Review by D23NZ
"One of a kind (as far as I know)"
Introduction. Top Hunter is a game for 1 or 2 players (cooperatively) and was released in 1994.
Gameplay. Top Hunter is like a 2D platformer but it has a very rare dual path feature which I haven't seen any other 2D platformers use. There is an attack/action button, a jump button and a switch path button. While playing on one of the paths as though you were playing an ordinary 2D platformer, you can press the switch path button to jump to the other path e.g. jumping from a high road to a low road. Sometimes one path would come to an end and switching paths is necessary. There can be obstacles between the two paths which prevent any path hopping e.g. you can't jump from the bottom of a cliff to the top.
Special moves can be made in the same way they are done in one on one fighting games. A fireball and dragon punch work the same way as in the Street Fighter series. Arms can stretch like Dhalsim in Street Fighter to reach distant objects.
Robot vehicles can be used which work in a similar way to the vehicles in Metal Slug. Guns can be picked up and used for a while. Lots of objects (including enemies) can be picked up and thrown at enemies.
Nearly every level has a poorly hidden secret bonus round. To enter the bonus round you vandalise the object it is hiding in, then jump into the clearly sign posted bonus round. The bonus round involves your character on a hover/skate board trying to collect time, life and power bonus spheres.
Collectable items include food (for your health bar), giant gems (for points), extra time, and power spheres. The time items are important because it is quite easy to die from running out of time. The power spheres raise the power of your character and (usually) improve the special moves. Items can be acquired by vandalising stuff, defeating enemies, bonus rounds and by pulling giant chains which hang from the sky.
Graphics. The graphics are a highly detailed 2D animation style. The graphics are impressive even by today's standards. The graphics are about as good as the graphics in the metal slug series.
Sound/Music. The sound and music suit the graphics style very well.
The sound effects are great when using stereo sound. When some large object(s) are moving, the entire screen would shake and the speakers would rumble.
Play Time/Replayability. The main problem with the game is its lack of depth. There is a lot of detail but it is all crammed up into a short period of time then replicated in other levels. Trying out every level would require playing through the game at least four times. Completing the game once takes about an hour. The game could do with a larger range of playable characters and more than just one type of robot vehicle.
Final Recommendation. I would recommend playing this game to try out the dual path feature. I haven't come across another game that is quite like this one.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 01/05/06
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