Feature: Five Frantic Years

A blast from the past.Compile are best known as the creators of the evergreen Puyo Puyo series, a franchise that began as a spin-off of their Japan-only Madou Monogatari series of (mostly) dungeon-crawling RPGs and gone on to weather just about all the ups and downs gaming can throw at it – not just surviving the demise of Compile itself in 2003, but arguably becoming stronger than ever, if Sega’s most recent quirky collaboration, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, is anything to go by. But there was always another side to Compile far away from squishy puyos, colourful mazes and magic; a world of sleek spaceships and nonstop arcade-like vertical shmup action – the world of Aleste.The Aleste series debuted on Sega’s Master System back in 1988 and was surprisingly released in all three major territories in the same year, although the US version was apparently mail order only in the beginning (as if being a Master System game in the land of the NES wasn’t difficult enough already). It reviewed and sold well enough to justify the release of a rebalanced and slightly expanded Japan-exclusive version of the same game for the MSX2 range of home computers just a few months later, which was swiftly followed on the same format in 1989 by the impossibly cool Aleste Gaiden (we enjoy shiny shmup ships as much as anyone, but who wouldn’t want to see them replaced by a heavily armoured futuristic ninja every now and then?) with the impressively bio-mechanical styled Aleste II coming out just a few months after that. Over thirty years on those games still remain out of reach for many of those outside Japan who fell in love with the first game, the games currently unavailable to purchase even on region-locked digital stores – and are disappointingly absent from Aleste’s very own M2 Shot Triggers collection.Read the full article on nintendolife.com
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