Review by The Manx
One of these days I really need to get around to reviewing a non-sidescrolling beat 'em up arcade game. But for now, here's the one they made about Sailor Moon.
The story is, presumably, the same as from the show. They sailors are from other planets and can tap the energy of those planets to get special powers to fight Queen Beryl and her monsters who want to revive their leader by stealing life energy from people. Doesn't really matter for the game, though. You're a mini skirt-clad schoolgirl beating up monsters and that's all there is to it as far as it concerns gameplay. There's no cinemas, no text screens to explain what's going on. You're a sailor senshi, you're trashing monsters, and that's all you need to know.
You start off by picking your favorite sailor, then you head into the streets to kick butt and fight a bunch of monsters from the show. But bring a friend if you can because there's a lot of them. Here comes my first complaint: there's basically seven or eight monsters you fight over and over throughout the game. Not including bosses, but this is LONG for a sidescrolling beat 'em up arcade game. And with the same monsters all the time it's an exercise to keep playing all the way to the end after just a few levels.
Plus, none of the sailors get to use their special attacks from the show. You have a screen-clearing special attack like in a lot of these kinds of games, but instead of showing your sailor dishing up a lightning bolt or fireball you usually get a cartoon of them from the anime talking or of Mercury putting on her visor or something. And for some reason that kills all the bad guys you were fighting. I don't get it.
In the game's defense I will say that the graphics are lovely, and if you're a fan of the anime you'll be able to recognize all the enemies. The sound isn't bad, what with the voices the characters have to gasp in pain or that kind of thing but I don't remember ever once hearing the Sailor Moon theme song. But several places are recognizable if you're an aficionado of the show, and Tuxedo Kamen sometimes shows up during boss battles to toss a life-restoring rose to your sailor.
This game could've been a 9 or 10 if it didn't feel so repetitive. As it is, it's one of those games that's fun while the fun lasts. And I mean, I like Sailor Moon, but it was still a challenge wanting to play long enough to beat it.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/08/04, Updated 04/08/04
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