One of the rare games to first be released in North America, Battle Clash (known as Space Bazooka in Japan) has the player using the Super Scope to fight giant mech battles. It received a sequel, Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge the next year.
There are minor regional differences, with the Japanese version, mainly in the ending credits. The US version, Mike Anderson is simply on a blue background. In the Japanese version, he is joined by others beside the Falcon (his ST), depending on the difficulty level.
Another interesting point is that this is one of the few mech games to be released in Japan without any reference TO Japan. Stereotypically, Japan acts as the origin for most giant mechs, but here it is left ambiguous.
As a point of interest, Battle Clash (and its sequel) were developed by Gunpei Yokoi, the man responsible for Super Metroid, the Game Boy and the Virtual Boy.
Earth is currently in chaos and shambles, and the only order to be found is in the Battle Game. The winner, of course, gains control of the world. These battles are fought with giant mechs known as Standing Tanks (ST). The current ruler is an evil fighter known as Anubis, a position he gained by killing many people.
Mike Anderson, the player's partner, had his father killed during Anubis's ascent to power and dedicated his life to training and gaining control. However, to even get the chance to fight Anubis, the player (as the ST's gunner) and Mike must fight through all of Anubis's Battle Chiefs, each of whom controls a region of the world.
The STs fight one-on-one, and with only the most basic of rules: the object is to destroy the other ST before it destroys the player's. This is accomplished by shooting the other ST (with the Super Scope peripheral), while at the same time shooting its projectiles before they hit the player.
The gun works in a rapid-fire mode, where the player can simply hold down the first button, or it can be used to shoot energy bolts. These energy bolts can only be fired when the energy bar has been filled up, and it then drains the bar. Charging the bar accomplished by not firing, so going for an energy bolt can be a risky maneuver. However, it is important to note that some of the opponents' attacks can only be deflected by an energy bolt.
Because Mike Anderson is the ST's driver, every battle in this game is like most boss battles in on-rails shooters. Damage done depends on where the shot lands, with each ST having some sort of weak point. Energy bolts do more damage, but as noted above, are riskier propositions. Also, it is important to realize that there is a 10-minute time limit on each battle at which point the player loses, regardless of the respective health bars of the STs.
As a point of strategy, it is worth noting that the STs take localized damage. If the player destroys one of the opponents weapons, it won't be able to fire, or if the rocket boosters are destroyed, it won't be able to fly. This allows for a good bit of strategic variety in how the player approaches any given battle.
The game also supplies minor power-ups, of which the player may have four at any given time. These include things like increased accuracy, a variety of bombs, and a variety of shield upgrades.
As the gunner in the ST, the player is freed from most details about movement. To go left or right, they simply need to aim the Super Scope at the left or right side of the screen.
Despite being a Japanese game, Mike is the generic All-American Hero. His ST is The Falcon, with the player as the gunner. The Falcon is a bit of a character itself, periodically dispensing advice.
Guido is stereotypical Appalachian mountain man, and the Chief of North America. His ST, Garam is a huge gorilla-esque beast of a machine, and his ego and temper both match the size of his ST.
Continuing on with the stereotypes, Ikhnaton is the Chief of Africa. He is a fat and wealthy arms dealer, who also happens to be an oil tycoon. His insect-like ST, Scarab, is heavily armored.
The Chief of Europe is an androgynous (and creepy) pilot named Lorca. Extremely vain, he refers to himself as the "Bard of Battle," and pilots an ST known also as Lorca.
The only woman in the game is Tasha, the Chief of South America. She eventually falls in love with Mike after being defeated, and she joins him later on. Her ST, Artemis, carries a heavy payload of very strong missiles.
The Chief of Asia is Alfred, a brilliant but cowardly engineer. His ST flies via an anti-gravity device, and has protective orbs that circle it and deflect attacks.
Antonov is the Chief of Oceania, and his ST is a giant armored crab name Ivan. He secretly longs to defeat Anubis.
Eddie is not actually a Battle Chief, but rather a brainwashed general in the space military. His job is to guard the Tower of Babel, which leads to space. Valius is his ST, a ninja-like mech whose main strength is its agility.
Another general in the space military, Carlos was corrupted by Anubis due to his own questionable ambitions. He guards the Moonbase Luna using a more advanced version of Mike's Falcon, known as the Baron. He and Mike form a lasting rivalry.
Finally, we have Anubis. He is the current ruler of the world, an evil tyrant, and doesn't quite appear to be human. His ST, Thanatos, is extremely powerful, almost bordering on supernatural. It has many biomechanical upgrades, and can transform into a creature out of a B grade horror film.
Battle Clash's style is reminiscent of other SNES games of that time period, in particular F-Zero. Both use the same scaling and parallax techniques and have a similar sci-fi theme. The music is similarly popish between the two, though Battle Clash's was composed by Yuka Tsujiyoko, who is most well known for his work on Fire Emblem. In addition, more attention is paid to the small details (ST damage, intricate animations) than in many other titles of this era.
Battle Clash received a 3.775 (out of 5) from Nintendo Power.
It is also the only Super Scope game to receive a sequel.