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SNES A Day 119: Firepower 2000


Approximate Release Date: November 13, 1992
Genre: Scrolling shooter
Developer: Sales Curve Interactive
Publisher: Sunsoft

I know it’s a bit of a cult classic, but Firepower 2000 doesn’t do a whole lot for me.

I see how people could love it, though. Firepower 2000 plays a lot like the arcade and NES classic Ikari Warriors, where you play as an army man and you shoot platoons-worth of enemy soldiers in eight directions.  The twist is Firepower 2000 also mashes in elements of scrolling shooters, which is kinda strange because Ikari Warriors felt like an offshoot of that genre in the first place. The screen scrolls, for one.

I don’t like that. Being able to fire in any direction seems irrelevant when you’re constantly being forced to march forward. Enemies in Firepower 2000 generally only come from the top and the bottom of the screen in the early levels, so maybe if more enemies assault from the sides it will seem less unnecessary.  I just locked my gun facing forward and played the game like I would Space Megaforce.

Also, if anyone could let me know how the weapon upgrade system works, I’d appreciate it.  There’s a missile weapon, a plasma weapon, and a flamethrower. You’ll find caches of power-ups infrequently during levels, and if you destroy them you can collect them all. But I don’t know if there is a way to choose what weapon to upgrade. Every time I played the first level, my plasma weapon would end up reaching level 5 or so with everything else at level 1. In level 2, my flamethrower would become similarly disproportionally powerful. That doesn’t seem like that’s how it should work.

Everything else about Firepower 2000 is what you’d expect. I don’t feel like the changes the game has made to stand out against every other scrolling shooter differentiates it enough to justify those changes. But if the freedom of movement and shooting clicks with you, you might end up loving Firepower 2000.

Tomorrow: John Madden returns to the Super Nintendo with John Madden Football ’93

2 thoughts on “SNES A Day 119: Firepower 2000”

  1. I love this game and didn’t realize it was called Firepower 2000 in the U.S., I’ve always known it as Super Swiv. 🙂

    You don’t seem to use the “special weapons” at all, which are the X’s, S’s and H’s in the top left hand corner. They can be useful when you’re in a jam. That being said, I’m not sure how the upgrade system works either. Are you sure it’s not just upgrading the weapon you equip while collecting the upgrade?

  2. When you blow up a green container, you get either an icon (an upgrade) or a letter (a special). Specials appear in your upper-left menu as letters, each letter does something different when you use it.

    Now, the real glory of this game is the upgrade system. Each “icon” is unique…the circle is Plasma, the two vertical lines are Missiles, and the wifi-icon is flamethrower. Each weapon starts with a base of 1, each upgrade icon adds 1 to that, and can get to a maximum of 7 (I believe). At base 5, you start getting multi-column shots for each weapon. For once you collect 5 plasma icons, you will have a 4-spray-shot weapon. At base 7, I believe it is 5-shot. Flamethrowers simply get longer range and width. Missiles stagger well at higher level.

    When you die, you lose a base 1 for each upgrade (I believe). So if you were at Plasma 6 and die, you get to Plasma 5 when you return.

    If you love Galaga, you will LOVE this game. It is extremely challenging and the multi-direction comes into wonderful use during multiplayer rounds, like shooting straight-shooting stationary enemies from the side.

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