Hmm ... the Axis and the Federation are fighting over the last remaining fossil fuels ... why does this sound so familiar?

Cybernator is a giant-robo-mecha-anime-whatever side scrolling run-and-gun game from Konami that had a small following but kind of faded off into obscurity soon after it's release.

It's kind of an odd run-and-gun game. It has a very slow and deliberate pace, for one thing, with a lot of dialogue and plot development between missions. You are also in a big clunky mech and thus move kind of slow, though there are some fast paced scenes where you're flying through outer space.

The gameplay and the level design both take some getting used to. A lot of the game takes place in zero gravity so you're able to both walk and float, and your gun doesn't necessarily wind up pointing in the direction that you are so you have to fix it in place sometimes by holding the L shoulder button.

The game can be fun, but it's really hard. The main problem seems to be that your weapons are inadequate to the barrage of enemies that the game throws at you.

Yeah, it gets really tedious when every common enemy takes like 18000 hits to kill and has these super weapons that trash you up easily. I think the worst bit of the game is level 3, where you keep going through these narrow corridors fighting tons of laser turrets that pop out of the ground and shoot this beam that follows you around. You barely have any room to dodge, it does a ton of damage when it hits, there's like a million turrets and they take a ridiculous amount of shots to kill. It just turns into this long, frustrating slow-paced slog at parts like that.

I often felt like I was battling with the controls more than with the enemies.

Cybernator has its moments and its qualities but I really don't think it's worth the frustration - they did a poor job of balancing the game's difficulty and placing the enemies. Also, the official English release of the game was pretty butchered.

Yeah, the original Japanese version had much more plot development and dialogue. Plus, they cut character portraits from the in-game communications, and apparently axed at least one major cutscene.

Aeon Genesis Translations released an English patch for the Japanese version a couple of years ago, so if you're interested in this game you might want to check that out instead.

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