"So....Where are the Black Tigers?"

Did you know that Black Tiger is called "Black Dragon" in Japan? Anyways, Black Tiger is an old arcade game back in the late 80's. It was another Capcom arcade that was great back in the day.I managed to stumbled this classic arcade game in my local college. Anyways, this platforming game is pretty amazing. It's still great in today's modern gaming.

Story: 3/10

Basically, it's about 3 dragons is ravaging throughout the land and it is up to a Barbarian to slay the three dragons and bring peace to the land. It is obviously cliched and generic. However, it is not the main focus of the game.

Gameplay: 9/10

Now, this is where the game shines. The concept of the game is very similar to the Ghost and Goblins series. The player's objective is to get through the end of the stage before time runs out. There, the player will encounter monsters, treasure chests and traps. There are small dungeons in every stage. Every dungeon can give the players to rack up extra points. Throughout the game, there are many hidden symbols. Most of them resemble iconic symbols such as Yashichi. Also, in every level players can accumulate money or "Zenny" and spend it on armor or weapon upgrades. Like Ghost and Goblins, if the character get damaged by enemies the character's armor is destroyed and ,must fight half-naked. The level design isn't so bad. The first few stages are a bit bland. As you progress, the stage gradually gets crazier. More traps and obstructions will go all over the place. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of variety on the boss and monsters. Some of the bosses are just pallette swap of the beginning bosses.

The controls are very simple. The joystick is to move. One button is to attack and the other jump. However, the jumping is a bit clunky. In order to reach certain platform, one must hold upwards of the joystick and jump at the same time. It can be tricky in certain situations. Overall, despite the simple controls, the controls can be a bit tricky at times.

The overall difficulty is pretty challenging for first-time players. There are many traps all over the place. It can be in the treasure chests or even out of nowhere. At times, falling boulders will fall on you in certain areas and give the player instant death if unprepared. Triggering a trap can happen very often. Also, being surrounded by enemies happens a lot. It can really overwhelm you if you are not prepared. The overall game mechanics is intuitive and interesting.

Graphics and Visuals: 10/10

All I can say that he visuals look fantastic. It still looks good in today's standard. The color and the designs suits the fantasy theme. This game's visual is able to stood well over a couple of decades.

Music and Sound: 8/10

The music is very solid. Although it is very catchy, it lacks variety. Several stages have variations of the same beat. It's gets a bit repetitive. Despite of that, the music was able to intensify the atmosphere. The sound effects are bit outdated in today's standards. The mace clash with the goblin shield sounds off. However, it's really not that big of a deal.

Replayability: Low

Once you beat the game, there's not a lot of things to do other than getting the high score.

Where can I find this game:

If your local arcades does not have the game, you can always buy Capcom classics Collection Vol. 2 for the PS2. Also, you can find Black Tiger on the Capcom Classics Collection for the PSP. If none of the following options work, there's always the emulator.

Final Word:

Overall, it is a very solid platformer. First time players maybe overwhelmed by the challenge itself. However, the concept and interesting level design will keep you hooked for quite a while. Black Tiger is great for new-comers and old-school gamers alike. I wished there's tigers in this game.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/02/07


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