Review by kaioshade
"Proof that the Dreamcast is a strong contender"
Spawn: In the Demon's Hand is a port of the Capcom arcade game of the same name. Deathmatch is the name here, and the game shares many similarities to another one of Capcom's Arena fighters - Powerstone 2. But Spawn has enough diferent things to seperate itself from the Powerstone pack.
As stated above, Spawn is all about Deathmatch. There are multiple characters to choose from, and each character has a different assortment of items and attacks to assault their enemies with. the action is MUCH more faster paced than Powerstone could ever be, due to how the battles are set up. While the game is a deathmatch, each boss has minions with them to aid them in their attack on you. So, in reality, it is more like 1 (you) against 4-5 (them). The minions are easily killed, but by the time you finish with them, the main boss is getting ready to smack you (VERY hard). One more nice tough added to the battles are that there is a time limit. you have 3 minutes t kill each boss in the level, which is not always an easy task. Sometimes the boes will not even show up until 30 seconds in the match. In addition, each time you are killed, 12 seconds are deducted from your timer. With some of the bosses being very diffucult, time will run out VERY quickly, resulting in your game being over.
Each character in Spawn has different paths to take, so not everyone is going to go through the same assortment of fights, keeping the game fresh. There are 11 characters available from the start, but there are a total of 36 fighters that can be obtained through various actions. Fans of Spawn will recognize every character in the game.
Graphics: 9/10 - The graphics in Spawn are phenomenal. Each character has a huge amount of detail to them. The Vaporizer, for instance, is detailed right down to the teeth in his (huge) mouth. spawn himself has every detail you find in the comic book. Everything moves along at a constant 60 FPS, even with multiple people on the screen. Even in a 4 player split screen deathmatch, there is barely any slowdown, even with everyone blasting the living daylights out of each other. The only thing that can stop this game from getting a 10 in the graphics is the camera. While it generally acts as it is supposed to, occassionally it can get a little twisted, making you disoriented, resulting in getting killed very quickly.
Control: 9/10 - Control in Spawn is next to flawless, except for two very minor problems. The first issue is lack of analog support. Since these are 3D arenas being fought in, analog support would seem like a viable option. The standard D-pad funtions more than adequate, however, so this is easily overlooked. The second problem is with the camera. when the camera, it becomes very hard to control your character soemtimes, again, resulting in a swift end to their existence.
Audio: 10/10 - There isnt a single complaint for this category. Even being an import game, all the voices are in crisp, clear english (please, Capcom, DO NOT CHANGE THE VOICES!!!), before the fight, and the appropriate yells and grunts during combat, with the announcers voice a low ominous, warning vioce. everything is perfect. The music is a nice selection of rock music, and while not being the biggest fan of rock music, i must admit that the music fits the game perfectly. excellent job Capcom!
Replayability: 10/10 - With over 30 characters to choose from, and a great 4 player mode, there will be no reason to put this game down any time soon. In addition to the standard deathmatch mode of play, there are als battle royale, with everyoen against each other for points. Team play is also available, either against human players or against the computer. both modes are extremely fun. There is a tournament mode as well, going up a ladder to earn points. Capcom has also thrown a few extras. There are options to access the Spawn website (Japanese), and an image galery and an item showcase, which highlights every item that the various characters use. Nothing major or new, but always a welcome addition.
Overall: 9/10 - With the few shortcomings, Spawn: The Demon's Hand is an excellent title that puts the claim that the Dreamcast is not a true contender to rest. If you are capable of receiving and playing import games on your dreamcast, I highly suggest picking up Spawn. Everything except for the options and the first in-game tutorial (even though i can read japanese, it isnt too hard to figure out) is in English, making picking it up and jumpng right in a small task. I have no idea when the English version is going to be released, but I will problebly get it if, SegaNet is in place for online play when Spawn is released.
The Dreamcast has plenty of life ahead of it.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/15/00, Updated 08/15/00
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