(SNES / Super Nintendo)

Cybernator (SNES / Super Nintendo)

Game Review

Cybernator Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Lee Meyer

Run-n-gun in space

Konami's Cybernator isn't as well-known as run-and-gun titles such as Contra, but this SNES game is a quality offering with plenty of challenge, personality and replay value. The Virtual Console exists to let gamers relive (and experience for the first time) classic games, and Cybernator will be a breath of fresh air for anyone who wants to try something different. Replacing muscular, agile soldiers with a giant, bulky mech suit, Cybernator plays like few other games of its time or genre. Just be prepared for a challenge.

Cybernator casts players as Jake, a young pilot of a mech suit who is sent into space during a war for resources necessary to save the Earth. There's more to the story, mostly told through scrolling text cut-scenes, but it's all just an excuse to go into space and start shooting things. The progression of Cybernator is straightforward; a cut-scene will explain the story and you have to get through each side-scrolling stage. Enemies are aggressive, even in the first few levels, and you'll have to quickly learn to use your gun and fist weapons to survive. Some levels also have side-objectives that can lead to a secret ending; these also contribute to the story, which picks up toward the end.

The controls take some getting used to, but once mastered are very satisfying. As Jake is in a giant mech, movement isn't as simple as running in one speed and jumping at set heights; instead, the mech feels heavy — powerful, but heavy. Jake can jump, hover, walk slowly and run, and you'll quickly learn you can't just run recklessly and shoot with precision. Shooting also takes some time to learn; Jake can shoot in several different directions, and some players may be caught off guard by how sensitive the aiming can be. You'll also feel more powerful as you collect upgrades throughout the levels and even new weapons — not to spoil anything, but there's a secret in the very first level that will be very beneficial if you're having trouble staying alive.

Cybernator's sprite work is fantastic, even by today's standards. Each component of Jake's mech is individually animated, and the background, enemies and effects are all highly detailed and sharp. The music is suitably epic, as well. One drawback is the near-constant gameplay interruptions that occur when Jake receives a call from a comrade, either telling him what he needs to do next or to warn him. The dialogue often forces the player to stop, which can be very frustrating, especially when trying to take down a fleet of enemies. Some of the levels are constantly scrolling, too, making the interruptions all the more annoying when trying to navigate the huge mech through a fast-moving environment.

The campaign is relatively short, but like many run-and-gun shooters, you'll want to play through Cybernator more than once, especially with two different endings and plenty of secrets and side-objectives to get through. Unfortunately, there's no way to skip the dialogue sequences.


If you're in the mood for a challenging 16-bit shooter, Cybernator is a fine choice — it's challenging without being unfair, and while there's a learning curve, mastering it is highly satisfying. Cybernator may not carry the same prestige and weight of some of Konami's other franchises, but it certainly deserves its spot among the classics.

From the web

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User Comments (45)



Mega719 said:

Wish Konami would bring some real games to Wii U. PES 2015 was rumoured to be on Wii U until it was debunked



Bass_X0 said:

Will get this as soon as it comes to Europe. Already downloaded it on Wii so it will be on offer.



mandlecreed said:

Real games? This is a real game! The Arc Nova mission is utterly epic, as is that helpful thing on level one that you then get to use from level two.

A lot of love for Cybernator from me. Yes.



Rezalack said:

I've never played this but I'm very tempted to get it.. been waiting to see NL's review and this helps in my decision.



Mega719 said:

@Einherjar should have used a better word. I mean titles they release today,VC is good but Konami is a 3rd party that the system needs. Konami hasn't given development much thought as they said they have no idea if the Wii U can support the Fox Engine since they haven't tested it yet



chiptoon said:

"Replacing muscular, agile soldiers with a giant, bulky mech suit" - What about Probotector!



Meaty-cheeky said:

One of my all time favorite Super Nintendo games! Great animation and over all solid game play.



Mega719 said:

@mandlecreed as i said i meant their new titles which they still haven't done. I apologize to those who enjoy this game i wasn't talking negative about this



ICHIkatakuri said:

Always a favorite of mine on the SNES! Great sound, animation and gameplay has made this a must buy for me when I get some more eshop credit.



Knux said:

I'm kind of surprised that I didn't hear about this back in the Wii VC glory days. I'll buy this somewhere down the road!



mandlecreed said:

@Mega719 Yeah I figured there's a few Konami games that need to be brought out for this glorious new generation. Mystical Ninja for one. A new Gradius for two. Pity we'll probably never see them.



andrea987 said:

@Mega719 Indeed. I was hoping for PES to come to Wii U, I loved it on Wii. Never mind, got too many games to play on Wii U and PS3 as it is.



S3OL said:

Not exactly my type of game, but it does look interesting.
To those that buy it, I hope you enjoy it.



SIM_CTC said:

@S3OL Mystical Ninja 1,2,3&4 are all very good games on SNES/SFC, especially if you've got a very skillful partner to play along with.



SIM_CTC said:

This is an excellent game but just a little bit short and easy. People who like this game should also try Front Mission 2 - Gun Hazard and Metal Warriors ( very similar to Cybernator that makes some people think it's a sequel to it, and i was one of them ).



brandonbwii said:

I know I have a sick mind, but watching the trailer and noticing the shape of the ship and the sentence starting with "after penetration..." made me chuckle.



S3OL said:

@SIM_CTC Thanks! I'll sample it on my computer first though I think. Pop n' Twinbee is a game I had high hopes for and then they fell short. Hoping this isn't the same thing.



Stargazer said:

@S3OL What didn't you like about POP? I have only played a few levels but I love what I played.

Cybernator is one of my all-time favorite games. It has aged beautifully.



S3OL said:

@Stargazer I have no idea, it just didn't sit well with me after I played it. I think I expected to be playing another Fantasy Zone and it wasn't! Haha.



OneBagTravel said:

Easily one of my top 10 SNES titles. I always had to explain it to people because it never made a big splash in North America. Glad it's getting it's second chance here.

I do remember playing a similar game on maybe the Sega Master system (I swear it wasn't Target Earth) it even had similar missions where you were battling in a forest etc. I've never been able to find it and it doesn't appear to be part of the Assault Suit series. :-/



Stargazer said:

@mudmask - Sadly, no. Metal Warriors did a lot of things right and I still loved it, but it was missing the awesome music and overall atmosphere that Cybernator has.



aaronsullivan said:

Master System? Interesting. Target Earth was an awesome game and I prefer it to Cybernator greatly (though I like both). These are the Assault Suits games from NCS (Konami just published Cybernator) and I'm not aware of a Master System version... but I'm a US Master System owner and we didn't get nearly as much.

You never know, however. One of my all time Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) favorites, Herzog Zwei, was actually a sequel to Herzog on the MSX system which shocked me when I found out.

Target Earth (Assault Suit Leynos) had the problem of simple looking backgrounds for the first couple of levels but then it gets better and better... that and the difficulty curve was insane. It had a much more interesting and varied set of weapons that you could buy between stages which made it very strategic and replayable. Cybernator has better graphics (and the music is just as great) but the player is so huge on the screen there's less room for maneuvering... and MUCH less strategy with far fewer weapons.

There is an Assault Suit Leynos II for the Saturn — Japan only — that I'd love to get my hands on but never played.

How about some Saturn VC? That'd be fun.



Melkac said:

Isn't this Assault Suit Valken? Heard the official english translation was terrible. How bad is it?



mandlecreed said:

@S3OL Yes, get it, it's a brilliantly fun platformer/rpg hybrid with a ton of minigames to distract you along the way

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