Twin Eagle (NES)

Twin Eagle Box Art

Twin Eagle

System: NES

Release Date: October 1989

Developer: SETA

Publisher: Romstar

Genre: Shoot ‘em Up

Shoot ‘em ups like Twin Eagle are a dime a dozen. Joe’s Brother was on a mission to protect world peace when he was shot down in enemy territory. It’s up to you (and a friend if you have one) to battle through five stages of enemy bullets and avenge Joe’s Brother. So you’ll hop into your helicopter equipped with guns and bombs and try to give the bad guys hell!

We’ve seen this all before. In fact, I’d call Twin Eagle a Derivative of a rehash of a derivative. The first thing you’ll notice is that the game is sluggish and slow. Enemies fly, boat, walk or roll on screen and you need to take them out before they can start shooting at you. The red and yellow flashing bullets need to be avoided, because one hit and you’re toast.

Enemies will occasionally drop a power-up icon when they’re defeated. Twin Eagle follows the annoying shoot the icon to turn it into what you want formula. The P Icon powers up your weapons, adding more bullets or functionality to them. The big S is a speed increase, which is nice, but you certainly don’t want too many of them, or else you lose your ability for fine tuned movement. There are four different weapons you can switch between with the icons. First, the machine guns, which are the worst of the bunch. Then the wide shot, which give a nice spread when fully powered up. The two-way shot unloads in front and behind the helicopter which is nice in some areas. The missiles blast through enemies and barriers, making them a good weapon against large hordes.

When blue planes come on screen, you want to be sure to shoot them, because they drop bombs that you can collect. You can drop a screen clearing bomb with the push of the A Button. This can be a saving grace if the screen starts to get too busy. At the end of the level, the screen starts scrolling really quickly and enemies come on screen asking to be blown to smithereens. You then reach your refuel ship that does something, I guess. You your kill statistics, then it’s on to the next level. The final boss is a barrage of enemies over the enemy fortress. Killing them all gets you an ending crawl complete with wonderfully horrible translation. I guess I revenged Joe’s Brother.

Graphics: 1.0

The graphics look fine, but enemy bullets flicker when there are too many things on screen and slowdown becomes horrendous in later levels.

Sound: 1.0

The songs you get are alright, but they loop a little too quickly.

Gameplay: 1.0

The screen feels squished, like you should have more vertical space to move in, but you don’t. It makes getting powerups a real pain in the butt.

Difficulty: 1.5

You’re penalized for getting speed boosts. Slowdown is a hindrance. Bullets come flickering from off screen.

Fun Factor: 0.5

This isn’t a fun shoot ‘em up. Not by a long shot.

Overall Grade: 1.0

Twin Eagle earns a D. Not every arcade game needed an NES port and this is just another example.