Review by Sherifflobo

"Visual Concepts latest game comes complete with innovative gameplay, online play, and a polyesian theme"

After what seems like a long wait, Visual Concepts newest game finally launches. Is it worth the wait? Definitely, although its skimps in a few departments.

The gameplay here is a cross-up between Powerstone and Super Smash Bros. Basically, it is a fighting/action game seen from a 3rd person perspective with a few having unlimited life! There are 3 types of modes: Smakahuna, Boar Polo and Rodeo. Smakahuna is a basic fighting mode played on free-for-all or on teams. The object of the game is to get the most tokens possible; to earn a tokens you must be the victor of the round. Each round is a set time in which up to 4 players battle it out. Points are given for each attack a player lands on another, and whoever has the most points at the end of the round is the victor, and will receive 3 tokens. 2nd place will receive 2 tokens, and 3rd place will receive 1 token. Once the required amount of tokens is acquired, the game will end. The second game type(Boar Polo) plays very similar to Smakahuna, except points are only given when a player hits another play while on a boar. The 3rd game type(Rodeo) is very much like soccer. The object is to get the ball through your opponents ''net'' while blocking your own. You can smack the ball, ram it on a boar, or even throw shrunken heads at it. For all 3 of these game types, a variety of spells can be found and picked up. Each spell varies in its own way, and each is useful for its own situation. Also, a variety of animals can be ridden for extra mayhem

The sound in this game is the game's biggest disapointment. The annoying sounds and character voices will make few laugh, and many annoyed. Thankfully however, the taunts you can cast at the end of the round are more than hilarious, and redeem the game in this department.

The graphics in this game are sharp, but lack that certain pizzazz in most Sega games. When compared to newer Dreamcast games, they may seem dull, but when compared to N64 and PSX games they will seem bright and colourful. Also, the frame-rate keeps a constant pace throughout, except in split-screen when the action gets intense.

The online play, obviously the game's main draw, is thankfully well done. While getting into games could be slightly easier, once in the game, it runs relatively lag free, and is a heck of a lot of fun to play. All 3 game types are available, and are entirely configurable so every game can seem new. Unfortunately, broadband support was not included.

While it may not pack the most replayability of any game(the 3 game types get old), it still is a stellar title and worthy of the name Sega. This is easily worth the sticker price, although it may not be for everyone.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 09/12/01, Updated 09/12/01

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