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antstream
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Written by  :  willyum (1028)
Written on  :  Aug 30, 2007
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Summary

An decent game, although some implementations are far from perfect.

The Good

First off, let me just say that I played this game a long while back. As such, it has great nostalgic value, which is why I personally like it a lot.

I liked the game's simple controls: move with arrow keys, attack with alt and space, and pick up objects with ctrl. It's actually pretty easy to beat enemies, as they're pretty dumb, and will continue to walk into your attacks until they're dead. I also liked the game's perspective. I'm a big fan of games with isometric perspectives, so this game fits right up my alley. Another interesting touch is the way your health works. It starts off pretty low, but actually increases with each enemy you successfully kill. And when you get knocked out and have to save Xianna again, your health is restored.

I also like the fact that this game can still be run even on WinXP Pro. Of course, it runs even better via DOSBox, and doesn't require much to get it up and running.

Maybe it's the time the game was made, but there are lots of little quirks that make it humorous. For instance, text at the top of the screen displays a brief description of Nick as you progress through the game. These range from "Nick is a whimp" (yes, they spell wimp wrong) to "Nick is macho".

The Bad

Of course, not even sweet memories can fix something that's poorly implemented.

Gameplay: Run around, beating up enemies, save your girlfriend, get knocked out, and then repeat. What? That's it? Yep. As soon as you save Xianna, she and Nick kiss, and then he gets knocked out with one hit. What? Then you wake up and have to repeat everything again. On harder levels, it just amounts to repeating the whole process more. As if that wasn't a pain, even as you can defeat enemies by cornering them against a fence or wall, they can do the same to you. This is more of a problem with clipping, as sometimes Nick will get stuck on, say, a fence, while good 'ol Marty comes and punches him to death. When you get hit, you bounce up. So all they have to do to kill you is to continue punching you, and you'll just bounce up and down until you die. (Kind of like those cheap flawless victories in Tekken, where one person does an air juggle).

Music: What music? There's only one theme song, and after a short while, it gets annoying.

Sound: The effects are pretty weak in this game. Hits result with a quiet mixture between a tick and a thud, and anytime a character dies, you here this weird sound that's reminiscent of the sound in Double Dragon 2 that plays when you hit someone with a spin-kick.

Graphics: The graphics are pretty good given the game's time period. But after a while, the levels look recycled. Also, look at the box cover. What the heck is that?! There are no dragon tattoos, and I have no idea who that girl doing the jump kick is. Nick doesn't even dress like that, as you can see from the screenshot.

Story: Laughably simple. Go save your girlfriend. Oh, you get beat up, and have to do it a couple of more times, until all the gangs are dead.

The Bottom Line

If you play this with the mindset of, say, Diablo or any other modern hack-n-slash game, you'll be pretty disappointed. If you play this with a retro mindset, you'll find that it isn't so bad. At least for the first few iterations. Then it gets tedious and kinda boring.

antstream