Review by xenodolf

Reviewed: 07/13/07

A decent beat 'em up, even if you aren't familiar with the subject matter.

Before I start the review, I want to admit I have no knowledge of anything involved in the Kamen Rider universe. I am playing this game simply based on the fact is a side-scrolling beat 'em up. That being said, I will review it just like all the other games I have critiqued before.

Graphics 8/10

The graphics are pretty crisp, and animated much better than the average beat 'em up. The dozens of environment backgrounds are very helpful to keep the game-play feeling fresh. Most of the enemies look pretty similar, but there are a bunch of exclusive sprites for bosses, including a Godzilla sort of creature. There is a good, but not incredible, amount of detail in the character and enemy sprites. The playable character does seem to look the best out of everything the game does have to offer, though. More variety in enemy designs and a couple of extra flashy moves would have helped this category get a 10/10 instead of an 8/10.

Sound 6/10

The music - which I assume is 100% accurate to the TV show - doesn't exactly put me in the mood to pummel legions of opponents. It is rather campy sounding, and the battle noise is about average as well. The voice acting seems clear enough, with none of the fuzzy distortion that often comes with recording into a SNES sound chip. While the audio here does its job, there are better things to listen to unless you're a hardcore Kamen Rider fan.

Game-play 7/10

The fighting and level progression in Kamen Rider is extremely fast. You'll be cutting through the waves of enemies and clearing a stage segment often in less than a minute. Unlike most beat 'em ups that have a single scrolling stage, Kamen Rider has about a half dozen battle areas per level. You'll fight about 10 or so opponents, then your character will teleport into a different location, complete with a unique looking background. This makes the levels seem more varied and faster paced, which is a good thing in this sometimes repetitive genre. The number of enemy designs are somewhat limited, but there are quite a few unique bosses and mini-bosses to fight in each level. While your combat moves aren't very many in number, your basic looking character can transform into his costumed counterpart. While the differences between the two forms are minor, you must be in the costumed one to deliver the final blow to bosses. Upon completing a level, you are shown kicking the boss in some fashion until they explode. There is a bunch of dialogue here, in Japanese, with the frequent option of having multiple choices in conversations. You can also customize your character, similar to Cosmo Police Galivan 2, but it is hard to see what exactly you are doing. While this area of the game is good, it can't stand up to classics like The Ninja Warriors of Knights of the Round. What flaws the game does have, are often hidden to the player by the nice visuals and rapid level progression.

Controls 9/10

Due to the limited methods of attack, there are only a couple of buttons used throughout the entire game. While I am not vouching for over-complex controls, the simple mapping of buttons left me feeling somewhat underwhelmed. Other than that, there is nothing wrong with any of the controlling factors of the game.

Replay value 5/10

If you can read the Japanese text, you might get more mileage out of the multiple choices of dialogue presented throughout the game. There's still the customization aspects - but they are again somewhat obscure due to the language barrier.

Overall 7/10

Kamen Rider is a somewhat antiquated beat 'em up that seems more engrossing than it probably should be because of the nice graphics and play speed. Due to the story and customization portions being a real pain to apprehend, you might want to stick to a translated rom version. If these flaws and semi-inaccessible parts don't bother you, I'd try to nab a physical copy of Kamen Rider for $15 to $20 at most. I conclude my review by stating that this is a decent beat 'em up despite the couple of gripes I pointed out.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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