Cybernator (SNES)

by PaulEMoz

I was thrown for a bit of a loop today - I had planned to play something on the Dreamcast, but I haven't been on it for quite a while, and when I finally got it all set up I discovered the VMU's battery had run out, meaning I couldn't play anything. I'm not exactly a seasoned Dreamcast player, so I presume that the controller needs the VMU to function... if I'm wrong then the controllers must be knackered. Anyway, I'll be off to buy a watch battery sometime next week.

In the meantime, there are plenty of backup plans. Instead, I dug out the old SNES I was given. There are only about ten games with it, but I don't think I've played any of them before. I was a Megadrive owner back in the day... until the day my brother swapped my copy of Landstalker for a SNES. Bastard.

So I got everything set up, and whacked in the Cybernator cartridge. I didn't know what to expect from this one, but it turned out to be a game that's part of the Assault Suits series, and it actually received a PS2 release a few years ago. That game was panned, but I'm taking this game on its own merits, bearing in mind the fact it's now over 15 years old.

I quite enjoyed it, actually. The game sees you in a giant robot suit, ploughing your way through enemy bases that are filled with platforms. So there's a lot of jumping and thrusting to be done. It feels a bit odd at first, but that's because the suit has a real weight to it, and you need to get used to that.

You have a few weapons at your disposal, although you only start with two. Capsules can be picked up that will give you extra weapons, will power up your weapons or will give you back some health. All of these come in very handy, because you'll take a good kicking in the course of your game.

There are also some horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-up sections to deal with, and frankly, I found the ones I played a bit of a pain. It's very unwieldy, trying to fly a giant robot around the screen and also aiming at guns that are shooting at you and missiles that are fired your way. Dual-sticks would help this to no end, but of course, home consoles didn't have dual sticks in 1992...

Cybernator is a pretty good game, when all's said and done. I've read that it starts to fall down toward the end... I didn't get that far in my brief run with it. Apparently it's available as Wiiware for 800 points, by the way, which is about £6. Not sure if it's quite worth that, especially with no demo to try, but it passed a couple of hours of my evening without any trouble at all.