Skyblazer

a game by Ukiyotei

Platform: SNESSNES

Genre: Platformer

Skyblazer's frustrating, and that's good! It's the kind of frustration that dangles victory just out of your reach, urging you on to try again...and again... and again. That makes for some great gaming.

Hit or Myth?

A young warrior named Sky must battle Ashura, a particularly nasty mythical enemy who's arisen to take back the land. Lead Sky through four areas (each guarded by a giant boss) and onto a final battle with Ashura.

ProTips:

  • You'll find a lot of rooms where you can gather gems and 1-ups. If you get low on lives, backtrack and stock up. Once you reach a boss, though, you can't return for more until you've defeated it.
  • When you're in the heat of battle and want to switch to a special weapon, hit Start to pause the game and switch weapons without risking damage.
  • Get familiar with your special powers -- some enemies are immune to certain powers, but are easily damaged by others.

One of Skyblazer's attractions is its mythological setting. You're back in ancient times with half-man/half-animal archers, evil genies in bottles, and gargoyles. There are also fantastic beasts, like giant, snapping piranhas and flying eyeballs.

To defeat this mythical force, Sky lashes out with mighty punches, kicks, and weapons he finds along the way. You begin with a Dragon Slash (a powerful boomerang-type bullet). However, every boss character you defeat coughs up another bonus weapon or special item. These include the abilities to heal yourself, to stop time, and to climb up walls. Skyblazer's simple controls make your moves easy to master, too.

Gaming a la Mode... 7

Most of Skyblazer's action has a side-scrolling perspective, but the game puts the SNES through a full-out aerobic workout when it shows off some inventive uses of Mode 7. In one stage, you fight a boss, which is a face on the wall. You have to jump through cutaways as the wall rotates, or else get squashed against the edge of the screen. You must also work your way around the outside of a cylindrical tower that rotates as you jump from step to step. The wildest level has no firm ground, only clouds with "air flow" that goes in all different directions. Hit the right air flow, or you'll drop to the bottom of the stage. In this wild game, you also face levels where you fly and swim. Sky-blazer is more than just hot visuals -- the music is a smooth backdrop for the action.

It's No Snooze fest!

What makes Skyblazer a big winner is the game play. Variety, inventive effects, and a creative story line make this game frustratingly good! It could be the sleeper hit of the season.

Other games by
Ukiyotei

Skyblazer Downloads

SNES Skyblazer download
  • Machine: SNES;
  • Manufacturer: Sony Imagesoft; Sony Music of Japan

We weren't sure about this one. After seeing the likes of Actraiser 2 and Aladdin (both versions), it didn't seem like Skyblazer could have much to offer, with its relatively small characters and a typical plot of a resurrected demon and a captured sorceresses.

But I was pleasantly surprised - there's a lot of variety in Skyblazer. Sure, it's stuff you've seen before, but everything is very well done, and there are even a couple of new twists. With few exceptions, each area has its own look and game play, and you can choose the order in which you play the middle stages. There's even a nice balance to its difficulty level - it's challenging, but there are plenty of ways to get extra lives, and you get a password after completing each area.

Skyblazer also has good, responsive controls - it's one of the few games where if you miss a jump, you know it's your fault. The one problem I found was when climbing (an essential skill), the only way to let go is to jump away from the wall, a serious problem when you need to drop straight down to avoid some spike or fireball. Also, when you reach the top, getting over the edge - "topping out" in climber-speak - isn't as smooth as it could be.

But overall, even though there's nothing exactly new or ground-breaking - it even pulls out a personal unfavorite, the old fight-all-the-bosses-again-during-the-last-stage bit - Skyblazer sure keeps your attention. Plus, the graphics are very nice: The final boss was so hot, I forgot to fight him!

reggie posted a review

Arianna, a young sorceress, has been kidnapped by Ashura. Sky has pledged his life to rescuing her. Skyblazer is an all-new action game along the same lines as Hook. Sky must venture through colorful stages with outrageous background effects. The colors are simply amazing!

reggie posted a review

This is a pleasant little fantasy adventure that requires some technique on behalf of the main character. Cool graphics (with some Mode 7 thrown in) and decent control, make this the one to get.

reggie posted a review
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