Side scrolling action game in the vein of Contra, also from Konami. Unlike Contra though the emphasis seems to be more on hand to hand than anything else. You run left to right through the enemy base at first armed with only a knife. An endless stream of enemy soldiers attack, each of which goes down with only one hit. You yourself die from one hit as well (which includes letting an enemy walk into you in addition to being shot or stabbed or whatever.) You also eventually get guns, bazookas, gernades, etc. The enemies attack in waves most of the time while in tight lines of marching formation. Thus the game becomes about finding the right position upon which to stand and attack so they all run into your knife.
The graphics are actually pretty good, nice backgrounds show various realistic buildings, inter continental ballistic missiles, gun towers, etc. The setting is obviously supposed to be Soviet Russia judging from the communist red stars from all over the place in addition to the name of the game. The game was released during the cold war after all.
Problems: The game is pretty tough, and there are no continues. I'm not one to shy away from a challenge. The game is completeable to someone who's dedicated. But it is frustrating to get all the way to the end and get nailed by a stray soldier or attack dog and have to start all the way over. You are able to earn extra lives as the game goes on, just not enough of them to make it worth it.
You can jump while in a lying-down position. I don't know what's up with that.
It also seems a little strange to me that a soldier would parachute behind enemy lines armed only with a K-Bar combat knife. You'd think he'd have an M-16 or something. Apparently the Russians believe in fair play because instead of just blowing you away at first sight they attempt to take you down by hand. Just a tad unrealistic. They also must be extremely disciplined as they will continue to run at you while you stand in one place and kill a whole group of them. 8-bit A. I. aside, you'd think once in a while one of them would like, take cover or something.
Despite the simple A. I. the game is pretty intense. At any given time you're being attacked from all sides and quickly have to find the best way and position upon which to counterattack. A perfect game for adrenaline junkies.
Graphics: Very detailed with good backgrounds and decent animation. Probably the pinnacle of what the NES could do with a Pre-MMC chip game.
Sound: Sounds taken from the usual Konami sound library.
Gameplay: Imagine Contra with a knife and you've got it.
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