Approximate Release Month: February 1993
Developer: Telenet Japan
Most of the problems I have with Super Valis IV are rooted in the basic level design.
You never want to be bored while playing an action game. At the bare minimum, there need to be things to do at pretty much all times. Enemies, jumps, obstacles … anything that might pose a modicum of challenge. Super Valis IV instead has long stretches where you just run forward. An enemy might pop out every once in a while, but the regular enemies can be dispatched with a sword slash or two easily.
There are a few nooks and crannies in some of these long walks that hold power-ups, which are mostly useless against non-boss monsters since the default sword attack is so effective. The power-ups seem to come in two flavors: armor and weapons. Armor does what you expect. The weapons replace your up-Y sword-beam attack with a homing beam, a wider beam, or a spread beam, just to name a few of the ones I’ve found. My strategy with bosses in Super Valis IV was to equip a power-up and spam it until the boss fell. I almost never used those weapons otherwise.
Otherwise, Super Valis IV is an average Super Nintendo action game. The controls are responsive and I never saw a dip in framerate. There are a few jumps in the second level that are fairly exacting, with the punishment for failure being a few moments of running back to the pit to try again. Graphics are simple but effective, too.
I don’t have many problems with Super Valis IV. Bad pacing is the only sin the game commits, as it’s otherwise a serviceable but unspectacular action game. It’s not going to wow anyone.
Tomorrow: Remember Tiny Toon Adventures? I do! Tomorrow’s game is Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose!