Review by Ofisil

"Donkey Cat"

Claw is an Action\Platform developed by Takarajimasha. Claw is not the best platform game out there… heck, its not even close since it has to compete with masterpieces like the Mario series and so on. However for a game developed for the PC, a system that doesn't exactly have a tradition in the genre, it is a surprisingly good game but for those who want challenge. Those who expect something original though, look elsewhere because Claw is just your run of the mill treasure-grabbing, enemy-slashing Platform game and nothing more.

Story: 5/10
Presentation: 6.5/10

Who would expect an actual plot in a Platform game, especially a PC one? Usually there's something in the manual going like, “Bad guy's there, kill him”, but here we actually have several relatively nicely designed videos between the levels, (that look like Sunday morning animation shows), which tell a simple yet well presented story. It's the story of Captain Claw and his feline band of pirate brothers who get captured by the Spaniard armada of a certain canine capitano. While in jail Claw finds a map, which tells of a legendary amulet so he escapes and sets of to find it and the gems that make it functional. All in all nothing special, but hurray for the effort.

Gameplay: 6.8/10
Replay Value: 4/10

Claw couldn't be more typical. While it looks and sounds quite good, it's no different from any other treasure-grabbing, enemy-killing, platform-jumping game of its kind. A typical platformer by all means, it will satisfy those expecting a good game of the genre for the PC. But why the low score? Let me explain. Technically Claw is flawless. The controls are smooth and responsive, the game is easy to pick up and start playing and the concept is simple: Run around, slash or shoot enemies, avoid death and grab as many treasure items as possible. There are 3 things however, which made me lower the score. #1: The completely unoriginal concept. I mean, why play this one when there are hundreds of better games out there. #2: Long levels. It won't be long since you'll say to your self, “ARE WE THERE YET???”. Honestly, levels are way too long for the things they provide… a very unnecessary length in m opinion. #3: The challenge. Claw is a game made for those that want a bit of extra difficulty in their virtual life. Is that a bad thing? Certainly not. It's the way a game is challenging though that makes of breaks a title. The levels in Claw are way too packed up with instant death traps turning the game into an annoying trial-and-error chore. Furthermore, trying to get all the treasure in a level instead of making the game, say 3 or 4 times harder, makes it almost unfair, since trying to grab a measly treasure will almost certainly kill you and since the levels are so damn long and extra lives so sparse, you'll be quickly discouraged to search for them anyway.

Graphics: 7.8/10
Design: 6.7/10

Claw has very good 256-color graphics, very colorful and detailed level design and nicely animated sprites making the whole thing look like a cartoon. Nothing is exactly original, in fact I've the same motive a hundred times. In Claw you control a cat dressed as a pirate who fights with various kinds of dogs dressed as 15th century Spanish soldiers, rogues and rangers and pirates. The locales you'll traverse through follow the same style. Medieval dungeons, dark forests, towns & docks, etc. As I've said everything colorful and very detailed, one flaw though besides the lack of innovative design… the lack of contrast. I'm big on that when it comes to videogames that's why I mention it in my reviews so often. Videogames must not be so damn full of details that it becomes tiring. They need some contrast and more carefully planed overall design in order for the player's eyes to focus where they are supposed to. Well, what can I say, I'm a videogame minimalist :)

Sound: 8/10
Music: 5/10

The sound effects are very good and there are lots of them so that you won't get bored of them too fast. Apart from the fighting effects, like sword clanging and shooting sounds, Captain Claw will make some comments throughout the game. The music is just average not boring, not bad, not irritating, but also not anything special at all.

[+]:
-Simple and easy to start playing
-Flawless Controls
-Very good graphics
-Great SFX

[-]:
-Unoriginal
-Trial & Error-based gameplay
-Very long levels

Also Play:
Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
Rayman (Playstation, PC)
Sonic The Hedgehog (Mega Drive)
Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

Overall: 6.2/10

IF and only IF you haven't played any of the greats or are a PC fanatic, give Claw a try. I wouldn't recommend it though unless you want to try your lack with the challenge it offers. So final word: Great looking and with good and simple gameplay but nothing special about it.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 11/14/11

Game Release: Claw (US, 09/30/97)


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