Review by Rick L

"Hey, I liked it!"

I remember when I first saw this game in the arcade. I remember seeing some guy hack off this samurai's arm off. I started at it, in disbelief and for an odd reason, fear. The violence factor had me hooked!

About seven or eight years later, I decided to play the game again. I now can appreciate what Strata has done. It's a really good game, but it has some flaws.

Graphics: 9.5/10

The graphics are incredible. Everything is big and quite detailed. Basic eye candy for the human eye. The character sprites are great, and the backgrounds are even better. My only complaint for backgrounds is that Matrix's and Mantazz's levels appear way too similar. The animation, while good, could be made less choppy. The twitching animations are classic as well, in my opinion. I love 'em!

Sound: 8.8/10

The major downside of the game is that the game doesn't really have good music in certain parts. It's good in some parts, but others involve really ''honky'' type music that could be replicated with a car horn with ease. The sound effects are good, and the voice acting is alright.

Gameplay: 9/10

The game is a basic fighting game. However, there are buttons that respond to each character's body movement, like their legs and arms. While good, it does get a little confusing when you want to memorize special moves. The addition of dismemberment is good. If an arm is hacked off, then that disables the character to a degree. The match isn't over if both arms are cut off, though! You'll still have to win by kicking and headbutting! Legs cannot be hacked off, however. If you press all the buttons at once, you can perform your decapitation movie, which if hit just right, will cut your opponents head off! While nice, it can be done any time in the match, and can end a match too quickly and cheaply.

Another cool thing is the character variety. There's Thugg, who's a caveman weilding a stone axe. Leif, a viking who carries an axe, Lord Wülf, who carries a sword and keeps saying ''Excalibur!'', even though he ain't King Arthur. Musashi, a samurai armed with a katana and a daito. Rancid, a street punk armed with a chainsaw. Orion, a futuristic bounty hunter with an electrosaber. Matrix, a female futuristic soldier with a lightsaber-type weapon, and finally Mantazz, a futuristic alien with razor-sharp blades in its arms.

The storyline is original enough that it hasn't been done to death. A group of warriors from different time periods fight to the death in a chance to fight Death himself. If Death is defeated, then that warrior becomes immortal. That's basically it in a nutshell.

Replay Value: 10/10

I liked this one a lot. You can easily get hooked on this game if you don't mind the violence factor much.

Overall: 9.4/10

This is a great arcade game, though it was little known. I'm glad I got the chance to see this game when I did, otherwise, I would've been missing out on a lot.

Rating: Pretty Damn Good!


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/17/02, Updated 11/17/02


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