Review by KasketDarkfyre

"With games like this, how could the Dreamcast go wrong? BWAHAHAHA!"

Another one of those leap before you look moves, I was in the gaming store, like usual, and picked up the latest Dreamcast game at the time, which was Slave Zero, thought I might like it, then found out the real deal when I brought it home. As with most games, you should always go by a rental first unless it’s just an absolutely must have game that doesn’t leave any doubt in your mind. When I selected Slave Zero, I thought that running a huge Mech. through the cities of some futuristic city would be cool. What I found was something that I wasn’t really expecting from the Dreamcast and left me with plenty of disappointing thoughts and a wasted rental! Now the story really isn’t all that bad with a mix of drama, and duty, rolled into stopping the ever-present bad guy from turning the world into a flaming pile of ash. You're part of a clan, which has been molded into a machine interface, but the bad part is, in doing so, and fulfilling your duty, you can never know what humanity really is again. Not a bad story, but it gets a little old, the hero who sacrifices himself to save the planet seems to be in just about every single game that you run across these days and this one is no different!

You would be thinking that game play is worth mentioning in a Dreamcast game or any game for that matter just based on wanting to know what the game is, right? Not in this particular title because when you boil down the genre, it doesn’t really have much to offer. It's straightforward, and after the first twenty minutes, you get bored, real fast, and frustrated because of the control. The levels are fairly large in their own way, but that just adds to the boredom, and makes you sick to think about it. Every once in a while, an enemy will pop up, so you can shoot it, but that's still not enough to keep your interest! The point of the game is to get to the end, which takes patience, patience, which quickly deserts you, about 10 minutes into the game and then beyond. Now what I did gather from the game is that there are items that you can collect to add to your arsenal of weapons for the random battles that occur while you trek through the city. There isn’t much more to it other than if you fight one particular enemy, there are sure to be a dozen more right behind you taking pot shots! This doesn’t add up for balanced game play, but rather makes you wonder just what the point of having a swarm of enemies at one moment and then nothing the next.

Replay is also something that you have to factor in when you’re playing an action game of a supposed caliber like Slave Zero. Unfortunately, you don’t even have that to look forward to, because once you’ve flown through the game {if you get that far} you’ve got nothing left to look to for more hours of game play! Nothing. No secrets, any real reason to keep playing this. Just if you're a glutton for punishment, that's about all.

This is bad. Very bad. You use both the analog stick and the directional pad to give your mech. movement, that coupled with the buttons, you'll drive yourself up a wall before you get the hang of it, and even when you do get the hang of it, you still don't have it. I'm not sure what the point was of having everything on separate pads on top of having to use those pads to aim. The aiming was horrible to begin with, having to lock on your target, a moving target mind you, and fire away...it's near impossible unless you have perfect control, which, again, isn't much of an option here! Now in future days of playing, I’ve come to learn how to do this and with quite some success, but when you consider that I wrote this originally a year and a half ago, nothing should ever take this long to learn and I don’t care if it’s considered a ‘gamer challenge’ or not, it is ridiculous!

The graphics come off clean and clear in this one, the mech. that you inhabit is drawn nicely, as are the enemies you face throughout the game. The buildings and neon signs are a great touch, and with size proportion, it matches with the little cars trying to drive under your feet. Not bad mix! The weapons all look good, firing off with a unique visual, and even the enemy mechs blowing up into pieces look great. Some of the bosses are a little hard to see, but one boss you can't miss, and you'll stare at the screen in amazement...but that's where the fun ends and the horror begins to be completely honest. There are points in the game where there is nothing moving but your mech, and even that is slow and rather boring after just a few minutes of play as well! The stages are pretty much one huge view of the city with different buildings and land layouts to rove over.

This is where it turns ugly. No music. None, nada, zip, zilch. You have an occasional voice speak to you, but even that doesn't seem to make sense, no clarity, which is a downfall. The weapon blasts and explosions come off nicely however, but it's not enough to give you what you're looking for, and the unfortunate part is, you need to listen to the game...you can break away to your favorite music. If you don't listen, you can't hear what your mission is, or if there are enemies coming up on your six!

This is a generous score. I would normally give it a 1 or a 2 if it weren’t for the visuals. Had there been some music, better control, and variation gameplay, I would have rated higher, but someone was asleep at the wheel for this. Out of all of the Dreamcast games I own, this is the one that I don't play, at all. I wouldn't recommend this to even the most savvy of players, even those that are hardcore, such as myself, would curse the company, the system, and the fact that it exists! Don't rent it, don't buy it. If you want to see what's like, then go for the rent, but save your money for something good to buy, cause this one isn't it. If you’re looking for a good action game, there are plenty of them out there on the market right now that will keep you much more satisfied rather than this one.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 02/14/00, Updated 11/20/01


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