During the PC Engine heyday (known as the TurboGrafx-16 here in the U.S.), Japanese gamers were treated to annual "caravan" competitions, which were hosted by Hudson. These travelling competitions bussed from city to city across Japan in a special yellow bus that highlighted upcoming products as well as a special tournament title. These caravan titles were often time-limited, with the goal not being completion of the level but earning the highest possible score in a limited amount of time. While hardcore fans are no doubt familiar with the caravan titles, most U.S. gamers haven't had a chance to experience them until now.
Star Solider R was the star of the show at last fall's Hudson Caravan, and it is one of the first titles to debut on the newly launched WiiWare store. Because it was designed as a tournament style game, Star Solider R is much shorter than a typical shooter - the longest game mode is a mere five minutes - but what it lacks in length is more than made up for in depth of play.
On a superficial level, Star Soldier R is very easy to pick up and play. Simply grab a controller, move your ship and start shooting the bad guys. There's no need to worry about extra lives, as you have an infinite amount to use if needed. The real challenge here is time. Every death costs you precious seconds as you wait for your ship to respawn. You also lose any power-ups, not to mention the combo chain. 8/10