Steel Empire (3DS eShop)- Review

Originally posted August 14th 2014 on the Seafoam Gaming Forums


System: 3DS eShop

Price: 29.99 (?!?!?!)

Release date: July 31st 2014

The main game/story

This is a game in the classic side-scrolling shooter genre, where games such as Gradius, Life Force, Salamander, and other similar games. It’s actually a remake of a very obscure Genesis game, that also was released on the GBA! The story is really the simple “Two sides are fighting and you are sent in to stop it once and for all”. They explain it more between levels but it’s not needed for your enjoyment and you can choose to skip it.


Being a 16 bit game originally, Steel Empire’s 3DS Remake keeps the same feel of 16 bit graphics for sprites while giving the backgrounds a bit of extra touches via the 3D. The 3D in this game is VERY good, and in some levels, such as the final level or the mine level, it looks very well made with the 3D on or off.

Music and sound effects:

The music is a HUGE improvement from the original on the Genesis in almost every single way. The Genesis OST was great, so the 3DS version took it a step higher, making each song sound even better, with great, high quality audio that seems to be similar to redbook audio found in PC ENGINE CD ROM games, which makes it even more awesome. Throughout this whole game, from the title screen to the end credits, there wasn’t one bad song in the bunch. The sound effects fit the game, just like they should, so no problem there.


Being a side-scrolling shooter, this game has all of the standard things you expect. You fly through an auto-scrolling area, while enemies attack you from all directions. However, unlike most games, this game has a few unique twists that keep it very fun and lets it have a strong replay value.

First off, is the powerup system. You level up your ship by grabbing P coins scattered throughout the levels, and when you grab three of them, you level up. When you level up, numerous things can happen, from your ship’s shots getting bigger, to your ship’s options being able to fire bigger shots. It’s a neat mini RPG element to the game that really helps keep the action going.

The next neat thing about this game, is that you have a life bar! No one hit deaths like most games, you can actually stand your ground and take a hit or two. Depending on the difficulty, some areas can hurt you more than others, but this helps keep the challenge nice and fair in all of the difficulties. This combined with the two different ships available (One only shoots in air and the other shoots in the air and on the ground), adds for a lot of replay value, and with achievements and Miiverse support, this game is a good one to replay. However, there is a minor problem with this game…


…And that is the price! While a great game that’s a lot of fun, it’s definitely not worth $30. This wasn’t a retail game on Japan’s 3DS, as it was an eShop game there as well, and the content of this game isn’t nearly as plentiful as other games for the same price, like Mario Golf: World Tour or Zelda Ocarina of time 3D. This is a big shame, as it will probably turn a lot of people away from this wonderful game. So, while I still really, really like it, I sadly can’t recommend this except to people who either can wait for a price drop, or people who are HUGE fans of shooters and won’t mind dropping 30 dollars. If you find this for cheap, I strongly recommend it. I give STEEL EMPIRE an 8 out of 10.

Thanks to TEYON games for the review code.

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