MUSHA, also known as Musha Aleste, is a vertically scrolling shooter created by Compile for the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive and released in 1990. The full title is M.U.S.H.A.: Metallic Uniframe Super Hybrid Armor.
The game, known in Japan as Musha Aleste - Full Metal Fighter Ellinor, belongs to the Aleste series, which began in 1988 with Aleste, known in the Western world as Power Strike. Initially, it was intended to be called "Aleste 2," but it was decided to make it a spin-off due to a change in the setting. In fact, the shooter has a much stronger connection to Japanese mythology, featuring demons, ninjas, and giant robots. Instead of the classic spaceship, you pilot a mecha (Gundam-style) called M.U.S.H.A. and must combat a supercomputer threatening Earth.
In terms of gameplay, it doesn't differ significantly from Aleste. It's a classic vertical-scrolling shooter where you improve your weapons by collecting and stacking power-ups. Additionally, in a style reminiscent of Gradius, you can activate auxiliary drones to assist you in combat.
While it may not introduce groundbreaking mechanics, MUSHA stands out for its technical quality, including parallax scrolling and some of the best graphics ever seen on the Genesis/Mega Drive. It's also known for its heavy metal soundtrack composed by Toshiaki Sakoda.
Although some reviewers at the time did not appreciate the relatively short length of the game and its "manageable" level of difficulty (or perhaps because of these factors together), MUSHA remains one of the most beloved titles for the Genesis/Mega Drive, especially among fans of anime and Japan lore.