Review by KasketDarkfyre

"Zap zap zap"

Quartet was one of the best Sega games that I played in the arcade and I wanted to see how it stacked up on the home system. Although the game is a little less that stellar in the visual department, it has everything that you would look for in a good action game on a classic system. I’ve played some titles that didn’t make much sense, and although I really couldn’t find a story to go with this game, you essentially have to work your way through several different mazes and collect keys, weapons and points as you go. If you aren’t quick enough on the draw, then you’ll end up dead without a chance.

-The Game Play-

When you start out, you appear in a vast landscape of enemies and a maze like setting. Now, depending on who you choose as your character, you will either move exceptionally fast, or very slow but with more firepower. The balance of tough and delicate is apparent here after the first stage, as some characters will fare better than others. If you’re really looking to see just how far you can get, you merely have to chase down and destroy the alien that carries the key for the exit to the stage.

Now, throughout the game, you’ll find that the weapons vary depending on the power-ups that you gather through the destruction of enemies and those that are laying about. Points are easily gathered by moving quickly through the stage, being the one to destroy the key holding boss and otherwise. Another interesting point that the game has to offer is that like Crime Fighters, you’re working on a timed life bar. Each time that you start the game, you’ll be given a random amount of life to start with, which is more than likely controlled by the arcade operator on the switchboard.

Control really isn’t much of an issue here, as all you have to do is move through the stage with the directional pad while pressing the firing button. Each of the characters has an exceptional jump range, though finding different items will allow you to float through the air with the greatest of ease. One of the toughest parts of playing through the Quartet games is simply keeping up with your friends if you’re playing with more than one player. Once you’ve gotten into a groove, there shouldn’t be any problems keeping up with the fast pace that the game offers.

-The Visuals-

While they seem to remain simplistic, you’ll still find that the game has plenty of action and fast paced detailing to go with it. The biggest problem that you might find here is that the game simply doesn’t have enough detail in the way that it is presented, with most of the characters and the enemy designs not having much going for them. Another problem with the Quartet games is that you have some serious problems with image break-up when the action gets extremely intense, which can cause some confusion with multiple players in the game. Aside from that, the theme of the space-age game is kept at a maximum no matter what stage you’re running through.

-The Audio-

A simple tune keeps the game all the way from start to finish with little or no variation on it. If you’re looking to play a game that has constantly changing music and otherwise, then you’ll find that the Quartet games just don’t have that variety. Sound effect wise, Quartet has plenty of adventurous bleeps and bloops to go along with the game, including the famous gunfire/laser explosions to add into the overall audio. One of the best sound effects though, comes with the first and only voice over that tells you to chase down the alien who holds the key.

-The Verdict-

Although this version of Quartet isn’t as fun as the arcade version, it does hold a charm that makes it well worth playing when you’re bored. With some pretty good visuals and audio to accompany the non-stop action that comes at you during each stage, you might find it hard to actually turn the game off once you’ve gotten far into the game. The only thing that might throw some gamers off is that in the later stages, your survival depends on your speed to get through the stage, but if you’re hampered by the constant flow of enemies, that might be a little more work that originally thought. All in all Quartet is well worth having in your Master System collection.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/01/02, Updated 10/01/02

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