Does this interpretation of the classic game float or sink?
Developed by Synergistic Software for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis in 1993, Super Battleship goes for a simulation of the classic Milton Bradley guessing game experience, while also incorporating a twist on that conventional formula.
In honor of the release of the new Battleshipâ€”the game based on the movie based on the gameâ€”I thought I would dust off the old Super Nintendo and grab a used copy of the game. Although I don't necessarily get as hardcore into the game as some, I have decent experience with simpler versions, and still remember some tricks from when I was younger. For instance, arranging your ships in a tightly packed cube in the corner of the grid makes getting hit much tougher (at least in my experience).
The gameâ€™s traditional mode, Classic Battleship, is a faithful adaptation of the basic game. Players place four battleships of varying size on their grid, and guess where the opponent hid its four ships. If the player guesses correctly (with three chances per turn), part of the opponents ship is destroyed; if the entire ship is uncovered, a corny-yet-awesome MIDI version of "Taps" is played as the entire ship sinks. Unfortunately, this mode (as well as the other) is single-player only, so a decent simulation of the naval battles my friends and I had as children remains impossible.
The new mode, Super Battleship, is more of a naval strategy game (in the vein of Fire Emblem or Advance Wars), featuring 16 missions with varying goals. Players control the same four ships as the original (PT Boat, Cruiser, Destroyer, Battleship), and face off against an opponentâ€™s fleet. This mode, however, allows for full movement, and players have to destroy enemy ships (including the Submarine, as well as the original four) through confrontations. These take place from a first-person perspective (very much like the less-than-fun Periscope Strike in Steel Diver) and involve the player aiming, controlling, and firing guns. Goals include tasks like destroying fleets, controlling cities, and escorting freighters to destinations, and need to be completed within a certain number of turns.
I'm not so sure I love this mode. It tries to do so much with the strategy aspects and its own creative touch that it just comes off as awkward and throwaway.
Although the actual translation of classic Battleship and its intensity is excellent, the game's lack of multiplayer and a convoluted extra (or is it main?) mode really makes me glad that I didn't invest much in it.
Unlike Alex, Iâ€™m not as forgiving regarding Super Battleshipâ€™s classic mode. What it delivers is an exceptionally dull way to play the classic board game. This is mostly the fault of its lack of a multiplayer option as, letâ€™s be honest, Battleship is not an exciting game without its social component. When I played Battleship with my friends, I wasnâ€™t overly concerned with my ship placement or even with winning. I just wanted spend time with them and throw some playful trash talk their way. However, Super Battleshipâ€™s execution of the board game devolves into an exercise in selecting spots on a grid and then waiting for the computer to do the same. Itâ€™s not fun.
And yet, the gameâ€™s main mode, Super Battleship, offers an interesting strategy experience that actually exceeds what it is trying to accomplish. As Alex mentioned above, this mode feels similar to Advance Wars; however, it incorporates an interesting mechanic in which you stare down the sights of a battleshipâ€™s guns and fire at the enemy. Along with this mechanic, the game plays as a fairly straightforward strategy experience. Best of all, it isnâ€™t muddled down with pointless dialog and story. As such, itâ€™s perfect for someone looking for a quick strategy game they can play while their mind might be occupied with other things.