Review by Millers C

"At least it only cost me 4 pounds"

Blimey, I looked at the other reviews prior to writing this and was intrigued to say the least. Virtual Hydlide cannot be THAT bad can it? I’d seen the game before and decided to buy it, heck Saturn games are only £4 from the Market and I don’t think 75 is bad for a Saturn library?
Virtual Hydlide is not a game by AM2. Don’t think of Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop or Virtual On. In fact don’t think of Virtual On at all. But anyway, Hydlide certainly is nothing to do with AM2. The title is confusing to say the least. What is a Hydlide? Dictionary.com provided No answers. Further research explained that Virtual Hydlide is an updated version of an NES Classic. The Virtual bit standing for the new 3D Engine. Okay, on with the review.

Every game genre has them. Sega Rally has it’s Off World Interceptor. Three Dirty Dwarves has it’s Blazing Dragons. And Grandia has…Wait, is there really an awful RPG for the Saturn? Yes. And quite sadly, Virtual Hydlide fits that bill quite nicely.

The problem with Hydlide isn’t the Lifespan, the Control system or the Graphics.
Hydlide has the real feeling that it’s been rushed from start to finish, without a scrap of logical thought from a Programmer. This is most obvious when you start playing for the first time. The camera follows our hero as he goes about his business in the world of hydlide. But the problem is, apart from the hero who is drawn out rather averagely, the backgrounds, monsters and worlds are badly animated ugly looking and horribly pixilated. For a 32-bit machine I expected a bit better brushing, because Hydlide really was a mess. The collision detection of the sparsely detailed enemies is awful at times and you must wonder how many people worked on this game. What was wrong with them? Drunk? High? Who knows? Who Cares? Surely these so called “Game Testers” Should have worked to eek out these problems, but obviously not. I was left with the impression that Hydlide was a game 6 weeks into development and was then left on the cutting room floor, and six months and a few days of programming and Average FMV’s later, the game was released without a scrap of evidence that anyone put any effort into this game.

Not just the graphics, but also the control is very poor. You guy tends to have the annoying habit of turning left when you want to turn him right. Sometimes you’ll be crashing the walls with your Joypad in frustration at the ludicrously hard enemies that are even harder to kill with your ineffective Myriad of weapons. So is there anything good at all about Virtual Hydlide?
Not really. If you can stand the torturous gameplay and endure the small story, then you may find a semi decent rental. Or by, because I don’t think anyone stocks them for rentals anymore. Oh well, It was only four pounds.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 05/02/02, Updated 05/02/02


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