Alright. Let's not kid ourselves here. Part of gaming is the competition, oh sure, you may try to stay out of it as much as possible, but after everything is said and done, it's just plain fun to argue the merits of each system with your friends (and enemies). If you haven't figured out already, I am a huge fan of the Genesis, and even though I don't like a lot of Sega's business decisions, my undying love for my Genesis won't subside.
My love for the system has only increased with my Nomad purchase. And every time I pick up a new Genesis game for $2.00 at a game store, I smile and thank god what a wonderful world we live in. To digress. I remember arguing with my friends about why me Genesis was better than their Super NES. And to this day I still feel as strongly for the Genesis. Being as the system was older than Nintendo's 16 Bit entry, the Genesis was really unable to capture some of the glory the Super NES had. Star Fox is a fine example, however, if it weren't for Star Fox there would be no arguing.
Sega first debuted Silpheed at the Winter Consumer Electronic Show, the same year Nintendo debuted Star Fox. Upon first inspection the games are very similar, one of the reasons for the early arguments, however once you have played Silpheed you will notice there are some STRIKING differences, for better, for worse.
Both games lean heavy on the polygon effects. Both games are space shooters. However, since Silpheed is actually based off of a mid '80s computer shooting game of the same name, the game plays slightly more like a Galaga rip-off (which it was), while Star Fox plays more like an update to Afterburner.
Both games have their merits, however, I must say that when my friends who liked Star Fox looked at the later stages of Silpheed, even they were awestruck. The graphics are just fantastic, and stack up extremely well even now.
And the sounds. The sounds, spouts of music, and dialog (which isn't too horrible) is all much better than Star Fox was ever capable of. And really, the brief profanity is a bit of a relief, and in a strange way makes the game feel slightly more like a movie. Going back and listening to the games music and sounds makes me yearn for these sort of games. So few new games use the sound to their fullest.
The game feels a bit limited, and is a little harder than it ought to be. You really can't do much more than dodge back and forth, however, there really isn't a lot of 3D involved, and the game stays true to the "on rails" game play made famous in so many similar games.
But at the end of the day, this truly may be a fine example of style over substance. It's a good game, but it probably wouldn't be if they took away the graphics and sound. Then again, the original didn't have the graphics and sound, and it was still fun. Hmm ...