Kris Wall reviews Assault Suit Leynos…
Assault Suit Leynos is a reboot of a series from the Sega Megadrive era, where it was originally called Target Earth when it was released in the West. Leynos is an old school side scrolling shooter in the vein of the Contra and Metal Slug series, where you scroll from left to right blasting away at legions of enemies with an arsenal of heavy duty weaponry. Side scrolling shooters, along with beat-em ups, are the main reason I got into video games in the first place, spending hours of my youth plugging away at these ‘bullet hell’ style games.
Assault Suit Leynos immediately grabs your attention from the outset with its great art style, which is clearly heavily influenced by Anime and Manga, and whilst I can’t say I know much about the Assault Suit series, or even Anime or Manga for that matter, it definitely feels inspired by the Gundam and Ghost in the Shell series as your hulking mech suit lays waste to hordes of invading aliens, spaceships and colossal mech rivals. The game uses a really nice blend of retro styled graphics wrapped in a fancy modern sheen, when the screen is lit up with bullets, bombs and exploding mechs, it has a frequent tendency to look pretty damn cool.
Assault Suit Leynos is a great game to pick up and play, it’s just immediate fun. You don’t collect weapons in Assault Suit Leynos, you have six slots on your mech which can be filled with weapons, armour, shields and booster packs, allowing you to modify your loadout before each level, which offers a small amount of depth to a game of this type as you can manage your loadout to wage all out war with an arsenal of rocket launchers, machine guns and grenade launchers, or play more defensively with fewer weapons but access to your shield, boosters and armour. I did find that tactically blocking a volley of fire with my shield before shredding everything across the screen with a machine gun never failed to make me grin. Depending on your score and rank at the end of each level, you’ll be rewarded with new weapons and equipment and it’s always fun to go back to a level with a better loadout and try to smash your high score.
If there’s a downside to Assault Suit Leynos, there are only eight levels and they’re not very long, or that challenging either. There’s some tricky boss battles scattered throughout but many of the levels seem to end before they’ve even begun. I did enjoy the variety of the levels though, given that side scrolling shooters are quite limited in their overall scope, it was definitely cool to see that on one level you’re on the attack, another has you defending a convoy, the next you’re blasting off into space to fight mech suits, and another turns into a tower defence as you stand off against a massive wave of invaders.
Assault Suit Leynos is great fun for anyone who has a love of classic side scrolling shooters, even more so if you’re a fan of Japanese Anime & Manga. It’s easy to pick up and play and the graphical art style is really rather cool, just don’t expect it to last long or put up much of a challenge beyond its bosses.
+ Immediate fun to pick up and play
+ Great art style
+ Stage variety
– Levels are a bit too short
– Not overly challenging
Rating: 7 / 10