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SummaryEntertaining, but hard to control with Sega's joypad
The GoodDead Angle is the sequel to Seibu Kaihatsu's Empire City: 1931, which unfortunately never made it to the Sega Master System. Like this predecessor, Dead Angle is a 2-D shooter game that uses both a first- and third-person perspective. In the game, you are George Phenix, the private eye who was responsible for putting crime boss Robert King behind bars. Now as revenge, King ambushes Phenix and kidnaps his girlfriend Jane while they were touring Italy, and you have to rescue Jane and put an end to King's reign.
There are six rounds in the game, and each one has you fight crime families in cities like Napoli, New York, and Chicago, sometime during the 1930's, a time where there were fights between rival gangs, and people had to stay inside their homes in fear of getting shot.
The graphics have that 1930's look to them, and they make you feel that you are actually fighting against the mob. The different gang members, as well as the buildings that serve as backgrounds throughout the game, are well done. You are able to see a yellow silhouette of yourself all the time (it becomes red when you are in the line of fire) and this is useful as you are able to see the movements of your characters when he is firing his weapon. Silhouettes like this were unheard of in shooter games, with the exception of SNK's Crossed Swords.
Despite a few minor changes, Dead Angle remains faithful to the original coin-op version. You are able to walk in all directions rather than just left and right, and allows you to see more mobsters that come out of the building every now and then. The animation of each gang member is well done. You see gangsters that roll from one place to another, dodging your fire. The bosses that you have to defeat have excellent animations. These are the type of animations that you will not find in any SMS game.
The music and sound suits the game's atmosphere. Although the game only has one or two tunes, they are not boring to listen to. The sound effects are rather nice, especially those that can be heard when a weapon is being fired, regardless of what weapon is used and who fires that weapon.
The BadAlthough many SMS shooter games require the Sega Light Phaser to successfully take someone or something down, the same cannot be said about Dead Angle, which only the joypad is supported. This makes it difficult to get from one place to another without being hit by a mobster, and there is a 5-second lag when you do this.
It is just not fair that SMS owners had to miss out on the opportunity to throw a few grenades at the mobsters - a feature that was implemented in the coin-op version - so you have to put up with only your guns.
The Bottom LineA decent shooter that will give you entertained for some time. It is a pity that the first game never got ported over to the SMS. Unfortunately, Dead Angle is missing some features that the coin-op version had.