Super NES Works gives thanks for Capcom's classic U.N. Squadron

Another licensed joint that turned out far better than it really needed to.

I thought it would be fitting to make a thematically fitting entry here as my final video post before ducking out to spend Thanksgiving weekend with family. Capcom's U.N. Squadron has been one of those rare and precious lights in the Retronauts Video Chronicles venture: A genuinely great game that does practically everything right. It looks nice, sounds great, it plays well.

This Super NES conversion — adapted from a 1989 arcade release — adds considerable substance to the design framework that creates a more interesting (and therefore replayable) experience for home play. The game is challenging, but not unfairly so, and it provides players with enough tools and flexibility to approach the missions from different angles with and varied tactics. And on top of that, it perfectly captures the essence of the media property from which Capcom licensed it.

In short, U.N. Squadron is one of the greats of the Super NES's library. The game did see some other ports back in the day, but I find this one most interesting; as with Commando, Capcom handled this conversion internally and made a lot of adjustments to the game's design that make it a different overall experience than the coin-op game, but you can't really say it's been compromised. After all, the original creators made these tweaks. Sure, there are a few things sorely missing from the arcade version; the lack of co-op play is a letdown, and the smaller horizontal resolution of the Super NES versus the CPS1 board makes the action feel a bit more cramped at times. This version nevertheless so much to the original design that it more than makes up for the excisions. 

I could go on, but the video sums this all up, so why not watch that? And then run out and hunt down a copy of the cart. Thanks to the Area 88 manga and anime license, this game has never been reissued or included in any collection. Unless you feel like hunting down the arcade board, the Super NES cart remains the only way to play this brilliant shooter in its original glory in the comfort of your own home without delving into emulation.