Stinger (NES)

Stinger Box Art


System: NES

Release Date: September 1987

Developer: Konami

Publisher: Konami

Genre: Shoot ‘em Up

What does the company who brought me Gradius do? Release Stinger. This is another game I wanted to like when I started playing, but ended up hating by the time I was done with it. My problem is that the pace is too frenetic for the powerups to be able to be collected. When you shoot clouds, a bell pops out most of the time. These can be collected right away for points, but through dumb luck, I found out if you shoot them enough, they change color.

Can you see the bell in the pyramid?

Shooting the bell five times turns it blue and gives you a speed powerup. Shoot it ten times for a double shot. Fifteen times for a laser. Twenty times for two options, and finally twenty five hits for a shield. The problem is juggling these things long enough to get the powerups. Oh, and don’t hit it 16 times if you want a laser, you’ll just get the points again.

Got my options and a double shot.

The powerup system is probably my biggest issue with Stinger, Konami made getting them a pain, when it should make the game more fun. If you die while powered up, you can catch the ship’s angel before it gets off screen to regain your powers. There are also other powerups throughout the level that you can get by destroying land enemies that can power your guns up.

Fully powered up with the shield, options, and laser. Just not for long…

I got into level four and gameplay switches between a horizontal shooter and a vertical shooter every other round. The horizontal shooting levels were fine, but the vertical scrolling levels made me feel weak. There’s a boss at the end of each level and they were pushovers.

Graphics: 2.0

I’m torn on the graphics. They aren’t terrible in some aspects, but are in others. It’s hard to explain.

Sound: 2.0

Music isn’t up to the Konami standard in my view. Again, not terrible, but could be better.

Gameplay: 2.0

I’m going to be generous and say that it’s definitely playable, there were just design choices I find to be bad.

Difficulty: 2.0

It’s not the best balanced shoot ‘em up I’ve played. It’s alright, though.

Fun Factor: 2.0

I kind of had fun with this, but didn’t at the same time.

Overall Grade: 2.0

Stinger earns a C. This is honestly the most average game I’ve played. It doesn’t do anything particularly well, nor particularly badly.

Stinger Video Review on YouTube