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Publisher: Electronic ArtsReleased: 2.7.97Special Thanks: Kent R. (pix)
Developer: RaizingWritten: 8.15.03Slightly Revised: 5.7.09

The Saturn has no shortage of 2D shooters, and one of the most beloved is Raizing's amazing Soukyugurentai. While Radiant Silvergun remains arguably the most notorious Saturn shmup of all time, Souky (as it's affectionately dubbed by some fans) is often considered in the "top three" of all Saturn shooters, with some even preferring it to the almighty Radiant Silvergun. The following review I wrote nearly six years ago, with some bits and pieces slightly revised. Special thanks to YAKUMO for this cover scan. Enjoy the review

If it's in the game it's in the game?


Ah, you gotta love that moon shot there

                                                                                     OH SHIT IT'S ON!

Looks epic, doesn't it?  And it quite is

                                                            RAIZING!  Souky WHAT?  Just call it a great game


There are 3 to select from

                                                                   Each with its own unique characteristics

This is my personal fave, find out yours!


Above all else, I will remember Soukyugurentai as the game that reminded me to slow down and enjoy what I'm lucky to have. Like most others, too many times I want more. ''We always want what the other guy has" is a saying you might be familiar with ["Keeping up with the Joneses" ya foo -Ed.]. The Saturn has such a great library of gems that acquiring the ones you want can not only be exhilarating but exhausting. It's very easy to get caught up in collecting and not do enough playing. At one time, that held true for me. Then I decided NO MORE
I love the 1st stage at night. Sets the mood right...

One day I sat down and dedicated my time toward Soukyugurentai. I was determined to stick with the game for at least one week straight. Play nothing else. See the game for all it's worth. And the results...

The first and second time I played Souky, I could see and hear a quality shooter, but I felt there was an intangible about the game that was missing. I didn't quite feel it. Some games you just click with, you know?  I didn't get that feeling with Souky, but I didn't give up. I trek on and kept at it

I played the game for consecutive days WITHOUT playing ANY OTHER game. I think this is critical when you REALLY want to appreciate a game as much as possible. Set a time period aside and play that game and ONLY that game
                                                                                You'll see what I mean

The more and more I played Souky the more I got into it. Suddenly, I felt the 'pulse' of the game. The intangible which I initially thought the game lacked, unleashed its beautiful hand. How hooked was I?  So much that when
my eyes were closed, I saw hordes of orange bullets inside my head. Go left, no, go right!  Shoot!  I had entered a mindset which is known simply as ''The Zone,'' where time is distorted, reality blurred and nothing else seems to really matter. When a game does that to you, you know it's doing something right!  (or wrong, depending on your priorities..)
Destroy targets down below before they rise

For example, at one part in Souky, a thousand bullets will cascade on your ship. Having played the game many times, I finally got it down and skillfully (and with some luck mind you) dodged all the bright orange bullets. I didn't resort to use a bomb to save my hide, no. I was simply ''locked in.'' It was a great and powerful feeling; a feeling of accomplishment, as far as video games are concerned. Evading a screenful of bullets in a shooter is the equivalent of staring straight into the eyes of a Great White Shark, and living to tell about it

                                                             Weaving and dodging while shooting back FTW!

Graphics?  In a word: awesome. Music is above average as are the sound effects. Occasionally there is some kicking audio blarring, such as the sound effect to warn you that a boss is forthcoming. Control is spot on. Your ship moves fast and is responsive. Souky has a web-targeting system somewhat similar to Galactic Attack (AKA Layer Section). Souky is challenging, but never once does it get too frustrating. It's beautifully balanced. You won't break your control pad when you lose, you have simply nothing to blame but your reflexes. There aren't many ''certain death'' situations. But don't expect to get anywhere without some practice!  This game has a 2 player feature, but if you're like me, conquering it solo is a must

For research and data, I have logged a daily journal which chronicles my outings in Souky. Please observe:

Day 1: Looking at my vast collection, I spotted Soukyugurentai. Wow. Haven't played this in a while. I remember the first time I played it, I didn't think it was so hot. But you know what, I'm going to devote a week to this game and only this game, just to appreciate it and get my value's worth

Popped it in and I was fairly impressed, not to mention feeling foolish I hadn't devoted any lengthy amount of time to this game before. Level 1 and 2 bosses were very cool. Good game, but still felt something was missing
                                                                           But... let's keep at it Steve-O...

  • Day 2: I experimented with all 3 available ships today. The contrast of styles is definitely there. Each ship has its own pros and cons. I prefer the S.O.Q-025 by far. Game got better and better, and I began to feel 'locked in'

  • Day 3: Made it to level 5!  But died at the hands of that evil boss making sure I would not reach my final destination. Must get to level 6 at any cost. AT ANY COST

  • Day 4: It's done!  Finally blasted that damn level 5 boss to Kingdom Come and now onto level 6. Tough as nails here. Got to see the final boss -- wow, it's a sight to behold. Didn't get to see too much of the last boss though... Game Over rather quickly. Must get back here and finish him off. Quick note, damn telephone rang two times during play... forced me to disconnect the line...

  • Day 5: No sleep, no rest, can't trink staight, er, think straight. Sorry, but trying to save the universe here. No more time to rite... must terminate end boss

  • Day 6: Tasty, itchy

Souky is some trip. By the end of the week, after playing the game probably 12 times, I was totally absorbed. Making it all the way to the final boss was a thrill in itself. But he prompted to crush me swiftly and mercilessly... uh, I MEAN, he crushed my S.O.Q-025 ship...

Briefly sparring with the final boss was pretty spectacular, but I must defeat him. That would be the ultimate conquest. There's still a war to be won!  AHAHAHA!

One day we shall meet again.... and next time he won't be so lucky, for I have him well scouted from every angle, studied his every frame of animation, and my friends, knowing IS half the battle. I will be back -- better trained and better prepared

Nemo me impune lacessit.* In pace requiescat!**

Um, excuse me, I kind of lost it there for a second... [What else is new? -Ed.]


In the end, what you have with Soukyugurentai is one exceptional shooter. It's not light-hearted; it's a serious, smash-mouthed, unadulterated, shoot-and-destroy nirvana. The fine folks at Raizing (also responsible for the amazing Battle Garegga) have delivered all the goods here

Graphics: 9.5
Sound/Music: 8
Control: 10
Gameplay: 10
Fun Factor: 9
Replay: 9
Definitely a top 3 Saturn shooter in my book

The classic space shooter genre is represented well with Soukyugurentai. It deserves to be in the collection of any die-hard Saturn owner, and above all else, it deserves to be played and appreciated. Way to go, Raizing. Now, if you excuse me, it's time to go save the galaxy once and for all...

                                                                                       OVERALL: 9.5

*No one provokes me with impunity

**May he rest in peace!