Review by Y0u

"Good way to burn a few hours..."

Zombie Hunter was a side-scrolling action game with heavy RPG elements released for the Famicom in 1987 by some company called Hi-Score. Activision had planned to release it in the US as "Zombie Master," but canceled it (see http://64.53.95.207/zombie/zombie.html.) I think it was based on some manga.

Gameplay- 6/10
The game plays something like Zelda 2's side-scrolling areas. You go through a total of 6 areas (although at some points you can take different routes, a nice idea) to get to... well, the end of the last level and beat some boss. You gain EXP and gold for killing monsters, and level up and get more powerful like in most RPGs. There are shops to spend your money in, but their selection amounts to recovery items, consumable weapons (as opposed to your regular sword,) candles (which are used to tell what kind of enemies you're fighting and how much HP they have left, and last a few minutes, not vital but good to have, since all but the first area take place underground) and the occasional sword or armor upgrade. There's a boss at the end of each level, but beating it is usually just a matter of leveling up enough. Interesting and fun, but nothing that great.

There's one thing that was probably much more frustrating on the actual cartridge, though. There's no save feature, and when you run out of HP, you die and have to start the whole game over again. Since the game takes at least an hour and a half to beat straight through, this must have been annoying to say the least since if you're not quick to select a recovery item when you need it, this doesn't take long to happen!

Story- na/10
Don't really know, don't care... I think there's something in that intro, though. Probably a bit more story than a typical 1987 game, but not by much.

Control 7/10
Does everything you want it to do. A jumps, B swings your sword, and start brings up the menu. Works exactly as you'd expect it to, although scrolling through menus can be a bit awkward. There's at least one feature that seems ahead of its time: if you want to select another weapon, you can change weapons through the menu, or you can change on the fly by pressing select button, although since you may be holding over a dozen items and for some reason the game toggles through all of your items when you do this. Trying to attack with a candle or potion is pretty useless.

Graphics- 9/10
Not bad at all for a 1987 game. Pretty much everything looks like what it's supposed to be, although when you can't see a monster, the game gives all of them the generic name "Zombie," but I guess they're just a bunch of weird kinds of zombies.

Sound- 6/10
Music can get a bit repetitive, even if catchy, as one tune plays for every level but the last, except for bosses. There's some voice when you start the game up (a very loud announcer proclaiming the company's name) and something in Japanese on the game over screen that I can't understand since I don't know Japanese. All the sound effects are pretty typical.

Overall 6/10
Good way to kill a few hours. I can only imagine how frustrating it must have been on an actual console sometimes, though!


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 04/03/06


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