Review by Kain Stryder
"The System Is Down. The System Is Down. The System Is Down."
Ah, what a rare and fun little game we have here. Kabuki Quantum Fighter mixes our favorite two things that we love together: Kabuki and Computers. Wait a minute, what? Exactly. Kabuki Quantum Fighter is just that indeed. A weird game which pits you as Colonel Scott O'Conner, transformed into a Kabuki Actor, and he must fight his way through a Computer and fix a problem. Ok, QUITE the original plot and something you'd definitely expect out of the Japanese, so, let's see how this game measures up without further delay...
Story: In all honesty, it's rather good. For a game made in 1990, the plot is definitely original and something that at LEAST had more than 5 minutes of thought put into...I think. Anyway, the story is it's the year 2056 and something has broken into the Main Defense Computer and is blocking the path to the Backup System. This is bad because if the program is altered, Nuclear Weapons will be launched and the Earth will be turned into a wasteland.
Though, there's a solution and apparently, the only one. Using the Image Transfer System, which turns a Human Brain into raw binary code, a person can enter the computer and find the problem, sort of like the movie Tron. Though, the downside is this hasn't been tested yet and Colonel Scott O'Conner has been chosen to be apart of this mission. Highly skilled in the computer field, he takes the mission and enters the computer and somehow turns into a Kabuki upon entering. Never really explained why, other than it's his grandfather's influence rubbing off on him, no one really seems to mind...or notice, for that matter.
Over all, the story is rather good and with various cutscenes after each stage and such, the plot is outstanding for it's age. Very well done, I have no complaints and even the Kabuki weirdness is just too cool to pass up.
Controls: Hmm, I've got mixed feelings about this. On one hand, the controls are great, as in, you start the game, move around, attack, it's simple, responsive and just nice. The downside is jumping and a few attacks and the response to some of them. There's a few hard to do jumps in the game, but besides that, a few attacks are hard to pull off. Mainly your main attack, the Kabuki Hair. It's got decent range and all, but what makes things annoying is you can't decently jump up and attack, as you do it so slow by the time you pull it off you're already landing.
Movement's a breeze, as is the rest of the controls. There's no lag at all and most of the Enemies can easily be beaten, which isn't a problem. If some of the attacks were tweaked a bit, I'd have no problem. Same with jumping and going across Poles is a pain, but other than that, they're fairly good and it's not a real problem once you get use to it.
Over all, the controls are rather good, but could use a bit of work. Not the best I've seen, but I have seen ALOT worse than this. Great movement and control, just some of the attacks and jumping is a pain in the ass and not fun at all, especially in the later Rounds.
Graphics: Decent. Best way to describe them. For 1990, they're amazing, especially the cutscenes. Alot of animation and detail was put into the game and you can tell. For Scott, he's got some good detail and animations to him and no complaints on my part. I can clearly see what he's doing at all times and all his attacks look decent. For the Enemies, even though there's not a whole lot of them and some are just color swaps, they look good. Again, I can't complain for a game made in 1990. Trust me, though, the graphics will surprise you.
As for the Round designs, they're really good. Though, what urked me was nothing looks like you're inside a computer. I mean, I wasn't exactly expecting Alien like terrain, sort of like Metroid, but where are all the computer chips and such? I mean, WHY is there ice in a computer, not to mention viruses that look like animals and stuff? Just weird, really and doesn't make a whole lot of sense...even though you ARE a Kabuki. Oh well, the graphics look good, just I WISH some stuff was explained...
Over all, graphics are really good, but I wish some stuff looked more computer like and not like I was on some distant planet playing a character that looks like he was dragged out of some 80's Anime or hair band. Other than that, everything looks good, just it's going to lose points for not making sense and not looking very computer like at all...
Sound/Music: Awesome. Especially Round 1's Music. I absolutely loved it, especially the OC Remix of it. The rest of the game's music is also good. Each Round's Music is different and all are worth listening to, as none repeat after 20 seconds or become annoying. Definitely one of the better soundtracks I've heard in a NES game and for its time? Damn, just...wow. Definitely leave your volume on while playing it.
As for sound effects, they're also rather good. From the sound your hair makes to defeating Enemies and everything else, they all fit. No complaints here. Just perfect sailing for this game in the sound department. Guess quality time was spent on it, as it sure shows. So while listening to the music in the game, don't be afraid of hearing what the sound effects are, as they're no nails on the chalkboard. Nope, just the opposite.
Over all, amazing music and great sound. Especially with Round 1 and all. If you can find the game, be sure to listen to it, as it's just almost Mega Man quality. Great, great, great. Though it's not 100% perfect, it IS amazing for 1990, so it will get a full score here.
Gameplay: Ah, another great part of the game. What's unique about it is it's a Action game, with different Levels and stuff and you of course have a variety of attacks, but after each Round, you are given a new attack. It reminded me of Boku Dracula-Kun and that ain't bad at all. You start out with a rather crappy special attack, but later on, you have some stuff that can take down even the toughest of Enemies.
So, you have alot of attacks. Ok, that's good and all, but how long's the game? Sadly, not THAT long, as there's only about 5 Levels, actually 6, but the 6th is just the Final Boss. Each one isn't terribly long and it'll probably take a little over an hour to beat it, IF you're good. Otherwise, expect to be going at it for a while.
Of course, the challenge is definitely there. Don't expect to pick up the game and beat it in one sitting. If you do, damn, you're good, but for the rest of us, it has some fun to it. Replay wise, eh, you may come back to it here and there, but it's nothing I can see anyone playing over and over again, like, say, Mega Man 2.
Over all, the game will last you at least a couple hours at most and that's not TOO bad, but it does have challenge to it and it's definitely something worth playing. And of course, each Round has a Boss at the end, so expect some challenge from each of them as well. The game's good, just I've played better and something that lasted me, but it's still rather good and not too bad. Not too bad at all.
Over All: Eh, what can I say? The game's rather good and I've got no real complaints on it. It's not perfect in my book, but what game is these days? For it's time, it definitely rises up and shines, but too bad other games beat it down. Apparently, though, according to the ''sources'', (Sorry, if I said, it'd spoil the game.) there was supposed to be a sequel or something, but I guess that fell through. Probably wasn't enough hype for it or something.
It could've been good, but eh, guess in the long run, it just didn't sell or people didn't buy it. Ah well, their loss. So, what we have here is not only a top notch story for its time, some good controls, great graphics that could use a more computer like feel to them, sound effects and music that is AMAZING and game play that's decent, well, what more can I say? The game's good, give it a try. Hell, any game where your hair is a Weapon can't be all that bad, can it?
Well, if I had to say rent or buy it, buy it. You can probably find the game nowadays for dirt cheap and for the couple bucks it goes for, hey, it'll be worth it. If a friend has it, see if you can borrow it, try it out and see what you think. Worst that could happen is you don't like it, eh, it's just not your cup of tea then. But if you do end up liking it, heh, enjoy it, as it's definitely a game that should've gotten at least SOME attention.
Final Rate: 9/10.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/16/04
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