(SNES / Super Nintendo)

Axelay (SNES / Super Nintendo)

Game Profile

Mysterious aliens have invaded the Earth-like planet of Corliss, slowly draining the planet's resources.

Take control of the prototype Axelay ship and use its wide range of advanced weaponry to battle enemy forces. Play through multiple stages of action - from other planets to space stations - all on your way to destroying the alien headquarters.

You are Corliss' last line of defense, so be careful not to be too distracted by the excellent graphics (including great scrolling effects) and rocking music. Pilot the Axelay using Konami's famously tight play control and experience what many consider to be a classic of the shooter genre.

Game Review

Wii U eShop Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Restoring some Life Force to the 2D shooter

When you run through the list of prolific Japanese software houses during the 8 and 16-bit eras, Konami's name is usually pretty close to the top. Like rivals Capcom and Namco, it benefited from the incredible global success of the Nintendo's NES and many...

Game Review

Virtual Console Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Who said the SNES couldn't handle shmups?

Regardless of the fact that it was released fairly early on in the life of Nintendo's 16-bit console, Axelay remains one of the best looking and most impressive shooters available for the format. Employing a similar format to Konami stable mate Lifeforce,...

Game Screenshots

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This week's great game is Axelay. One of the SNES's finest shmups (And one of the most loved ones of all time!). It has very unique 3D-esque effects which give it a unique style almost no other game has copied. This one's worth checking out if you like the genre! Whether you like..

Game Trailers

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User Comments (60)



sashaboo said:

I have been waiting since the realease of the wii for this brilliant shooter to come to the virtual console and i think my wait is almost over. I highly recommend this game to fans of shooting games. Its one of the best shooters ever made



Corbs said:

One of the greatest shooters ever created. I still drag this cart out all the time to run through it.



Chris said:

My second favourite shoot em up ever (after Super Aleste).
Probably my favourite game music ever. Can never decide between this Castlevania 4 and Super Aleste.



Bass_X0 said:

wonderful wonderful music on this one. i never did get very far though without cheating... shooters weren't really my thing. i mainly played this because i liked the graphics and the music.



FirebrandMustDie said:

I think I may just have to download this when it's out, really enjoyed this game...especially the mode7 levels.



deerslayer said:

This really is the best of the best on the SNES. Not sure what i like most, the graphics or the music(especially level 3). And the cool bosses like the walking robot on level 2 or the ufo on 3, which is really hard. This is a must have and hopefully it will be out in the rest of world soon. It was released in Australia for some reason.



michinmuri said:

One of my favorite shooters, up there with Blazing Lazers and Gates and Lords of Thunder. Great graphics, sound, playability, the whole nine yards. If you like shooters or game with pretty pictures, get this immediately!



Nintend00d said:

Robert: My favorite shooter ever.
Sami: i 100% agree with u robert

You agree that it's his favorite shooter? I know what you meant

My fav is still R-Type



Boo! said:

Axelay v Gate of Thunder v Soldier Blade?
I'm not rich, so would prefer to only have one of them - relayability is a big factor. This soudns nice though.



Richard said:

I thought this was going to be like Gates of Thunder. It's a lot of fun anyways!

__Son Of Welcome


Son Of Welcome said:

Axelay kills Super Star Soldier and Blazing Lazers. Soldier Blade I'm not so sure. Oh Well....Axelay = Soldier Blade

__Leon Ahoy!


Leon Ahoy! said:

This game is immensely enjoyable. Beyond the playability, it's also a great looking game, with a lot of skill and imagination injected into each level, boss, effect etc....

The sound is also brillaint, with effective sfx, and very catchy tunes.

I can't fault this title. A must-have AAA experience.



JiggyGF said:

More enjoyable than Blazing Lazers and Gradius III, but I'd still have to give the nod to Super Star Soldier, Soldier Blade, Gate of Thunder, and R-Type III. Only six levels is a bit of a drag, but the music is really pretty rocking, so it works out.



Homer_Simpson said:

So....Australia already has this game, while it hasn't had a release in the rest of the 'EU' region. Are we in Australia missing out on another game that has been released to the rest of the 'EU' region?



slangman said:

Axelay is awesome but why do us Europeans have to suffer waiting for this game? Australia got it like 4 months ago.
@ Homer Simpson Probotector 2 for the NES isn't on the Australia and New Zealand VC console.



Nigel said:

I'm still stuck at the last stage but this game is alot of fun and looks really cool, and it plays a little differently than all the others. It's a very solid game.



Bensei said:

Could you get this by setting your console to Australia as the Aussie's did with TG 16 games?



Peppy_Hare said:

Love 1up.com and Jeremy Parish's introspectives but he was way off base when he slammed this game in a Retronauts podcast. Axelay is a challenging and graphically-impressive shooter.



Satans_Therapist said:

what a great game. does anybody have any idea or know any rumour as to when we get this in the uk, really sick of waiting



Betagam7 said:

does that actually still work? Or was it "fixed" with one of the updates? If it does then Australians don't need to worry about getting C64 games



sashaboo said:

Thas right Mr. Slangman. i been waiting ages for this game to come out in the EU. i really am very annoyed with waiting.



slangman said:

Ok its almost 6 or 7 months and still no Axelay? What are you playing at Nintendo. :S



Django said:

I just changed region to Australia on my Wii settings. After that, i added 1000 Wii points and downloaded Axelay. After that, I change back to my original settings (Denmark). I can now play the game on my Wii.



Satans_Therapist said:

Has anyone else tried what Django has done. Can you do this in the u.k. ? could further updates stop the game working in the future?



martyn2001 said:

Why hasn't Super Aleste come to VC yet?
I'm not sure if I want to risk stopping future updates from happeneing if I were to try Django's trick. Come on Nintendo - get these games released in Europe!



