Review – PSN Mini Vanguard

Vanguard was originally developed by Tose Co. (a Japanese company) and published by SNK in 1981. Later SNK gave the publishing rights to Century developer for the US release. Vanguard was one of the first to be a shoot ‘em up side scrolling arcade game (very similar to Scramble a game by Konami). It has finally been re-released onto the PlayStation Network as a Mini title for the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 system. Not sure if you should pick this game up? Get ready for blastoff as you go at light speed with our review.


Since its original release there has been some improvements for the PSN Mini title, it now has a menu by pressing the Select button, where you can save and load. Saving isn’t automatic, so be sure to save manually periodically. Checkpoints are available and you’ll know this when a robot voice yells you. It’s too difficult to hear what it yells, but I’m sure someone will figure it out. The menu also has the option to change the number of lives 3, 4, and 5 being the max. L1 button on the PS3 or L button for the PSP is for coins and 50 coins (continues) is the maximum you can add.

The controls are very simple. R1 is for a second player, but unfortunately this has to be done by passing the controller to your friend when you die. The four symbol buttons are for firing all four directions, X button is to shoot Down, the circle button is to shoot Right, the square button is to shoot Left, and the triangle button is to shoot Up. This adds a new level of challenge for you to keep an eye for the upcoming enemy ships. All this comes with a decent price tag of only $2.99 and a download size of 2845 KB (2.8 MB).

While still keeping its 80’s difficult play setting and its unique firing mode with an interesting map layout, Vanguard is one heck of a game. This is a very fun game to play and its great for killing some time at home or on the go. I had a blast from the past from this Mini title. You can never go wrong with this old school arcade games.