Let’s back up a bit and look up some co-op games for the Master System. First we decided to take a look at Time Soldiers, a run and gun game similar to Ikari Warriors and Shock Troopers. The Master System was not exactly famous for good cover art, in fact it was quite the opposite. Time Soldiers though has an illin’ cover art which definitely played a part in me buying the game and our decision to make Time Soldiers our first Master System Co-op venture! It can’t be much worse than Ikari Warriors! Can it?
Like i said Time Soldiers is the 8 directional top down perspective run and gun such as Ikari Warriors and Shock Troopers. Ikari Warriors sucked but Shock Troopers is awesome so these type of games definitely have potential. I guess Time Soldier falls in between those 2 games as in it is an OK/good game. The action is a lot more fluid than in the games’ 8-bit brother Ikari Warriors and it is not nearly as frustrating.
You and preferably a friend fight through a total of five time periods in an effort to safe your time soldier comrades and to kill some evil future jerk who took them away. You get knocked back and forth through 3 of those time periods again and again in the beginning stages in the game and they get pretty stale pretty fast. It picks up again when you can finally enter the other time periods but the level of fun here is pretty average.
One button shoots and the other shoots special weapons you find in the stages. The controls are very good and responsive which is very important in this kind of game and the boss battles are fun and intense also. Even though the game is a bit short, the game is pretty difficult to clear which is a good thing. It would be a great thing if the game was more fun to play.
It is important to note that the game was released early in the Master System lifetime or in 1987. Considering that the game has pretty refined gameplay and the inclusion of co-op is great which is a thing that should not be taken for granted. The graphics look pretty good, it is always fun to see the potential of the Master System and how it was probably superior in graphical capabilities when compared to the NES even though this might not be the game you would use to prove that point. Unfortunately the music in the game kinda sucks and the high bleep and blop notes really pierce your brain, maybe they sound better with an FM sound chip I’m not sure and honestly i don’t care since the music is barely worth listening to.
Here is a speedrun of the game. It is fine for seeing what kind of game Time Soldiers is but keep in mind that the gameplay is tool assisted and is in no way representative of what your first experience with the game will be like.
In the end Time Soldiers is a pretty fun game that lacks the diversity of gameplay and music that could have made it a great game. It is fine if you and a pal are looking for some of the better co-op games on the Master System or if you are fans of the genre or just fans of the Master System in general. If not then i would recommend to look elsewhere. Shock Troopers or Wild Guns or something like that.
Lasting appeal 6
Is it fun? 6,5
Overall 6,5 an OK game
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