Today I completed the The Guardian Legend for the NES. The title can be a bit misleading having a RPG kinda ring to it, when in reality it's a classic shooter with some action/adventure sprinkled in.
The premise is that a world is hurtling toward earth and you must activate the self-destruct before it's target.
Explore the the surface on foot, gathering items and weapons and seeking corridor entrances. These corridors are the shooter levels. There's 20. After clearing a pair of corridors you're rewarded with a new key to explore more areas. The surface exploration isn't very interesting, the occasional shop and mini boss area give some variety but the real game is in the shoot em up in the corridors
The weapon system is pretty good with the ability to use all weapons you'll find. You have a limited number of "chips" which act like energy for the special weapons. Each weapon has upgrades of up to 3 levels.
As the game progresses the corridors become more challenging as do the bosses. However, effective use of your various special weapons will have you prevailing against most bosses relatively easily. I wouldn't say its a cake walk there were some challenging areas, but by the end I was expecting a bit more of a challenge. I made it though the last stage on my 2nd try. Maybe it's because I am the "greatest player"
The password system blows. Takes 5 minutes just to start the game, but the in-game continue is nice.
Overall I thought it was a pretty good game. One of the better shmups for the NES. Definitely worth a play.
12/23/10: After thought, I've fired up a few other shmups for the NES and found most don't come close to the quality of this one. (though there are a few gems, Zanac for one) I think 7.5 is still a fair rating if you consider all games across all consoles but limiting it to NES, I'd put this game in the top 50. Very good NES game.