Cyber Core (TG-16)

Cyber Core Box Art

Cyber Core

System: TG-16

Release Date: May 1990

Developer: Alfa System

Publisher: NEC

Genre: Shoot ‘em Up

Giant insects have taken over the Earth in Cyber Core! As the champion of the United Force, you must face them. Your name? Rad Ralph. Merge with the Chimera and become half-man, half-insect to have the strength to fight back. Defeat the hyper-insects through 8 stages of shoot ‘em up action.

You begin your journey as the lowest level of Cyber Core. Shooting certain enemies will cause them to drop colored orbs. These power you up through four levels of metamorphosis. Each level strengthens your shot activated with Button II. They also power your ground bombs up which you launch with Button I. If you pick up a different color than what you have equipped, you revert to level two of that color.

Levels have a mix of flying and ground enemies. Some of them are easy to tell apart, others not so much. There are bullets flying all around all the time. These ants, in particular, are a pain. I find myself avoiding enemies more than killing them in certain spots. Until you learn the spawn pattern, you’ll get hit a lot and make angry noises when it happens.

At the end of each level is a boss enemy. The first several can only be hit by dropping bombs and it takes a lot of hits to kill them. They saunter around the screen shooting projectiles at you in a fixed pattern, but even then, it’s not easy to avoid every projectile thrown your way. You can gain shields by collecting a certain green powerup and you’ll need them. I died on Stage 4 a couple times and decided I was done.

I was going to give up, but a tantalizing message scrawled in the instruction manual I downloaded said to collect the metamorphosis powerups in the order of Red, Blue, Green, Green, Yellow, Red, then get knocked back down to Cyber Core to become the ultimate weapon. I had to try this and I am glad I did, because I got all of the upgraded weapons. This made the game a cakewalk until the last level that I had to time travel my way through.

Graphics: 2.5

Everything looks good, but not great.

Sound: 2.0

Music is overpowered by the sound of your weapons. Not my favorite.

Gameplay: 2.0

It’s a standard vertical scrolling shoot ‘em up. Reminds me a lot of a quicker Dragon Strike.

Difficulty: 3.0

Levels are certainly tough. You’ll learn the spawns as you play and they don’t change between playthroughs. Different powerups have different advantages.

Fun Factor: 2.5

I enjoyed myself, but liked the super powered up form the best.

Overall Grade: 2.4

Cyber Core earns a C+. It’s a standard paint by numbers shoot ‘em up. Nothing bad, but nothing spectacular. Feel free to give it a try.

Cyber Core Video Review on YouTube