Review by S_Garland
Far better game than people give it credit for.
My first review ever, lovely! Expect it to be unconventional and/or terribly written. Now, I don't want to say too much; today I'm just gonna try to defend Silver Surfer because I think this game needs and deserves it. I'm also going to be honest and point out that I haven't seen the whole game yet, specifically the last stage (hopefully this shouldn't affect too much). I'm giving it a 7 because I'm going by what the drop-down box uses as a description, which is good enough for me. I hate the number system and I'd rather just pick 1/10 for everything, but I'm not sure that GameFAQs would approve of that.
Silver Surfer is a pretty competently made shmup that I would definitely rank as one of the better games on the system. It takes a LOT from Gradius, and fans of those games will feel right at home. It's definitely harder than the original Gradius (the NES version), so if you don't feel like fighting a thousand loops (Silver Surfer does have loops, but they're accessed separately) and some ridiculous technical problems (the brain stage is hell), give this a shot.
Graphics and audio: Graphics are clear and colorful (if simple), stage themes seem varied enough to cover more tropes than Gradius tends to, and I've seen little to no sprite flickering or slowdown; nothing done wrong here, with a few things done right, and that's just the regular TEN stages. As for the music... now, I love the music, don't get me wrong, but there's just so little of it to go around; you're going to be hearing the same two songs for the whole game, even if it sounds so wonderful. Since one of the things people love to praise this game for is the music, this situation is incredibly irritating. In fact, this is the factor that makes me go for the 7 over 8 or the 9.
Anything else: The lack of autofire doesn't bother me in context (not many NES shmups had it); even in Gradius, you don't always want autofire, as you may get bopped by something that slipped past you. Instead, Silver Surfer seems designed with autofire in mind, so it's a bit irritating that it isn't here. Not only that, they mapped the fairly important bomb button to Select of all things (good alternative is pressing A+B). Though... I get the feeling it isn't necessary. If they were trying to keep players from using the bomb, I can't help but respect that.
The best part is that Silver Surfer holds up pretty well; there are so few great Gradius clones, and this one manages to bring a different feel to the whole formula. So, "A few problems, but worth the time to play" seems to describe this game perfectly. It's pretty sad that this game will probably never get the respect it deserves... people are complaining about the wrong things in this game, I think.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Silver Surfer (US, 11/30/90)
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