Review by Emptyeye

"A Space Harrier ripoff...but a good one."

Unbeknownst to most people, before becoming arguably the world's leading maker of RPGs, Square made 3-D type games, such as Rad Racer. 3-D Worldrunner was one of these efforts. You played as the worldrunner, who (I think...I don't have an instruction booklet) had to save his unnamed land from an unnamed Evil Meanie(tm). Sounds a lot like Space Harrier... and the game plays a lot like it too.

Graphics: 5/10 (In 2-D mode...never played it in 3-D)- The only thing that really changes throughout the game are the backgrounds--which you will probably not pay attention to. Worldrunner is decently animated, as far the enemies. Other than that, though, your running surface is just a checkerboard that changes color from world to world (So I lied).

Sound: 6/10- It's likely that you'll recognize some of the effects from later Square games, such as Final Fantasy. The pause effect was used as selection effects in that game. The sounds are decent, doing the job-- when you shoot a fireball being one example. But the music....there are basically two themes--the boss theme, which isn't bad, and the basic worldrunning theme which is VERY upbeat and catchy, to the point where I nearly remembered it perfectly after not hearing it in about 10 YEARS. There's a third theme that plays in the bonus stages but you don't hear it that often.

Control: 7/10- Worldrunner responds pretty well, but trying to jump onto pedestals can be annoying, and there are a few spots later in the game where you NEED to do it to continue. Also, you only get limited bullets, activated when you grab a rocketship. You can control the speed of your worldrunner, except in a few stages like 2-1.

Story: 1/10- It's secondary to the actual game (Like Space Harrier's plot), but this is where the game starts to show it's "I'm a ripoff of Space Harrier" colors. You must save the unnamed land from an unnamed evil dragon dude. Sounds kind of fishy....

Challenge: 8/10- The game really starts getting tough in the later levels, when you must jump on pedestals to continue. The fact that you can get unlimited continues with a simple code makes it a tad easier, but not much.

Replay Value: 6/10- Average replay value. The game gets a little repetitive, especially since you can't shoot most of your enemies, you must dodge them. Until, that is, you get to the boss, which will also get repetitive after awhile. Still, you'll be trying to beat this one for awhile.

Overall: 8/10- It's a Space Harrier ripoff, but it's a good one. I can't say too much more about it, other than if you liked Space Harrier, you'll probably like this game too, as it adds a few elements to SH (Having to jump over pits for instance).

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/07/00, Updated 01/07/00

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