Review by snowcrash

"An Old School Classic"

Back when I was in college, one of the few forms of entertainment that was near us was a bowling alley that had a nice little arcade attached to it. Being a poor college student, I did not have much money to spend in the arcade, and did my best not to play quarter sucking games.

On of my friends turned me on to a new game called ''Black Tiger'' (granted, this was 1987). Back in that time, I had never really played anything quite like Black Tiger - it was somewhat like an RPG in that you could upgrade your health, armour and weapons, but it was also a great action/platformer as well. Instantly, I was hooked. Not only was the game fun, but after a short time, I could really make my quarters last a long, long time on this game.

I recently had the chance to play it again, and was inspired enough to write a review of a game that I consider to be a true classic.

Graphics and Sound
By 1987 standards, the graphics and sound of Black Tiger were pretty good. Even today, the graphics are comparable to what you would see on the GBA. The graphics are detailed and colorful, and the various environments and enemies have a great deal of detail. The one thing that is missing is detailed backgrounds. Because the backgrounds are not detailed at all (there are some levels that just have a black background), it looks like the foreground elements have been ''pasted'' on. I guess that was the best that Capcom could do at the time. The sound is pure 1980's videogame sound - the sound effects are good, but the music (and some effects as well) have a fairly thin quality to them. For the time though, this game was cutting edge.

I always found the controls of Black Tiger somewhat ''interesting.'' There is a 8 direction joystick, a jump button, and an attack button. The controls are pretty tight, but at times, there seems to be a very brief ''lag'' in your movement and attacks. Once you get used to it, it is not that bad, but if you are a new player, you will definitely feel the ''lag.''

Gameplay and Replayability
This is the high point of the game. Black Tiger is a great deal of fun, and has a very high replay factor. Even when you have defeated the final dragon and finished the game, there is a great deal of incentive to go back through the game due to the numerous hidden artifacts/items hidden throughout the game.

Final Thoughts
Although Black Tiger was never a huge force in the arcades, it still stands as a great game of the late 80's. I am surprised that we have not seen a handheld version for the GBC or the GBA. I think this would be a perfect handheld game!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 05/28/02, Updated 05/28/02

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