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Virtual Console Mondays: Year-End Round-Up!

Top Hunter

by Steven Rodriguez - January 3, 2008, 10:28 am EST

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SNK's best Neo-Geo stuff was its side-scrolling action games. Top Hunter is one of them. Following the winning Metal Slug formula, your must fight through four themed worlds. The hero can pick up dropped weapons, but his main attack is punching and throwing enemies until they drop dead. His extension arm can pluck foes from a distance or pull chain switches on the ceiling, which could spawn power-up bonuses. Time is always against you in this game, because if you run out before reaching the boss, you'll lose a life. Luckily, there are time bonuses littered throughout the level, but you can't dawdle around too much.

Upon first glance, Top Hunter look like a Metal Slug wannabe. It has the same side-scrolling levels and graphical style as SNK's iconic game series. You can even hop into walking tanks. What makes it different is there are two different planes of action to jump between. Levels are designed around this feature, as are boss fights. It's an interesting mechanic that sometimes feels forced, but for the most part it helps the game be more than a rote clone. In the end, the most important thing is that Top Hunter is fun to play. I think everyone will get a kick out it.

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