Thursday, May 16, 2013

Super Giant Robot Star Wars !!!

 Today were going to be taking a look at my very FIRST purchased Famicom game Choujikuu Yousai Macross (Super Defense Fortress Macross) or for short Macross. Its a short game with what would be a short review so allow me fatten this up with some background for some of you. Macross is/was a HUGE anime series in Japan its spawned 3 TV series, 4 Movies, 5 Manga series (comics) and 6 OVAs (direct to home video) and about TWO DOZEN GAMES. Basically theres been game on every system since the Famicom.

Game box.. Side Note Namco and Bandai merged in 2005

Macross is still running strong till this very day and has been since 1982. In 1985 it was renamed Robotech and altered slightly for its release in America, it received notable success with the TV series and toys. And Robotech was the first venture into Anime for many.

The story of the Original Macross series which this game is based goes as follows... In 2009 a Giant alien ship the Super Dimension Space Fortress (SDF-1) lands on Earth the united world government starts to backwards engineer the technology and we get jet fighters that double as giant robot suits, so basically as a kid you just got the love child of Star Wars & Transformers ..YAH, FU*KIN DOPE !! So to flesh this out you got a boy-hero pilot Hikaru ( Luke Skywaler), his sarcastic womanizing bad-ass squad leader war-hero slightly older friend Roy Focker ( Han Solo), A strict by the book and head strong beautiful First Officer Misa Hayase (Princess Leia ), and cute model/ pop star/victim Lynn Minmay ( C3-PO just kidding ) The Star Wars similarities start to dwindle after this but are there. Basically a Love triangle is formed between Hikaru and the 2 ladies set against the backdrop of the a Alien Race coming to look for the ship, and a massive war space opera is kicked off...  Alright Ill stop explaining the show now as this is surely getting too nerdy for you ...... HAHAHHA Who are YOU kidding you're reading a web site about 30 year old video games !! HAHAHA OHHhhhh any way....

The Macross game can be found in high volumes for low prices not in a negative way, its because like Mario this was probably owned at one time by almost every Famicom gamer in Japan. This being a Testament to the series's popularity. Which is why I have 2 copies, my wife bought me a better copy with a top label ( SHE FU*KIN ROCKS !!! )

 Famicom cases are hard to get cheap
Players had a few choices of labels to apply or not

  On to the game ! Macross is a side scrolling SHMUP, you Pilot Hikaru's VF-1 Valkyire Fighter (jet) through a barrage of on coming Zentradi battle pods & ships while the love song popularized by Lynn Minmay in the movie/series is 8-bit butchered and looped forever in the background through out the game. This doesn't bother me as Im already insane. The B button fires the gun and the SELECT button fires the multi warhead homing missiles which can take out up to 6 enemies. Yah I said the SELECT button thats because the unique aspect to Macross is that pressing the A button and the D-pad will transform your ship into another state and also change the weapons a bit, this can be done with out cost instantly whenever you desire.
Playing my GOOD copy just for you guys & gals

The modes and setups are :

VF Fighter (Jet)- Small and the Fastest mode which can cause you to crash a lot & you must press A repeatedly to continue firing.

Gerwalk (Jet with arms and legs)- Most balanced maneuverability of the 3 & you can hold A to fire rapidly.

Battleroid (Giant Robot)- Largest target and hard to dodge on coming ships and mines but you can fire in both forward and backward directions by turning around and the gun fires rapidly like in gerwalk mode.

The game picks up at the end of the Film or middle of the TVSeries and has only three stages/parts-

The first has you meeting wave after wave of Zentradi forces head on in deep space with hundreds of Fighters exploding in the background as you race to meet the Command Cruiser up ahead. You will take on enemy fire and collisions but fear not.. Macross has a very fair health bar system.

The second stage starts as we make it close enough to the Command ship to see how much it actually dwarfs our Fighter in size. Fighting off the more organized defense outside of the ship you will take more damage but the game places a Health Power up almost strategically on every level. And Missile ammo can be found & stocked well past the onscreen indicator which stops at six.

The third stage starts off after our VF-1 Fighter flies inside the Zentradi's large Command Vessel. Enemy grouping gets tighter here as you make your way towards the ships Reactor Core which serves as the FINAL BOSS !! ( Death Star Much ). You have 30 seconds to make it to the Core and quickly shoot away the two rows of material protecting the core ( from rupturing I guess ?? ). Gerwalk mode is a good choice here as the rapid firing coupled with mobility serve well against the clock and the Reactor Core's own defense system which fires a heavy payload at its attacker. Hooray with the core destroyed you are treated to .... Oh NO!...Yup classic ... THE GAME STARTS OVER!

Hey you know what? I don't even care this time ! Its a well made game that yes ONLY takes 8 mins to beat but its MACROSS I mean hell when i was a kid I would have Geeked hard over a chance to play this, and kids probably did just that. On the plus side it starts over with a slightly higher difficulty each play and new enemies are added each time. First replay adds Mines, second Zentradi soldiers in battle suits, 3rd mounted turrets in and on the Command Ship, and finally more types of battle pods. It keeps track of amount of times you have replayed in the top right calling them rounds, this was a classic style of gaming where you and friends or rivals would basically play a game of survival for bragging rights in the school yard.

 Well I hope you enjoyed this review as much as I enjoyed having an excuse to play Macross again.

Okay fellow "Famikaa" (Japanese slang for some who plays alot of Famicom) Until next time keep "Famiru" !! (Playing or Doing Famicom)


  1. Great review, I have this game too and love it, it's basically an arcade game so I don't mind repeating levels, just aim for that high score!

    1. Is the copy you have the one I sent you ? Cause that was one of your 2 prizes ...