Game Review

Summer Carnival '92 RECCA Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

For shoot 'em up experts only

The release of this game on the 3DS eShop is a bit of a strange occurrence. Summer Carnival '92 Recca was, as you might guess from its odd name, created for a shoot 'em up game competition held in 1992, exclusively in Japan. It was only available from those competitions, so the supply was quite limited and, as a result, not very many copies were sold, making it one of the rarest Famicom games around — complete copies go for hundreds of dollars on eBay.

Despite its relative obscurity, it's quite well known among fans of the genre, because despite its limited distribution it was the product of plenty of hard work. The fact it's now available for such a small amount of money is already a great plus.

Like many other shoot 'em ups, and especially ones created for competitions, Recca has multiple modes of play. There's the main option in which you just try to beat the game, a time attack mode in which you try to get one million points in 5 minutes, and a score attack mode in which you try to get the highest possible score within two minutes. Nicely enough, the two extra modes feature completely different stages from the main game, although they bear some graphical resemblance, so be sure to check them out as well.

The main game only has four stages, but they're some of the toughest you'll ever see in a shoot 'em up. Huge barrages of enemies will fly at you right from the start, and bosses will fire bullets and lasers all over, some even employing extra tricks like shots that will pull you towards or push you away from them.

Luckily, your ship is pretty well-equipped as well, also firing shots all over the screen, but like any true shoot 'em up a single bullet will kill you, so be careful. There are a number of different items to pick up that change your main weapon as well as give you additional side turrets, so find what works best and stick with it! If you can somehow find a moment to stop firing and survive for a while, you'll also automatically start charging an energy ball which, when fired, will explode and destroy any enemies, as well as dealing huge damage to bosses.

If you manage to survive, which can take quite a bit of practice if you don't use copious amounts of save states, it has a surprise in store for you — there's a second quest you can start which features harder versions of the four levels you just played, with an additional three new stages at the end. If you can reach the end of this as well, you can definitely label yourself a genre pro.

In terms of graphics and music, Recca is quite impressive. It features a number of cool background effects and has screens full of enemies pretty much all the time, but there isn't even the slightest hint of lag, which is pretty much unheard of for a Famicom game. The music is also quite advanced for its original platform with lots of layers, another thing which you didn't find often in Famicom titles. Amazingly enough, it didn't even use any special chips to allow better graphics or music, so this was achieved with programming skills alone.


Because it was intended purely for competitions featuring expert players, it's hard to recommend Recca to anybody but the most die-hard fans of the genre. Despite this, however, it is easily one of best and most impressive shoot 'em up games made for the system, and anybody who isn't afraid of a challenge (or using save states a lot) will find this a more than worthy pickup.

From the web

Game Trailer

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube

User Comments (31)



tchaten said:

Save states really do help - managed to get through Zelda and Mario Lost Levels much easier saving



TruenoGT said:

Can't freaking wait for this. Wish it was also coming to Wii U so I could use my Arcade stick!



Angelic_Lapras_King said:

I'd like it, but I would prefer it on Wii U. This is why they should release games like this on both VCs at the same time.... @_@



idork99 said:

I think it's safe to say that I am absolutely a horrible player when it comes to SHMUPS. But I love the genre! I say it's because I used to see great players in the arcades and I'd try to replicate their actions unsuccessfully. (Plus the games seem to always have awesome soundtracks!)

Anywho, this will be an automatic download for me to show support for a release of a rare retro title such as this one.



DarkEdi said:

A very strange game. It is weird the 3DS or the Wii U get different games than the Wii VC already has.



Shiryu said:

They just (sadly) don't make them like this anymore. I recommend this heart fully!



TenTen said:

I don't really like shoot 'em up games in general, but I downloaded this regardless and am really enjoying it. It's my new favourite NES game!



Cloud-San-VII said:

I think our "hardcore Xbox/CoD fans" deserve to play this and see how "intense" they're "shooting skills" are.

Anyways, it's a good game.



Einherjar said:

Oh god, that news pic looked like the Blue Falcon from the corner o fthe eye. My heart stopped for a moment, hoping for some F-Zero news



RR529 said:

Although I've never been particularly good at them, I've enjoyed the SHUMPS I've played (and beat one for the first time not so long ago, 3D Classics: TwinBee), so I'll probably DL this once it comes to the US.



Jayvir said:

@DarkEdi Seeing as you have access to the full Wii VC library on the Wii U anyways, I'd rather have different experiences on the Wii U eshop.



Aqueous said:

I think I might just put it on my wish list for another day. Looks great even if I'm not great at this games, well 3D Classics Twinbee maybe.



ACK said:

I'll be on this for sure. However, can't help but lust for Zanac to make it's way to the 3DS. Is there a schmup anywhere in history better suited to the portable format? Make it a 3D classic, throw in online leaderboards... I'll be set.



3DSAllDay said:

I love a great challenge like Contra and Ninja Gaiden so I think I will pick this up if it ever comes to America.



WhiteTrashGuy said:

US release now! And The Big N should do a deal where if you download a game for the 3DS you can pay $2 to get it on Wii U and vice versa.



kurtasbestos said:

Holy crap, that's a Famicom game? I've played 16-bit shmups that looked worse than the video I just watched!



Zeldalover said:

@tchaten Yeah, restore points are vital for quicker and more reasonable progression in these games. I also did Metroid for the NES, along with Zelda II: The Adventure of Link without spending an entire eternity playing aimlessly, exploring the vast open worlds, trying to sense the cryptic nature of it all..

I mean seriously... try the last two boss fights in Ninja Gaiden using the save state feature on the 3DS. : )



Windy said:

I have Summer Carnival 92 on PCEngine and will probably pass on this. I've been beating that these classics should all be made into 3D Classics on 3DS. I still feel that way and this is another perfect game for 3D'izing. Fun game for first timers absolutely get it if you like Shootem ups



JohniePizzapies said:

This looks a lot like "The Guardian Legend" for the NES. Which if you haven't played, is one of the best NES games you will find.



Windy said:

@unrandomsam Yeah Alzadick is the one I have. I just wish they would give these Shooters the 3D treatment. They would look so nice



jarreboum said:

Do we know if the 3DS NES emulator has the on-screen sprite limit off? My eyes are too old for all this flickering



XCWarrior said:

Will be buying this down the road for sure. This just screams core gaming experience.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...