Poseidon Wars 3-D
Release Date: April 1989
Sega is back in the rotation with Poseidon Wars 3-D. This is a shooter, not a first person shooter, per se, because you are a ship, not a person and you don’t have free movement. Instead, you have to save your home country by shooting down aircraft and sinking ships galore.
There are five training missions and eight combat missions. In order to graduate from the training missions, you need to amass 15,000 points. At the end of each mission, you gain points for the number of hits you make, but lose points for damage taken, missiles used, fuel lost, time taken, and whether or not you had to escape without completing your mission. You replenish some health between missions, unless they are repair missions, which totally fix your craft.
You have two weapons, your main attack come from your 76 mm guns activated by Button 1. These begin able to shoot two bullets in quick succession. These are upgraded after mission 4 of the combat section to three shots and strengthened after mission 5. You’re also equipped with a limited number of surface to surface missiles activated with Button 2. These are best used to sink the boss ships in each level, because they are powerful. You start with four of them, but get upgraded to 12 in the combat missions.
Your Poseidon cruiser also comes equipped with sonar and radar systems used for alerting you to enemies. Sonar is used for spotting seaborne enemies. These guys are usually pretty easy to kill as long as you lead them a little bit. Red tankers can be shot to replenish your fuel gauge. Radar is used for airborne enemies. These are your main threats. Planes come from the distance and may shoot at you before you can see them on screen.
If you take too much damage, your systems will begin to fail. If their lights go from blue to red, they will work intermittently. You might see a blip on the sonar or radar, but they don’t stay on there all the time. If they go black, they are unusable. Your weapons can also get jammed if they are damaged and you’ll have to press the button multiple times to fire.
They’re alright. There’s some parallax scrolling with the water and backgrounds, which is nice.
The music is forgettable, but I wasn’t irritated by it.
You can do everything you need to do. Free movement would have been nice, but not necessary. Enemies follow the same patterns over and over, so you learn the levels quickly.
It’s not very challenging overall. I went through it in less than an hour, dying thrice and earning the top rank of Fleet Admiral.
Fun Factor: 1.5
It was an okay time, and even blazed a new trail, but it wasn’t great.
Overall Grade: 1.6
Poseidon Wars 3-D earns a C-. It’s not a bad game, but there isn’t a lot there to get excited about.