Is it Mode 7? Who actually cares? What Axelay is, is fantastic. Arriving fairly early in the life of the Super Nintendo, Axelay was a showcase for the machines stunning visual trickery and audio capabilities.

Programmed by members of Konami that would eventually go on to form Treasure, Axelay is a shoot ‘em up that scrolled into the screen with a pseudo 3D perspective or a traditional 2D side on approach. The viewpoint changed every other level and gave a nice feeling of variety. Axelay boasts a huge range of weapons and you can carry three at a time. New ones are unlocked as you clear levels but the Round Vulcan from the very first level is the best in the game. Level design is consistently fantastic with superb enemy variety and some truly epic bosses. The huge lava boss at the end of level 5 is a memorable one and took up well over half of the screen. Level 2 also saw an ED 209 homage with the boss at the end of the area. Visuals are stunning but it does suffer bouts of slowdown and flicker. The audio is once again fantastic with some fantastic tunes and sound effects. The music on levels 2 and 4 are sublime, level 2 boasting superb percussion and level 4 has a wonderfully ethereal feel to it. Six levels hamper the life span somewhat, they are supremely re-playable but no doubt two more would have been much better. In 2012 Axelay is still a stunning shooter and worthy in any collection.

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Author: nakamura
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Parent Category: Nintendo
Category: SNES