MUSHA is a vertically scrolling shoot ’em up video game developed by Compile and released on the Sega Genesis in 1990. An entry in Compile’s shooter series, Aleste, MUSHA places the player in the role of a flying mecha pilot who must destroy a large super intelligent computer threatening planet Earth. Development lasted less than one year. Originally the game had a working title of “Aleste 2” and featured a style similar to the first game, but it was redirected to feature a Japanese aesthetic and a speed metal soundtrack.
Initial reception for MUSHA was mixed. Critics found themselves overwhelmed by the sheer amount of shoot ’em ups on the Sega Genesis and felt the title was unremarkable. Journalists generally agreed the game had great graphics and enjoyable gameplay, but felt it was unoriginal and not very challenging. The game was re-released on the Wii Virtual Console in Japan in 2008, and the West in 2009. In retrospective reviews for its re-release, MUSHA garnered much higher praise, being cited for its challenging gameplay, strong soundtrack, and graphics considered ahead of its time. It remains among the most highly regarded shoot ’em ups on the Genesis and is considered among the best of the 16-bit era. Original MUSHA cartridges have become rare and command high prices in the collector market.
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