Review by Braben

"An obscure beat em-up that should remain obscure."

Based on the manga of the same name, this is a beat em-up that`s constantly trying to convince you it`s not just another beat em-up. How?, with more dialogue than usual (for a beat em-up) and a more adventurous feel. It tries, but fails miserably due to its high difficulty and mediocre gameplay, if you want to make a good beat em-up just forget about the plot and concentrate on the gameplay, after that you can add dialogues if you want, but never before, otherwise you`ll end up with something like Koryuu No Mimi.

Plot:
The plot involves a guy who inherits a ring, and this ring lets him control money and women at his own will... NO!, this is not a quirky erotic Japanese title, and you see, this is what we are told during the intro, the game is a completely different story. The plot itself is confusing and, well, nobody cares about it, it is just about a bunch of weirdoes talking nonsenses, nothing remotely interesting.

Graphics and Music:
It`s strongest point is the variety, there lots of different enemies and scenarios, aside from that there is nothing else to say, maybe better animation would have been nice, the characters are a bit stiff, but nothing really important. The music is surprisingly good, I mean nothing specially noteworthy, and there is very little variety, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Gameplay:
The gameplay is mediocre at best. Even if we have a lot movements, including a Dragon Ball Z-rip-off-super-power in which our main character`s hair becomes blond, longer, more spiky and finally starts kicking some serious butt. Anyway, his semi-special movements (they are not that special you see) are not exactly useful most of the time, this is one of those beat em-ups where you`ll sweat blood to hit an enemy since most of the time you`ll be desperately trying to avoid the enemy hits, it feels like you are playing an Online first person shooter sometimes.

There are some weapons (swords, knuckles and such) and we can throw a few objects such as trash cans and things like that, but don`t get exited because it certainly isn`t River City Ransom, not even close.

In short, Koryuu No Mimi might best be summed up this way: a bunch of characters talk nonsenses about I don`t know what and then we start to kick ass. In about three minutes a boss comes, beat the crap out of you (very badly), and we have to start again from the beginning or the middle of the stage, it depends, but it doesn`t matter in the end because you won`t have enough energy to face the boss one way or another.

We have unlimited continues, but only a masochist would try to beat the game without cheating. A possibly redeeming quality would have been a two player option, but you won`t find that here.

Then:
Nothing but another poorly made beat em-up. Beat em-ups are usually a bit repetitive (with a few honourable exceptions, such as River City Ransom, quite possibly the greatest beat em-up ever), it is all about butt-smacking, but, why can`t they be made with good controls and a decent challenge (and developers should know ``decent challenge`` doesn`t mean utterly impossible) above everything?, once you have a fluid gameplay, it doesn`t really matter if it is a bit repetitive, the Final Fight series or the above mentioned Rive City Ransom are two excellent examples.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 07/12/05


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