ACROBAT MISSION
game Cover
game cartridge
アクロバットミッション
©1992 Teichiku Co.,Ltd.
©1991 UPL Co.,Ltd.
Release: 1992-09-11 (¥8880)
Cartridge SHVC-2T
Shooter / Vertical


Acrobat Mission is a vertical shooter published by Techiku and conversion of UPL arcade game of the same name originally released in 1991. In the year 2100, humanity has to leave Earth due to the consequences of environmental degradation. Humans have decided to move to Mars and they left behind a bio-computer in charge of preparing the blue planet for future recolonization. But soon, an armada of hostile flying objects attack their settlements on the red planet. The defense agency decides to immediately assemble an attack force to neutralize the invasion - the operation, which is dubbed "Acrobat Mission", is on! The player takes control of the 2TV-00836 Icarus, a fast space-fighter, which comes equipped with a Standard laser. Two more weapons are available throughout the game - the wide shot (W) which spreads out in front of the ship and the Hurricane shot (H) which fires clusters of rotating balls of energy. Holding the fire button charges up a special attack and each weapon features a different energy blast and damage factor. The ship can also hold a maximum of two smart-bombs, one under each wing - although they can be activated by the player, they also do fall off easily and can be detonated by enemy shots. Interestingly, the Icarus can't collide with other ships or any part of the scenery - instead, it bounces off and only suffers damage from enemy shots. However, once the shield is depleted, the ship will fly out of control for a few seconds and grant the player a last chance to inflict damage to any remaining enemies.
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Acrobat Mission (arcade) Acrobat Mission was an arcade game by UPL originally released in 1991 and licensed by Taito (picture on the left). The Super Famicom version tested here was (it seems) the only home port of the game - however, it has some noticeable differences. The original game features two pilots to choose from ('Jet' and 'Nova') and a two simultaneous player mode. Some graphics were slightly altered such as the first boss which is red and grey in the arcade game. Weapon effects and especially special attacks were toned down (the Wide beam covers the whole screen when fully charged up in the arcade version!). The Super Famicom is also a bit harder as it always sends the player back to the beginning of the stage when he dies whereas the arcade game will respawn him before the area's boss. Finally, most of the (rather psychedelic) arcade end sequence was removed from the Super Famicom version and replaced by some text and a gameplay video.

Introduction text from the Japanese version:
AD 2100, Humans exterminated by their own nature distruption and escape to Mars leaving bio-computer for environmental recuperation of Earth. One day half a century after Humans arrived, Mars was attacked by strange flying objectes. To fight these enemies, the directer general of the Defence Agency organized the task force army and started the dog fight with invaders quicly. The operation was called "Acrobat Mission" as it exceeded the pilot's technical limit.

Game Staff (Copied from the end credits) :

STAFF
Producer
Takayoshi Kitao
Director
Naoya Miki
Main Programer
Akihito Saiki
Sub Programer
Takahiko Nagaya
Designer
Tomoko Asada
Sound Program
Don
Sound Director
Tomo Yamashita
Special Thanks
Hiroyasu Sotokiba
Tanaka Family
Dr. Nadaka


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Acrobat Mission manual
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I have mixed feelings about Acrobat Mission. There are some interesting ideas there such as the "no-collision policy" or the unique design of the game and the large and imaginative bosses. But it wasn't the sort of shooting spiel that kept me coming back... I mean, technically, Acrobat Mission is really close to the original arcade game and is something of a triumph, no doubt about it (the arcade game is actually slightly better, but not by far). But the end product is a bit of an under cooked shooter, the weapon system is rather weak and enemies can take a numerous amount of hits before going down (especially as the game progresses). That's it, I feel that a better weapon system would have probably made this game a hit and the worst offenders are probably the special attacks which are nearly useless. All in all, I feel Acrobat Mission is a missed opportunity but, to be fair, the arcade game had (roughly) the same issues and, in that respect, this port is accurate to the real thing... a sadly average shooter whose few original ideas are compromised by an inconsistent execution.




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