Review by mikeyb24
"The best and coolest domesticated Saturn game available! Must buy!"
I bought my Saturn for $30 used with 2 controllers and 5 used games, which is not a bad deal. I immediately headed down to the local gaming store to see what I could pick up for around $10. Instead, I found this game for $7, and immediately was hooked. The cover art was well done, and upon reading the back, I received a feeling that I would not be let down. In fact, it was quite the contrary. I was in no rush to get home and throw it in the Saturn, because I still wasn't expecting much. How wrong I was. The fully animated intro blew me away! I went on to explore what the game had to often, and the result yielded the game spending more time in my Saturn than any game I own (I own some good games, too: Radiant Silvergun, M vs. SF, DBZ Legends, KoF 97). The game presents itself much in the way of Streets of Rage and Final Fight, yet enveloped me in an RPG atmosphere (experience points, magic points, hit points). The game can be classified in a genre that is a combination of RPG and fighting/action: Real-time RPG. There is so much to tell about this game, so on to the review!
Gameplay - The features you are presented with at the start screen are the Story Mode, a Versus Mode, and the ever-present Options mode, which is pretty much self-explanitory. The story mode has about 31 levels or scenes, but the ones you play depend on the path you take. At the end of certain levels, you are presented with a choice on what to do or where to go. Your answers will drasticly impact the particular story line that you have chosen (you can choose whether to go to a rebel village or in to town, etc.; you can choose either to fight some bosses or not, etc.). If you select the story mode, you are able to select from 4 (and later 5) characters, and in addition to the general diversity that comes with each character (ninja, farmer boy, swordsman, etc.), they all have their own special moves and magic abilities. The moves are basic, and different directions and buttons will yield a different move. Magic moves can be accessed two ways: using the menu to select the move (gets tedious) or a sequence of keypresses (which are all quite simple). All buttons function in some way, with a defense button, light attack, heavy attack, magic menu, Undead Hero menu, and the rest are to switch your plane of fighting. Okay, enough about gameplay.
Story - Classic "save the kingdom from a madman" story line with some interesting twists. After the first stage, you acquire an "Undead Hero," who is indestructable. Now some may ask "Then how can you lose?" The answer is simple. With many strong enemies on the screen, it is very difficult for him to take on all of them at the same time. The plot is actually becomes more perplexing as you progress through the game. You fight a variety of enemies, from knights to wolves to bandits to sky warriors. The story all comes together at the end. You can also choose the path you want to take (explained earlier).
Audio - The background music is truly exceptional, as are the sound effects. There are no real character voices except yells and grunts, which are still pretty cool.
Graphics - They are highly pixalated cartoons, which in my opinion, is really cool! The characters resemble anime, which is cool. The graphics run overall smoothly (with a little slow down when 12 people on the screen are doing magic attacks), but nothing to complain about. The graphics are very pleasing.
Replayability - The versus mode (which I haven't explained yet) is something really neat in itself. Up to 6 players can duke it out with every character in the story mode, from weak civilians to gargantuan end bosses (granted you have beat them all). You can also choose your character's level, and then choose how to disperse their points to the various attributes. I play this mode more often than the story mode, as the computer records not only the player's record, but a record of all the characters. It is damn fun going 5-on-1 and winning (which I do often). The story mode is also fun, and can get difficult in the later levels, but that adds to the fun of this game!
Overall - There was much to be said about this game, and much still I had to leave out. This game rocks! It is as simple as that! This is a must have for any Saturn owner, serious or not. Seeing a massive Randy (the farmer boy) energy blast score many many hits and do much damage is an example of why this game keeps me coming back. If you can find this game, it will be cheap, and you will be darn lucky. BUY IT! No other game on any system (whether it is SNES or Dreamcast or PC) has given me this much entertainment!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/06/00, Updated 01/06/00
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