Review by MysticShadow73
"Excellent game, a must for Lupin the 3rd fans"
Lupin the 3rd: Treasure of the Sorcerer King lets you control Lupin the 3rd as he works on his latest heist: the treasure of King Randolph II. But to achieve that Lupin needs the Pitchers of Honor and Victory.
The way the game is set up is very much like Metal Gear Solid - the object is to get past the masses of guards unnoticed. However, unlike Metal Gear Solid where you achieve this goal by sneaking behind them and snapping their necks, Lupin utilizes disguises. But as with MGS sometimes he just crouches in a hiding spot and sneaks on by. If Lupin fails to fool them with his disguise he can rely on his sleep cylinder loaded gun to bail him out or the frying pan that he can pick up early in the game. Lupin also gets another weapon, his trusty Thirty-Eight, but he can't fire it on Police as they are actually good guys. If Lupin does kill a police man or another friendly NPC, the game ends. Fear not though, out of 6 chapters, 3 of them require you to use the Thirty-Eight on your opponents. The game heavily uses the whole stealth idea in the first three chapters, which do take up more than half the game, but after that it quickly becomes just a 3rd person shooter until the end of the game. There is one part in chapter 2 where you can play as Jigen or Goemon and again in chapter 4 you get to select one again, however after you finish the character you select's section, you do the other one. You also get to play as Jigen or Goemon one more time in a boss fight and whoever you don't select helps you out. The system accomodates for Jigen nicely. Goemon, on the other hand, gets shafted. His sword attack (square button) is very slow and weak. The best strategy with him seems to either slash and hope you can roll away before getting shot or run right next to your opponent and hold R1 which is his bullet deflection using his sword, which does minor but quick damage.
The game has an excellent original story, if a bit predictable. The idea is that a 14 year old girl owns the Pitcher of Honor and lends it to the main antagonist, Theodore Hannewald, who owns the Pitcher of Victory. It starts out as a normal heist, but the girl, Teresa Faust, takes an unusual intrest in Lupin and eventually comes to hire him to steal both Pitchers and obtain the treasure for which they are keys.
The controls for all 3 characters are basically the same, with a few differences, such as Jigen and Goemon not being able to use disguises and Goemon not being able to crouch. The controls are simplistic, but to effectively shoot a gun you must be able to L1 to get in first person, aim with the control stick, and fire with square, and if you are Lupin you additionally have to hold R1 to hold the gun out (merely pressing R1 with Jigen toggles holding the gun). Goemon is much more simplistic to fight with, but more difficult to use for lack of mobility and speed. The stealth controls with Lupin however are easy to and fun to use. Many people complain of crappy camera angles and while there are crappy camera angles, they were never at critical points. Usually the bad camera angles came when I was being paranoid and was trying to swing the rotating camera in a hall and switch to pan camera to look down them when there was nothing. I have seen far worse camera angles on most N64 games.
This game has an awesome jazzy Lupinish soundtrack. They also rounded up all the original voice actors from the anime which makes the game much better than it would be with fakes or no voices at all. The sound effects are decent as well but there's not much to say about them.
Lupin and his friends are all excellent 3D renditions of the cartoons. They look very nice. The world is also in a beautiful 3D with excellent shadowing.
Replay Value 5/10
Once you beat the game the only real reason to play through again is to play the character you didn't choose in chapter 2 and to get all the items you can steal if you missed any the first time.
I enjoyed this game thoroughly until the last chapter as the stealth ended. I also happen to be a Lupin the 3rd anime fan which helped. I have compared this to aspects of MGS but I have never played that game, only watched it, so I really tried to avoid comparing this to MGS like most other reviews do (which seems to lower scores). I'd say if you like MGS this game is worth a shot, perhaps a rental. If you are a Lupin the 3rd fan, this game is a must. If you aren't a fan of either then this game probably isn't for you. If you aren't a fan of either, but want to try a stealthy game like this, it would probably be better to try out MGS.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/15/04
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