Review by JPeeples

"An excellent example of the Saturn's 2-D prowess."

Astal was released in June of 1995 for the Sega Saturn, right after the system's lauch, it was developed and published by Sega. It is a 2-D side-scrolling platform game in the vain of Sonic the Hedgehog or Super Mario Bros.

Graphics-10/10- Words don’t do the graphics in Astal justice. This game is chock full of vibrant colors, so much so that some levels look like a water painting (Level 1 demonstrates this perfectly), the animation is done just as well, it’s very smooth, it’s like playing a cartoon. Overall, this game looks gorgeous, it’s one of the best looking games I’ve ever seen.

Pros- The beautiful use of color. The super-smooth animation.
Cons-None

Sound-9/10- The music is almost as good as the graphics, it’s very celestial and fits the game’s setting perfectly, some of the music is a little mundane though ( for example, the Level 2 music.) The sound effects are great, each one of them fits their action; for example, the sound of breaking crystal. Overall, the sound is great.

Pros- For the most part, the music is great. The sound effects are perfect.
Cons- Some of the music is mundane though.

Gameplay-9/10- It is your basic side-scrolling game, go to the right, destroy enemies, and then kill the boss, it may be standard 2-D fare, but it looks great and is executed perfectly.

Pros- It’s old-school gaming at it’s finest.
Cons- It doesn’t add anything new.

Control-10/10- Astal uses a simple control scheme like most 2-D games, A is the action button, B attacks, and C jumps. It’s a simple control scheme that fits this type of game perfectly. The controls are very responsive, and are never sluggish.

Pros- Simple control scheme, responsive controls.
Cons- None.

Replay Value-9/10- This game is very short (you can probably beat it in a day), but it has numerous features to keep you coming back for more, the graphics for one thing, the great gameplay for another. This is one game you’ll never tire of no matter how many times you play it.

Presentation-10/10- The presentation screams Sega, everything is laid out nicely, with vibrant colors used on everything, menus included.

Overall-10/10- This game combines some of the best 2-Dimensional graphics ever, excellent character design, ingenious level design, great music, wonderful control, and classic gameplay to make a game you’ll want to play years from now. To sum it all up, it’s as beautiful as a painting and plays like a dream.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/19/00, Updated 10/19/00


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