The Sega Genesis Challenge – Insector X

Insector X. I wonder what type of critters we will be fighting.

Well, if you guessed insect-themed critters you would be correct. Except, you play Insector X, the last of the Insector people as he battles the insect critters. Kind of weird, but I can roll with it.

After the king of the Belzers (the heavily armed insect critters) destroyed the Insector people he sets his sites on the human world. As the last of the Insectors you battle to avenge your people as well as to protect the unsuspecting human population. Except it doesn’t really explain how or where the Belzers and Insectors fit in on Earth. Oh well, enough story lets get to the action.

The gameplay is pretty standard for horizontal shooters. Your character is armed with a pistol that can be upgraded through random power-ups as well as special weapons. I’m not sure when the special weapons kick in as I don’t recall having any at all during my limited playthrough. Perhaps they are granted in later levels. The secondary weapons can also be upgraded and are either anti-air or anti-ground.

Enemy sprites range in sizes and shapes, but overall tend to be on the smaller side. Likewise the standard shot is a bit small making hitting some of the smaller enemies a bit tricky. Enemies can come at you from any side of the screen, but you can only shoot forward. Maneuverability is pretty average though your character has a larger hit area than most monsters.

When you die you restart at a previous checkpoint, usually around the mid-point or just before a boss during the level. After 3 deaths you get the option of a continue, but that starts you at the beginning of the level. There are 3 continues before game over.

The game itself consists of 5 stages spread through a variety of environments including desert, jungle, and urban areas. At the end of each stage awaits a boss that must be defeated in order to advance. The instruction manual actually has a mini strategy guide for the first three stages and bosses including safe zones and target areas during boss battles.

Overall this was a pretty fun shooter if a little uninspired. The theme is pretty original, but the gameplay is average for your 16 bit shooter. I will definitely be playing more of this in the future, when I am in the mood for a good old fashioned uncomplicated shooter.