6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Kung-Fu Heroes Review


Time to look at the next NES game on the docket. This one’s a fighting title so that definitely looked pretty interesting to me. It’s a fun enough title although certainly less polished than the last one I played. The gameplay is sound, but there are times where you’ll be sure that you dodged an attack and yet you get slammed anyway. It feels a little cheesy at that point, but the more you play the better you’ll be able to keep a wide berth between you and the enemies.

The basic plot is that the princess has been captured and you have to save her. You have to go across the many worlds level by level in order to make it to the end. There seemed to be about 24 levels give or take so that’s pretty good. The levels are short and I see that someone beat it in about 40 minutes, but I think you can reasonably expect the game to take you closer to a few hours instead. The Switch games all have the checkpoint feature as well as the rewind button so you should always be able to make it to the end of the game if you so desire. Just keep on chugging away at those levels!

It’s an overhead game and your main weapon is your punch which has a range of one square. The idea is to beat enough enemies in a level to open the gate. Once you’ve opened the gate then you can use it to reach the next level. Rinse and repeat until you’ve cleared the game. Since your range is so short you typically want to hit the enemies from the side so they don’t counter attack. If you both punch at the same time then you will most likely lose the encounter. At least that seemed to be my experience. Another attack up your arsenal is your jump which can also defeat just about any opponent. The advantage of this attack is the longer range, but if you mistime your jump or the enemy decides to do the same then you’ll lose a life. Whether you’re attacking or being attacked someone will get KO’d. All enemies only have the 1 health point as well as the character you’re playing as.

Each of the levels have a bunch of objects that can be destroyed. They house a bunch of different items including a blaster, extra lives, and points to improve your score. You can also find a key which leads you to a bonus room where you get even more points. In theory the best way to play this game is slowly as you should try to get as many extra lives as possible to be prepared for the end. The levels definitely get considerably harder as you progress so while the lives may feel unnecessary at first you will be very glad that you had them by the end of the game.

Also, definitely watch out for the bosses that show up once in a while. As far as I can tell they cannot be defeated so just try to wait them out. At least that was the case for the first boss who ran in and then quickly left. He will try to hit you with a bunch of energy blasts as he chases you around the place, but dodging isn’t particularly difficult since there are no minions while he is around. You just have to keep on turning corners and running full speed. Do that and you should definitely be safe.

The graphics look fairly good. They’re definitely quite old by this point and not as refined as some of the others, but it’s still a cheerful game where you can always tell what is happening. I do think the hurtboxes on the characters might not be properly aligned with the characters based on how I died at some points, but nothing can be 100% perfect. As it stands it was still close enough where it wasn’t too regular. As for the soundtrack, it’s fairly standard stuff. Nothing to write home about, but it works well given the title and the context of the story.

Overall, Kung-Fu Heroes is a fun game. There’s not a lot of depth or replay value to it, but it’s one of those titles that you could easily have fun with for an hour or two as you try to clear the levels. I don’t expect you will stick around for much longer than that, but since the game is free that’s really all that you need. I look forward to seeing which games Nintendo adds next month. I’m thinking we’re ready for the next console, but if they stick to NES I wonder what games they will pull off next. I’m sure there are technically still a bunch we don’t have yet so they could probably drag this out a little longer if need be.

Overall 6/10

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7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Star Wars Battlefront Review


I’ve owned this game for a very long time as I hunted down the PSP game that I needed to play first. Well, Lethal Alliance is now done so that left room for Battlefront to take the center stage. It’s definitely a very fun game and one that has a pretty unique premise. It takes a very different look at what a beat em up game is all about and it works pretty well. It does feel a little limited in scope, but that’s probably because of how old it is. It still does age well, it just isn’t as long as I would have liked. I would recommend it either way though.

The game’s plot covers the Clone Wars as well as the first two movies in the original trilogy. The unique part of this story is that it’s told through the eyes or ordinary rebels and storm troopers. You also switch between fighting for the Rebels and the Imperials as the game goes on. In some levels you are the hero while in others you are the villain. Sometimes this can make it a little difficult to keep track of who you’re shooting which adds to the danger. After all, friendly fire is activated here. Allies can shoot you in the back and vice versa. Particularly in one of the final levels my allies kept on shooting me to death which was pretty intense. They were throwing grenades like there was no tomorrow. The snow level is also tricky in that respect as both sides are all in white (Storm Troopers and Rebels in white coats) so it’s tough to know what to do next.

Each level starts off by showing you how many troops both sides have. Typically it is 200 on each side. It’s cool in that you can actually see the number go down with each KO you land. Expect to die a lot of times as well though since as a normal character you have no plot shield. On average if I took down 100 enemies I would die around 25-40 times. Of course, every time you die your side loses a man as you are effectively switching characters so you do want to try and not die too often. Once one side is down to 0 troops left or you’ve taken over all of the bases in the level for at least 20 seconds then you win. Typically the first win criteria will happen before the second, but there have been a few times where the enemy only had 1 troop left and I won via conquering all of the areas instead.

The areas are key to winning regardless. Your troops seem to do a lot better when you have most of the bases on your side even if it’s evenly matched. That’s why it is usually worth it to quickly leave your troops to conquer the areas instead of trying to hold your ground. It’s the kind of game where pushing forward is encouraged. This did get tricky for one level near the end where the only way to get to the other territory was through a very long bridge right up the middle. It’s one of the few levels where I did die once. It’s a pretty genius design though as it does force the confrontation right off the bat and you have to wrestle with the fact that you can’t just hide and get them from the back. It was a lot of fun and helped teach me to throw more grenades.

I also do think the game developed the stealth abilities pretty well here. You don’t have any fancy stealth kills or anything like that but if the opponent is focused on shooting down your partners you can often start shooting them real quick from behind. By the time they are able to react to your shots the match is as good as over. It’s done in a way that feels pretty realistic and isn’t too overpowered which is very heard to do. It’s the little things like that which really make the game standout. While I played the whole game as a trooper type character you could also pick the sniper, rocket launcher, and a third choice. I’m sure their respective gameplay would also be pretty fun to dabble with.

The graphics are pretty good, although as I mentioned before it can be hard to tell who your ally is and who the enemies are at times. The costumes are really similar and some of the levels are just really dark. The indoor levels are usually well lit so those aren’t a problem but in the dark you end up fumbling through the level. At times I just had to trust in my compass as I shot blindly into the night. Meanwhile the soundtrack is definitely on point. It’s nothing that you haven’t heard before, but it works pretty well all the same.

Where the game is lacking is definitely in replay value. The single player campaign is incredibly short. You can play various side modes like story mode without the story or other bonus levels which helps to an extent. There also is multiplayer mode which I imagine would probably be the most enjoyable option as you lead an army against someone else’s and it’ll all come down to your tactics. Yeah, I ca definitely see that being a lot of fun assuming it works that way. I can’t find too many places talking about the multiplayer here and the only video I saw was more of a co-op. Even so, teaming up with someone is always fun as well.

Overall, Star Wars Battlefront is definitely a very solid game. I can see why this one would have been pretty iconic back in the day. It really was a fresh new direction for the series and I like the way it handled the genre. It’s smaller in scope than it would have been nowadays, but it definitely has that retro charm as a result. The game is very smooth and the gameplay is appealing. At the end of the day that’s really all you need to be a success if you ask me. If you’re on the fence about getting this game because of its age I would recommend you take the plunge and buy it anyway. I’ll be starting Battlefront II soon so I hope to see it continue Star Wars’ steak of quality games.

Overall 7/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Fate Extella Link Review


It’s time to look at a brand new game that isn’t really getting a lot of attention. I don’t pre order too many games throughout the year because…well that gets pricey very quick. So typically I try to hold out for the best games of the year. Now you may be wondering why this one would make it. Well, I’m a big fan of the beat em up genre first of all. Then while Fate the franchise may have its ups and downs, you can’t deny that the premise is definitely really good and it’s a very interesting verse. Mix the two together and it definitely makes for a game that I don’t want to miss. At the same time I do have to admit that the game is incredibly short to the point where it does hurt the longevity part a bit.

