Greetings Backloggers! I guess I didn’t learn my lesson from Super Thunder Blade, because up next on the list was another SEGA classic: Bio-Hazard Battle.
A classic side-scrolling 2D bullet-hell shooter in the vein of R-Type, Bio-Hazard Battle puts you at the controls of one of four biological creatures fighting through eight levels of weird, overgrown creatures. Centipedes, spiders, bats, jellyfish, and an assortment of other weirdness come flying at you, each culminating in a massive boss battle.
Each creature is constantly followed around by an auxiliary shooting system that can be upgraded in four different ways. The aux shooter also can function as a shield, and does damage simply by hitting enemies; a trait that comes in handy during later levels. Some powerups, such as the spread weapon, are universally applied among the four creatures. Others had different effects depending on the creature. For example, where a red powerup usually results in a rapid-fire, bouncing circles weapon, but on one creature, it gives a homing beam.
There’s a plot about how the biowarrior ship things are the scouts for the last remnants of humanity, trying to clear the planet for the human survivors of some war centuries before. I don’t know, I had to look up the plot on Wikipedia.
HowLongToBeat puts the average time for this at a fairly optimistic hour. That’s probably about right if you play on Easy with the maximum number of lives. On the other hand, I played on Medium with three lives, so my personal time clocked in at four hours. As always, your mileage may vary.
Bio-Hazard Battle really doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from the pack of ‘90s SHMUPS. There’s not a lot of nostalgia for this title, and aside from the odd character designs, there’s really nothing to recommend this over the various other ‘90s classics in this genre.
Backlog Verdict: If you’re a fan of classic SHMUPs, then it’s worth playing. If old school side-scrollers aren’t your thing, this is a pass.
Previous Backlog Count: 1,148
Current Backlog Count: 1,146
Next Time: Back to the Visual Novels, with a cheery? Steam freebie called The Sad Tale of Emmeline Burns. See you then!
Backlog Burndown is a semi-regular feature on Marooner’s Rock. Read previous columns in the archives, and suggest future games to play in the comments!