Classic Game Room – PHALANX review for Super Nintendo

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Classic Game Room reviews PHALANX for Super Nintendo from 1990, a side scrolling space ship shooter that plays a lot like the Thunder Force series on Sega Genesis

Phalanx is one of the best SHMUPS on SNES Super Nintendo and has some seriously odd artwork with an old guy playing banjo next to his dog. CGR Phalanx YouTube review has Phalanx video review footage of this space ship shooter being played on Super Nintendo.



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  1. that cover deterred me from picking up the game as a kid. now i see that its actually pretty genius; space ship in the night sky, old hill billy on his banjo (typical alien abductee right?) genius no?

  2. Okay, here's the lowdown from EGM Sept. 2001:


    Q: What was the deal with that old dude on the cover of the SNES shooter Phalanx?

    A:Phalanx was just another Super NES sidescrolling shooter that we all probably would have forgotten by now – if not for the inexplicable shot of the bearded geezer strummin' a banjo on the game's box cover. Why the old guy? The problem is that all the game art looked alike at the time – monsters or spaceships or something," explains Matt Guss, head of the advertising company behind the Phalanx campaign. "We wanted to create shock value so somone would have to pick the game up. We called it the 'Heavy Huh?!' factor." Art director Keith Campbell says they did the photo shoot themselves, hiring a model for the role of the 80-something hayseed. "I'd used him before as Santa Claus on an album-cover shoot," Guss adds. "I remember him coming into the studio, and I though the poor guy was gonna die right there on the stage. I think he'd had a stroke earlier – not earlier that day, but in the past . . . We stuck a banjo in his hands, and I think we stuck a spaceship behind his head that he was supposed to be staring at in wonder, sort of a Star Wars-come-to-the-Ozarks kind of thing." You gotta admit Guss' cover concept was mighty effective. After all, we're still talking about the game 10 years after its release. Heavy, huh? If you're too young to remember this game, don't worry Kemco's rereleasing it for the Game Boy Advance.

  3. lol wtf at the cover how would you know what was on that game if you picked it up loose in the 90s without buying and playing it well.. one can only hope there was a text blurb on the box at least

  4. I bought this game thinking it was somekind of redneck simulator. Including levels where you guard your moonshine from coyotes and drink whiskey and beer on your backyard until you get blackout drunk. And it ended up being some fancy space wars shit! Disappointed

  5. "There weren't many shooters released for the SNES"?! Seriously?

    Strike Gunner
    Area 88/ U.N. Squadron
    Super R-Type
    R-Type 3
    Aero Fighters
    Firepower 2000
    Darius Twin
    Gradius III
    Choplifter III
    Desert/Jungle/Urban Strike
    Raiden Trad
    Space Megaforce
    Super Nova
    Thunder Spirits
    Super Air Diver

    That's more than the Genesis had and is just what I have or remember off the top of my head.

    A bit of research helps.

  6. The mismatch with the artwork (which was also used in the advertising) was intentional. The people who made the game wanted something to set it apart from the countless other shmups that were out there, sort of like the direction that Rare took with Conker.

  7. I've only played the GBA version and it's pretty good! Oh and, there were plenty of shmups for the SNES, you just gotta look for them, Space Megaforce, Axelay, Aero Fighters, Pop'n Twinbee, Gradius III, Spriggan Powered and Super SWIV are amongst the ones you didn't mention in the video, all of which are pretty friggin' good btw!

  8. The graphics in this kinda prove an inane argument I got into about whether an snes could handle the Amiga game 'shadow of the beast'.
    I think this game conclusively shows that the answer is Yes! Yes it could!

    Those amiga fans and their home computer bragging about 1 megabyte of RAM… XD


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