Review by Elbryan42
"A great game, but not without its flaws..."
Alright, I've played the PSX version of Powerslave for years. Great game. Eventually, I finally found a copy of the Saturn version. What Lobotomy did was nothing short of amazing. A full 3D engine running on the Saturn? With light sourced projectiles? In hi-res? Oh yeah.
The thing is, much like the other two Saturn Lobotomy games, the fact that the game is even possible has people looking at the game through rose colored glasses. Though much better than Duke Nukem 3D (which I've already reviewed), it's behind Saturn Quake, and a bit behind PSX Powerslave, it's sister game. Thus I'll be having a comparison of the two in some ways.
Anyways, let's get to what this game does right. Great weapons, great levels, great enemies, it's all here. If you've played the PSX version, there are some extra powerups the game may give you in your quest. First of all, there's the All-Seeing Eye, which makes the enemies noticable even in the darkest areas, there's Invisibility, and there's Weapon Boost, which ups your attack damage and attack speed.
The game is much sharper, with beautiful and vibrant colors. The light sourcing which was on the PSX is much more noticable an beautiful here. There's also a few extra Life Vessels. And a cool bonus, beating the game with all the Team Dolls found gets you the bonus game Death Tank, a game much like Scorched Earth and Worms. There's a few new traps as well, like bouncing boulders and lasers.
And THANKFULLY, the slow speed in Duke 3D for the Saturn (which came out after this, but with the same engine) isn't present. This game blazes by at full speed. The PSX version replaced the red bugs (Terrainians) are from the PC and Saturn with blue scorpions. So you get the red bugs here. And the game automatically saves the game after every level for you without prompting.
Now for what bugs me about this version. Some minor stuff, like slightly changed levels. Sometimes the levels are cooler, but in most cases, the levels are simplified compared to the PSX version. No huge Ankhs on the walls, winding corridors over detailed big rooms, etc.
But what I've mentioned thus far doesn't really change the gameplay, the real meat of the game. The real flaws with this game IS the gameplay. First of all, while it's a preference for the most part, I just don't find the control as responsive. Jumping doesn't always work when you want it to, especially when close to a ledge. And flipping switches sometimes takes a few tries.
The other gameplay flaw is the overall lack of ammo and health. Health I can live with, especially with the extra Life Vessels about, but enemies barely ever leave weapon power, and the vases holding powerups is just as rare. Sometimes you luck out, but it's not uncommon to blow up a bunch of vases and see two or three invisibility powerups and no health or weapon power. Barely any full weapon power and full health powerups either.
So there are many cases, especially in the later levels with lots of enemies, that you'll have no ammo for any of your weapons and you'll end up dying because you're left with only your pistol, or worse yet, just the machete. Thankfully, when you die, you keep your starting stats when you restart, so you can try your luck that it'll give you weapon power the next time around.
This version has plenty of great points to it. But the glaringly terrible flaw being the lack of ammo makes this game needlessly frustrating. Worth trying out, but I recommend the PSX version over this one, despite the few new stuff. A tweaked version with less content is more fun than a version with more stuff, but with some major flaws.
Final Score: 7/10
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/06/07
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