Review by Kyle_
"An awful game, even with the modest price tag."
Sometimes a game is released that makes gamers scratch their collective heads and wonder aloud, ''How did the play testers not point out that this really sucks?'' Then there are some games that make the gaming community wonder, ''Were there even play testers at all?'' Battle Hunter is an example of the latter. It combines a bad concept with even worse execution, and the single redeeming value is that you only have to shell out ten bucks to experience for yourself just how terrible it is.
I've created better sprites in Paint. The whole ''2D dungeon floating on an infinite void'' technique has never been more poorly executed. The battle animation is reminiscent not of Playstation games, not of Super Nintendo games, but of Nintendo games. Bad Nintendo games. Nintendo games that never sold more than fifty copies. Come to think of it, that's another thing that Battle Hunter has in common with bad Nintendo games. To sum it up, you might be better off playing Battle Hunter blindfolded; you would avoid having to look at the graphics, and it wouldn't impair your ability to play the game at all. We'll get into that later.
The music is dull and repetitive, and the sound effects are bland. The fact that the name of the midi being played is given before the start of each trip to the dungeon seems like a desperate ploy to force the player to have some recollection of the music after he's done playing. But I digress, the ''80's midi'' (I can't remember the official name..ha) almost sounds like an actual 80's song. Overall, the sound is uninspired, but it's still the brightest (or should I say 'least dark') aspect of the game.
And you thought there was nothing worse than the graphics. The gameplay is so bad, so frustrating, on SO many levels that it will make even the most hardcore strategy/rpg player cringe. Everything in the game is based on the roll of a pair of dice, and even if your character is superior in every way to whatever he/she's attacking, there's still a chance that you'll get mauled. Furthermore, since the dungeon is randomly generated every time you enter, you might start off right next to the item you need to find...or a computer-controlled opponent might do so. In one of the first missions given to you by your 'boss' (he looks like a disgruntled cast member of ''Taxi''), you have to find a patient who has wandered off into the dungeon. It sounded simple enough. So I enter the dungeon, and notice that a computer-controlled character occupies the square next to the aforementioned patient. I am, of course, on the other side of the map. So I roll my dice, draw a card, etc etc. Then the computer player rolls the dice, moves to the square my patient is on, and BAM it's game over. Yes that's right, game over. Time to reload and hope I get lucky and be placed right next to the patient. Get used to it. You'll be reloading so often that your fingers will actually get used to hitting R1+R2+L1+L2+Start+Select to do quick resets.
Wait, isn't ''story'' a characteristic of an RPG? You're telling me THIS is an RPG!? I would've never guessed had the manual not told me. Speaking of the manual, that's the sole source of story for Battle Hunter. There have been RPGs before that have had confusing or nonsensical stories, but this is the first RPG (and I use the term very loosely) that actually made NO attempt to so much as hint at a story. You're basically thrust into a land of Taxi rejects and stereotypical anime nurses, and never given an explanation why. I played through a lot of the game looking for even subtle references to the story. There are none. Even if there are, they are so obscured by the awful dialogue that they're inconsequential.
Replay Value (6/10)
The obvious thought in this case is that ''A game that had no value to begin with certainly has no replay value.'' However, if by some unholy twist of fate you actually enjoyed this game, then it does provide a decent amount of replay value. Collecting all the artifacts can be fun...I guess...well, no it can't. The game does have one thing going for it, though. Up to four players can play, so you and your friends can have literally minutes of fun creating your characters, followed by hours of fun laughing at how bad the game is.
It's not worth the ten bucks, plain and simple. Spend the money renting and renewing Final Fantasy Tactics; a real strategy/rpg. Trust me on this, you'll have a lot more fun.
Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 03/29/02, Updated 03/29/02
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