There is one main plot here as opposed to a bunch of small ones like in most beat em up titles. You follow the champion of the previous game. He conquered the Fate game on the Moon and thought that a time of peace would be coming but instead a new villain group has arisen. Really it’s just one main villain who is mind controlling a bunch of old foes from the various Fate battles. Fortunately a new character has shown up to help assist the lead. He seems to be hiding a secret, but as long as he is helping then the lead is willing to overlook that.

I won’t mince words here, the game’s story is only around 3 hours long. It’s incredibly short, there are only 8 levels until you get to the ending. Each level varies in length but it certainly won’t take you very long to complete. The levels are longer than a platformer’s or something like that, but they are still short compared to other beat em ups. When the credits start rolling you’ll try to wake yourself up because it just seems to have happened way too quickly.

Still, there is some replay value here which will definitely add a bit to the experience. For one thing, there are 3 different endings to the game. Each path takes about as long as the first so then you’ve turned the game into more of a 6 hour game. (“Wait…that’s not 3X 3!” Well yeah, but you’ll be breezing through by this point) I’ve beaten two endings by the time of this review and my play time is a little under 5 hours. After beating all of the levels you can also jump into the Extra Battles which are effectively the same story levels, but now they are a lot harder. This is a good way to get some level ups and more equipment. There are also a bunch of attacks and costumes to unlock and items to craft. While most of the trophies in the game are easy, they will take time so if you go for the Platinum don’t expect to get it anytime soon.

Then we need to talk about the gameplay of course. Beat em ups come in a few different styles. You have the Dynasty Warriors games which are pretty realistic so you aren’t slamming people by the hundreds and then you have the Nintendo ones where you are beating hundreds of opponents in an instant. This one is definitely more like those as you’ll end up beating hundreds of opponents in seconds. It’s definitely pretty nice and I think the whole point of the genre is to feel powerful. In this respect, the game certainly succeeds. Then you’ve got a nice array of attack options so you aren’t literally using the same button over and over.

Beat em up games are button mashers at heart so that doesn’t go away, but at the same time it’s fun to switch things up a bit. The leveling up system can be a bit slow though. Even by the end of the game you’ll only be around level 30. Assuming that the cap is 100 I don’t think you’ll be getting up there very quickly. The flip side of this is the cool EXP share option that most games have been having in this genre for quite a while. You can match the level of every other character to your main one right away. It doesn’t cost too many resources either so you can just max out one character and you’ve instantly matched everyone else. It helps take away the grind aspect of the game so you only do that if you really want to do so.

There are a bunch of other aspects of the game that you can have fun with like bonding and such, but you don’t need to do so. I didn’t bother with any of that myself, but I can see the appeal if you like hanging out with the characters. Typically this aspect tends to get a little dicey so I’m certainly fine with skipping it. Back to the gameplay for a moment, aside from all of the usual final smashes, you have a Noble Phantasm attack which is effectively your ultra move. It hits everyone in the area that you’re in and the attack power is crazy. The game did a really good job of effectively making it a one hit KO move. I also like how they implemented the command seals into the gameplay. You can save them as last second revive moves or you can use all of them at once in order to get full meter. It can be a tough choice, but typically I’ll go with the latter.

After all, this game isn’t all that difficult. Even on hard mode I don’t expect you’ll run into many challenges unless you aren’t leveled up enough. On all other difficulties the enemies barely fight back. The only level where I actually got in some danger was the final boss of the second path. (Of course I haven’t played the third path yet) I’m sure the game will only continue to get more and more difficult though which is good. Difficulty is fun, especially when it’s optional.

As for the technical level, the graphics definitely look pretty good. It’s not exactly at the top of PS4 level, but everything is nice and colorful with a good amount of detail. The attacks all look good and I like the level designs. The music is less memorable, but it’s not bad. I’d say that this is the kind of game where the gameplay is really what the developers focused on and the graphics/soundtrack were less of a priority. As long as they are good enough that’s fine with me.

There isn’t much to talk about with the story either since it’s so short and there isn’t a lot to cover here. The main character is fun enough. He’s a solid adventurer who likes a good fight. His backstory is definitely interesting since it does make you think twice about his character. His future definitely seems like a grim one so it’s good that he can at least have fun now. The main villain is pretty over the top villainy, but I guess he can be enjoyable. There just isn’t all that much to him to be honest.

