#110 Salamander

Posted: 30th October 2015 by Jeroen in Games
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462nd played so far


Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1986
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami

With some games, it feels like there is not much we can add as an introduction. Salamander looks like one of those shoot ’em ups we’ve seen plenty of – horizontal scrolling, you control a ship that can move sideways to change your position and you have plenty of enemies charging at you.

So what’s so special this time?

Our Thoughts

As one of these shoot ’em ups, Salamander is pretty engaging – I tried playing it a few times and wasn’t that quick in giving up. At the same time, sitting here now, having played the next two games on the same day, I struggle to remember much about it.

The first level did make somewhat of an impact. While it’s mostly standard shooting, you are traveling through some creature’s body. Interesting is how parts of the level can be destroyed – you need to blast your way through walls – making avoiding slightly less important.

Powerups are easier to come by than the game’s predecessor Gradius, but it really mattered little for us, as death was too easy and it got rid of everything.

Later levels changes the theme (and direction!) causing some interesting differences in levels. In a way, the difficulty doesn’t feel like it actually goes up a lot – it’s just the ongoing onslaught that simply wears you down.

Final Thoughts

Salamander just isn’t that notable, sorry. It’s interesting, fun, and does some things its own way, but it is more an iterative update than something that feels special.

Thinking about it, games like this stay bland because they’re not as distinct – there’s no story to differentiate them and most enemies are ‘weird species’, ‘odd birds’ and ‘worm things’. I’m looking forward to actually seeing some more story or cutscenes to add some reason to play the game.