With a name like Violent Soldier it HAS to have something going for it, right? While my pre-conceived notion leaned toward the type of hilariously ultra-violent old-school type experience found only in game parodies on the Simpsons (I love you, Bonestorm!), this one was actually a standard shooter with some interesting and unique devices attached.
When the game begins, many may immediately scoff for the speed isn't what I would call frenetic by any means. It looks and feels a lot like a 16-bit version of Gradius, or maybe more like Life force (apples and oranges), but not quite as fast. The initial fire power on your ship is also a little disappointing. Defending "wherever-you're-from" with a ship equipped with a pea shooter isn't a lofty ambition. The game finally picks up when you start getting the numerous power-ups. Speed boosts start to make thing more interesting, and various weapons ranging from pulse beams to lasers are also a nice addition.
However, depending on the amount of power-ups you receive, particularly the one or two optional shields that hover on either side of you, you gain the ability to open the front of your ship to a sort of satellite dish, which increases the amount of bullets you project! This feature can be implemented on the fly, giving you the ability to open and close the front of your ship whenever you want. This adds an excellent element of strategy to the mix, as certain enemies will emit multiple beams at once, and if your ship is in the fully open position, you will get hit.
Once you get a firm handle on this increasing/decreasing fire power business, the game tends to get a bit too easy. When you are aware of the amount of time necessary to destroy an enemy, it's simply a matter of opening the floodgates and letting him have it. Dodging projectiles isn't too much of a factor for some time after it is initially introduced in the beginning. It still remains a great deal of fun exchanging weapons and trying different strategies throughout the game, though.
While not as God-awful Violent as I had hoped, Violent Soldier (also known as Sinistron) is still an enjoyable game. It is also in quite good company on a system with so many shooters to choose from.