HORRIBLE FMV GARBAGE. I've never gone back, and figured this was the general consensus. What's odd is the only reviews I've ever heard for the game (yours, and Game Sack's) were recent, and were both positive. I don't know...I honestly don't remember too much about this game, but what I do remember just wasn't that appealing to me back then.

    I might give it another go one day...maybe. Admittedly, I'm not not a huge fan of these types of FMV games. The best I remember this game had going for it was that it wasn't Novastorm.
    Last edited by Emperor Megas; 03-14-2016 at 02:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Megas View Post
    I also got this game early on in a large lot of games that were dirt cheap when I first bought my 3DO. I played it about 3 times and thought it was HORRIBLE FMV GARBAGE. I've never gone back, and figured this was the general consensus. What's odd is the only reviews I've ever heard for the game (yours, and Game Sack's) were recent, and were both positive. I don't know...I honestly don't remember too much about this game, but what I do remember just wasn't that appealing to me back then.

    I might give it another go one day...maybe. Admittedly, I'm not not a huge fan of these types of FMV games. The best I remember this game having going for it was that it wasn't Novastorm.
    I definitely wouldn't call it a system seller or anything, but as these kinds of cursor shooters go, I like it. If it hadn't been for the dearth of quality of the other games I got alongside it at the time, I probably would have just tested it and tossed it to the side... but next to Battle Chess, Way of the Warrior, Jurassic Park Interactive, Out of this World (already had it on SNES), Star Fighter, Night Trap, and Alone in the Dark, Burning Soldier and Night Trap were the ones I played the most. Star Fighter I didn't hate, but was pretty indifferent on. Oh, and Super Street Fighter II Turbo was in there, but I had a ton of Street Fighter variants already as well.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Emperor Megas's Avatar
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    Man, I freaking loved Starfighter. LOVED it. And Alone in the Dark pretty much changed my life. It was my first real survival horror game. I'd never played anything like it before.

    I may have cared more about Burning Soldier if I hasn't scored a mess of games I really liked. Some of the other titles in that first big lot of 3DO games I purchased were.

    AD&D Slayer
    Alone In The Dark
    Battle Chess
    Braindead 13
    Doom
    Dragon's Lair
    Gex
    The Horde
    Myst
    Novastorm
    Shanghai III: Triple Threat
    Space Ace
    Stellar 7: Draxon's Revenge
    Trip'D
    Wolfenstein 3D


    I played the heck out of everything BUT Battle Chess, Burning Solider, Novastorm, Stellar 7, Dragon's Lair, Space Ace and Wolfenstein 3D.

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    With Starfighter, I really liked the freedom of movement, where you could fly up into space during a mission taking place in a city... I just didn't get into the missions themselves.

    Alone in the Dark I like more now than I did at the time. I didn't get my 3DO until 1999, and had already played through Resident Evil by then, so it didn't have the same kind of impact that it might have had I played it earlier, with its slower pace and brighter colors.

    Myst I really loved, but I had played through it on Saturn already. Slayer I dug when I got it later. I should try and play through Deathkeep sometime. Doom I did on Jaguar, as I really prefer that version.

    The other game I'd forgotten was in that lot I got was Who Shot Johnny Rock?, but it didn't thrill me. I had more fun with the goofier American Laser Games stuff like Space Pirates and Drug Wars.

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    Trying to beat this game on Hard gave me an arm injury (fortunately mild and short-lived), because the speed of fire required to beat the final boss is so insanely fast that I ultimately hurt my shoulder and/or hand.

    It would've been easier with an arcade joystick of some kind, but I don't have one of those. As it stands, I just caved and used a turbo controller to finish the game off.

    Burning Soldier starts out well, but the further you get into the game, the more cheap shots start showing up. It eventually becomes memorization-dependent, and in several cases there are enemies I'm not convinced you can kill in time to avoid taking damage.

    There's a hidden 3P-4P mode, right? I've only played 2P, and it seemed like bosses took more hits to compensate for our additional firepower. I wonder if additional players past 2P add additional boss health.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenband View Post
    Trying to beat this game on Hard gave me an arm injury (fortunately mild and short-lived), because the speed of fire required to beat the final boss is so insanely fast that I ultimately hurt my shoulder and/or hand.

    It would've been easier with an arcade joystick of some kind, but I don't have one of those. As it stands, I just caved and used a turbo controller to finish the game off.

    Burning Soldier starts out well, but the further you get into the game, the more cheap shots start showing up. It eventually becomes memorization-dependent, and in several cases there are enemies I'm not convinced you can kill in time to avoid taking damage.

    There's a hidden 3P-4P mode, right? I've only played 2P, and it seemed like bosses took more hits to compensate for our additional firepower. I wonder if additional players past 2P add additional boss health.
    Holy crap! Those kinds of injury stories always fascinate me... and make me wonder how thorough testing was on that setting. I tend to stick to normal difficulty, as it gives me the balance I prefer... and this makes me wonder if I want to ever really go all out on hard mode. I'm not aware of a 4p mode, but I'll have to look into it. Could be fun with the right group.

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