Shock Troopers (PC) (2016)

Overview: A PC port of an arcade 2D top-down action shooting game first released in 1997.

This 2D arcade game was decent.

Marie Bee

The direction of fire being locked into the initial direction of movement was strange; is it intentional or a limitation of my keyboard?*

Offline Game Time: 7 minutes

*[20190105: It's intentional.]

[20190105 Edit]

20190105 AM Hours:
Today I played Shock Troopers for a second time, but played until I finished the Jungle Route. It took me many continues,* but eventually I did it.

Setup: Was having trouble installing the game. Had to disable Avast. Right-click tray icon > Avast Shield Controls > Disable. Getting into the game, I played Freeplay > Normal.

After I finished playing, I was in appreciation for what the game offered, but didn't feel like playing more. In fact, the first thing I did was load up a speedrun of the game on YouTube.

Jackal in the motorcycle stage.

In any case, I had various remarks about the game worth noting. First, the direction of fire being locked does make sense; the alternative (back then) would be to have the direction of fire move together with the direction of movement (the modern alternative would be a twin-stick shooter). Second, the game offers two modes of play "Lonely" and "Team." Each time the player dies (health bar reaches zero), he/she may continue and change the mode of play. When choosing "Lonely," the player will chooses one character; when choosing "Team," the player chooses three characters and may rotate between them during the game. While there may be other differences, a noticeable difference between the characters is their grenade attack. Third, it was difficult for me to get a handle on dodging and using grenades, but doing so is surely part of mastering the game.

On a different note, the default keyboard controls repeatedly triggered hotkeys for two of my programs. This was mildly annoying and eventually I turned the programs off.

Steam Game Time: 51 minutes (session game time)

*Apparently it was less than 10, because I unlocked the achievement "Super Gamer": "Complete the game using less than 10 credits."

Jackal with a flamethrower.

20190105 Pt. 1:
Today I tried playing the game with a controller in order to test how it may or may not be different. I used a Wired XBOX controller and for whatever reason, it actually felt harder to use. In particular, I could not lock into a firing direction. Even though I was holding the button down, it seemed as if the button would get released after a couple seconds. After about a minute of trying to play with a controller, I switched back to using a keyboard and continued playing the game in order to unlock one or two achievements (last night I passively completed 6 Steam achievements).

Setup: Freeplay > Easy.

Steam Game Time: 92 minutes (total game time) / 41 minutes (session game time)

20190105 Pt. 2:
Due to bugs with the way the game handles achievements, I have trouble getting many achievements.

Gameplay Log:
I don't understand why some achievements didn't trigger. According to a Steam Achievement guide for the sequel, it might just be a bug that can be fixed by editing the UserDefault.xml file. Just to be sure I looked at the file and then played the game. I thought perhaps the game only triggered using a character if a level was completed with him/her. However, I undoubtedly finished the game with Maru and he's still flagged as "false". As such I'm going to set the three false character flags to "true".

Big Mama with a Missile Launcher

The "newHighScore" value changed, but the "specialWeaponUsed" value did not.
Unfortunately, just changing the three values didn't work and the game just overwrote my changes. So then I tried something that I had seen in the aforementioned guide: I set all the characters "true" and the first character (Jackal) to "false". Then I went into the game and played Jackal. It worked (and I got the "Team" achievement). As a bonus, the "specialWeaponUsed" value had increased (and eventually I got the "Boom" achievement).
Now a strange occurrence is that all the weapons are used (flagged as "true") but I didn't unlock the "Rambo" achievement. This game is strange. In any case, I loaded up the game, then loaded up the files, changed the heavy gun flag to "false" and then it turned back to "true" and I got the achievement. I didn't even have to pick up the heavy gun. Note: I didn't keep good track of the order on when to make a change and which file to change (there are two "UserDefault.xml" files), but there are finitely many combinations.
Nooooo! First I accidentally didn't continue after dying so I dropped a good score on Insane (while also going for the "Noob" achievement). I went to play Insane again, but this time didn't care about a high score (so just sped through instead of going for diamonds. I kept track of my deaths and counted 42. Unfortunately I didn't get the achievement. For the record, I died a total of 9 times by the end of stage 2 (of Jungle Route), 20 by stage 3, 26 by stage 4, 33 by stage 5 and 36 by the time the final boss came. I let him kill me 6 more times. Note that the final boss kills you slowly, and one of the best places is the end of stage 4.

Rio fires his Special Weapon: Exploding Arrow

Although dying 40 times seems like an easy task, it's the rarest achievement. Some speculate that only those who have cheated have been able to unlock it.
My guess then would be that the 40 deaths have to register before the end of the final boss. However, on my next attempt, I somehow skipped a stage and ended up getting to the final boss sooner than I expected. I didn't want to test out dying to him twenty times (I was only at about twenty) only to fail.
I next went to easy mode with twenty credits. But I was greedy for points and so went for mostly gems (knife kills) as well as take a detour to the Mountain route after starting the Jungle Route. As such, I made it to the final boss with 0 credits and almost no life. Unfortunately I lost. Fortunately, I still got 74 on the leaderboard of high scores. I assume not too many people play this game, especially not on easy, so I wouldn't think too highly of a 74. With that being said, Insane isn't that much harder than Easy. I can probably do an Insane run without the detour in twenty credits. The thing about knife kills is they also provide health, so someone who perfects a knife kill can get both more points and sustain.

Steam Game Time:* 5.8 hours (total game time) / 4.3 hours (session game time)

*About half an hour to an hour was spent idle due to other activities (e.g., bringing in groceries or taking a call)

+ Different routes, different characters, different difficulty levels
+ Balanced difficulty (I was just playing 'Normal' but it neither felt too hard nor too easy)

Jackal goes down. Only four credits left! (I started with 20)

~ Default keyboard controls involve the Shift, Control, and Alt keys. Yikes. Perhaps best to change or use a controller.

Minor Con:
- I kept accidentally skipping the dialogue.
- Just have to try the different characters to see what they do different; no explanation/visibility [technically there is a picture of the secondary at character select]
- Not sure why I didn't feel hooked into the game; though I may end up playing more for some of these Steam achievements :D

- Steam Achievements are bugged.

[20190105 AM Hours]

This game is potentially fun for those interested in arcade 2D shooters, especially run-and-gun shooters, and playing them over and over for high scores. Personally, I inconsistently enjoy 2D shooters and for whatever reason, Shock Troopers isn't my cup of tea - though the game did grow on me as I was trying to accomplish various Steam achievements.

Marie Bee gives the player a thumbs up.

Speaking of Steam Achievements, they are bugged. If Steam Achievements are a big deal to you and you don't like getting your hands dirty with the game's save file, then it's best to skip Shock Troopers.

In general, I believe a select few will truly enjoy this game, while most players can happily ignore it.

Shock Troopers (PC) (2016)*
*Shock Troopers (Arcade) (1997)

Relevant Links:
Shock Troopers (
Shock Troopers (PC) (
Shock Troopers (Steam Store Page)

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