Satans_Therapist said:

I am really tempted to do what Django did to get hold of axelay however when I change the region setting of my wii to Australia it says it will delete the link between my wii shop account and my nintendo account (which I have linked up to change star points for wii points)
Is it possible to re-link them back together again?



CobraCommander said:

Well, its my favourite shooter game too.

Great Graphics,Fantastic Soundtrack, awesome gameplay.
I always love this games. It put out everything from the SNES.



Betagam7 said:

Satan's therapist. yes it is possible. It only deletes the link temporarily while you are in another region. presumabley as Australia doesn't have a stars system. As soon as you change back you get the option to relink. To be fair to Nintendo they are pretty honest and upfront about this (almost like they know what you're doing it for).
I just took the plunge and downloaded Axelay. It cost me 1000 points instead of 800 (as your leftover points get deleted everytime you change regions) but it was worth it. I wish Nintendo would jsut let you buy the games outright instead of having leftover points



Corbs said:

It's so funny that many media outlets claimed that the Super NES would never play host to any type of quality shooter given the system's slow processor speed. It's funny that it not only hosted some fantastic shooters, but it also had Axelay which is one of the greatest shooters ever made. Guess you can't judge a book by its clock speed.



Iggy said:

@Marvel Its not a Soldier game so it has nouthin to do with axelay. the soldier series is made by hudson not konami:p

Its a good game not my favorite and its short but really fun. Has horizontal and vertical stages which i have never seen in a game before. i guess i have to play more shmups.



Cally said:

@Marvel_Maniac: YES

In my mind, this is one of a handful of truly well-crafted shooters.

Firstly, there is NO power-up system, which means no waiting on flying upgrades and just focusing on staying alive and switching constantly between weapons for different situations--this element especially makes Axelay something really special. Not that it's the only shooter with weapon selects, but in this case the three types are each distinctly designed for different situations that will cause constant switching. It makes, say, the Star Soldier series look lazily-designed by comparison with simply finding your favorite screen-sweeping weapon, once you've grabbed the upgrades. Again, Axelay makes its contemporaries look just plain lazy with its thoughtful and innovative design choices. Likewise, not unlike the superlative Gate of Thunder (my personal fav), and unlike the Star Soldier series, the designers clearly had something in mind with how exactly they were placing obstacles and enemies, with, again, respect for the different types of weapons at your ship's disposal. Consequently, there are also no obnoxious spikes in difficulty (yet again, like those found in the more careless stage design of shooters like the Star Solider series). The scrolling is therefore slower and methodical, as it arguably ought to be with Axelay's elements of strategy, and the vertical scrolling sections create a legitimately appealing illusion of seeing a bit more "forward" than just overhead.

Let's face it: it was probably the old shmup games that created the stigma of "dumb video game" back in the day. If more shooters were crafted with this kind of care and thoughtfulness, the genre wouldn't have died so early and would have found itself more respected. I really don't see why more couldn't have.

1. Gate of Thunder
2. Lords of Thunder
3. Axelay

These three are neck-and-neck to me on the VC.



Let me ask you something Cally, have you ever played Thunderforce III or Elemental Master? They are two of my favorite shooters, along with Lords of Thunder, and Ikaruga.



Cally said:


Wow, kind of accidentally happened to revisit this page so soon.

My answer, for Thunderforce III and Elemental Master is "probably" for now. I casually visited quite a fair share in the 8/16-bit era--rentals/friends--but didn't buy very many at all, mostly because they're so short, I think. Limited continues hide the fact pretty well, giving the illusion of longevity (consequently, something you don't find in other genres too often: even many arcade ports simulate the endless pocket of quarters ). This is especially annoying in the all-too-often trial-and-error gameplay (I'm supposed to memorize the thing, on TOP of the stress of those limited continues). Sadly, haven't yet gotten to Ikaruga.--the latest traditional shooter I got into that I thought good things about was Einhander.

But thanks for pointing those out. I'll say good things about other shooters, but I believe par quality is a bit lower than other genres with retrogamers. It's probably more about some general issues with arcade ports and, of course, games modeled after coin-op game design.



GN0LAUM said:

So I went and bought the thing. 1) Yes it is short 2) IT IS AWESOME!

This is a very fun game great music and clever level design. My wife doesn't usually like SHUMPs but she walked in this morning and said "I really like this level you're playing. In fact, I like the music too. This is a really pretty game. I like it."

She was right. So far Lords of Thunder is still on the top of my VC SHUMP ranking, but this is like #2 or equal to it. Great!



slangman said:

YESSSS! Still not out in EU but i managed to pick up a 2000 AU Wii Points card switching my country settings to AU. And guess what it works. Awesome Awesome game.



Divock said:

This game is fun, but I suck at 2D shooters so I suck at it. Either that or It's just hard. Sigh...
It's fun though and the soundtrack is awesome. The way the weapon system works is genius and the graphics are great too.



CanisWolfred said:

Ugh...I really gotta remember to get this sometime...wait, that's right I was planning on getting some points this weekend, so I'll just get it then! Genius!



SuperMarioFan1995 said:

It's just a shame this one still hasn't come out yet in Europe. Edit: Okay, not really. But my guess is in Summer 2010, maybe.



JustanotherGamer said:

Axelay is a great example that while the Super Nintendo wasn't known for it's library of "Shumps" as there weren't that many released during it's lifespan. Axelay showcased that the SNES could do the genre right. Axelay by Konami is a rare gem.



THE_AG said:

A Question... If I change region settings on Wii (from Sweden to Australia), will it delete or mess up my account activity in wii shop when I change back after I get Axelay? I'm a little worried about it...

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