GR Goes Retro: UN Squadron

We take a look at the classic shooter UN Squadron

Back in 1989 a game was released by the storied company known as Capcom.  Makers of the legendary Street Fighter series among so many other classic games.  However this was something different for them as you usually think of side scrolling beat ‘em ups or the fighting genre period.  The game I’m highlighting this week is an undervalued game known as U.N. Squadron.

It was orginally released for the arcade as something that’s akin to 1941 or 1942, also made by Capcom.  But this was a side scrolling shooter instead of the vertical style that the previous games are known for.  Also was the inclusion of a life bar instead of one hit and you’re dead.  Nice chance of pace.  However it was later ported to the Super Nintendo.  This is where I orginally got to know the game.

My experience was mostly due to being around ten years old when my dad got it because it dealt with fighter planes.  Since he didn’t really enjoy it, U.N. Squadron became my game and thus my quest to beat it began.  About thirteen years later, still attempting that feat as even on easy I find it to be very, very difficult.

The main story is the Evil Project 4 wants to take over the world and the U.N. Squadron has been called upon to save the day.  You can choose between three different pilots all with different abilities.  Though once you choose your pilot at the beginning of the game you’re stuck with him until the very end.  Makes it a bit more interesting but that’s Capcom for you.

There is a big difference between the two versions though.  The arcade version only allowed the pilot to control one plane for the entire game and the add on weapons were generally a power up of a weaker one that could be bought.  This is where the SNES version shines.  It features six different planes available along with quite a few add on weapons with the most expensive plane being able to handle every single one of the them.  But that costs a million dollars and takes a while to get.  Well worth it.

The add on weapons have characteristics.  The cluster is able to take out everything around it while the mega crush destroys everything on screen.  A life saver in a bad situation.  The planes also have a main cannon that shoots the unlimited ammo and it can be upgraded by destroying more enemies until they drop POW.  Collecting more and more POWs allows your gun to level up.  However the first few planes have a max level of five and that’s all she wrote.  The best plane I believe goes up to ten.  I never got that far with it to be honest with you.

Now I briefly mentioned the difficult in passing a few moments ago.  This game is hard, make no mistake about it.  Quick reflexes are a must have in order to survive even the first mission without having to burn through a life.  But some of the difficult is varied depending on which pilot you use.  If you like quick firing then you’d probably want to go with Shin Kazama.  A pretty good character overall.

I’ve never actually used the middle character, Mickey Simon, because he just seems so stuck up based on the avatar in the game.  Silly reason but eh, what can you do about it?  The best character to use if you suck at it much like I do is Greg Gates.  When you play as Greg you’ll notice that he shoots slower then Shin and Mickey but he makes up for it in one very vital way.

When he becomes damaged, it recovers twice as fast as the other two pilots thus making things a bit more easier on yourself if you aren’t too quick on the gun so to speak.  The damage system itself uses a life bar.  Each hit and you start to flash danger.  Make sure you don’t get hit while you’re flashing or its a quick game over.  In the arcade version, though, once you’ve been in, you’re invincible for a moment of time.  But I reckon they changed it due to the ease of going back to the SNES version more often.

You upgrade the planes by using money.  Money is obtained by shooting down other planes, tanks, missiles and bosses through out each level.  Or if you want quick cash, you’re able to attack convoys for twenty thousand bucks but be aware of the time limit.

Overall the game is short but the difficult makes up for it.  Its a fantastic way to let out some steam or just waste thirty minutes of your life.  U.N. Squadron is another fantastic game and probably one of the best side scrolling shooters I’ve ever played.  Give it a go somehow if you’re able to.  And like last time, here’s another YouTube gameplay video uploaded by me.


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Author: Craig Shultz View all posts by

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