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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Mercs - Arcade [006] PlayThru

Here is Mercs from 1990, which is the followup to Commando from 1985.  I rarely saw this game in the wild at the time at release, and had never touched the arcade game before this play through.

NOTE: A trainer was used for making this capture.

The first thing to notice is the game is presented in the vertical aspect, with the 4:3 scren turned on its side, similar to Pac Man or Galaga from the arcade.  This orientation works well for the game, as it is designed as a top-down run-and-gun with the players headed towards the top of the screen most of the time.

Another unique feature of the game is that it allows up to 3 players instead of the usual 2.  All that differentiates the players, I believe, is the color the game sets them to be; there is no selection screen to choose the 'character' to be played.

All in all, I think this is a pretty well designed game.  The length seems right. I'm sure it made some operators a good bit of change.  I certainly think this game is much better than the Atari ST port.  I hope to give the Genesis and Master System ports a try in the future.

Having played Shock Troopers on the Neo Geo before Mercs, I feel Shock Troopers was 'inspired' by Mercs.  That takes nothing away from my experience with Shock Troopers, as I think that game stands on its own, especially with the multiple route choices that Mercs does not have.

Anyway, Mercs is definitely worth playing for fans of the top-down run-and-gun games.

Capture info -

This gameplay was captured on September 1, 2019.

Game was played in MAME with the output provided by NVidia's ShadowPlay.

Video was edited with Shotcut.

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