There’s less to say about the champion. Technically he is the player so that makes sense, but he only appears once in a while and mainly just talks through thinking bubbles. He goes with the flow and does the heroic thing, but doesn’t really have any character. Everyone else is pretty much in character from the shows. They show up and get their moments before being thrown off screen. Everyone gets to make their presence felt.

Overall, Fate Extella Link is a great game. It is limited by the length in the same way that Sonic Forces was, but ultimately it does provide you with enough of a satisfying experience to overlook that. You actually will be interested in playing through the levels multiple times to get level ups and see the alternate levels. The interfaces are all very smooth and the gameplay is exceptional. While I do express caution at buying the game at full price considering the length, I can definitely recommend it as long as you enjoy the gameplay style. There is enough replay value here to be worth your while.

Overall 8/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Brittania Review


Time to look at another game. This time the title in question is Seven Deadly Sins. This game is based on a manga that I have to give a hard thumbs down. Still, I figured that the game wouldn’t have the same issues that the manga has and it is a 3D action game with a duel mode so you can’t go wrong there. It’s definitely fun and while the gameplay does not feel quite as polished as other similar games it gets the job done.

The game starts with the princess of a corrupt kingdom escaping and deciding to seek out the legendary Seven Deadly Sins to help her reclaim it. The problem is that they have been lost to the world for many years. Elizabeth manages to find the leader who is currently operating a tavern and decides to stick with him to find the others. Fortunately he is looking for the others as well so this works out quite nicely. Their opponents are the legendary Holy Knights who have been tainted with power and corruption.

The gameplay is pretty much how you would imagine it. There are less enemies than usual so calling it more of an action title than a beat em up seems pretty fitting. Naturally then the duel mode plays out more like a traditional fighting game. Each character has their normal attacks and power moves. Additionally they can use various super attacks and a final smash of sorts. Using these techniques at the right time will be the difference between victory and defeat. The game can get slightly challenging towards the end but never to the point where you will be stuck for any long period of time. At most you may just lose once or twice.

This is probably the first 3D styled game like this where some of the characters aren’t all that fun to play though. Most of them are good with their traditional attacks, strengths and weaknesses. However, a few characters just seem so bad and rigid that it’s hard to see yourself wanting to play as them. King is a good example of this. He can’t fight up close and is purely a long range fighter. His attacks all use up energy meter as well so sometimes you’ll have to resort to running and hiding until your energy gets back. You can see how this would get old. Fortunately you only have to actually play as him 2-3 times. I’m sure he has some kind of strengths to offset such a massive weakness, but I couldn’t find it. While simpler than other fighting games, you’ll still get to engage in a lot of fun brawls.

The graphics look pretty good. This style has worked pretty well for the various anime fighters. It does a good job of keeping each character model detailed and the game is easy to see at a glance. In particular the ultimate attacks are always fun to see. The soundtrack is on the repetitive side, but fortunately the tunes are quite solid. The danger tune is on point and helps to amp up the tension.

The actual story is fairly short at around 4 hours but there is a good amount of replay value to be had. First of all there is multiplayer mode which always adds in a whole lot to do. There are a reasonable amount of characters to keep the matches fresh and inventive. For single player content the game ends once you have assembled 6 of the deadly sins. As you can imagine there is a 7th one hiding somewhere. To get him and 100% the story you have to go through the various taverns and complete the bonus missions. They’re all very quick so these missions won’t feel tedious. It’s a good way of extending the game and as I mentioned in my tank review, it’s the right way to extend it. Lock some good bonus content behind the extra stuff, just don’t keep the story imprisoned. I could see myself going back to complete these missions at some point in the future, even if just to get some more characters to fight with since I’m currently missing a few.

Overall, Seven Deadly Sins is a pretty fun game. It hits all of the right notes and has a great balance of gameplay and technical merits helping it along. The game’s layout is very simple, as is the world map. Initially I thought the rumor system was rather pointless but as it is just a fancy way of saying that you unlock new levels as you beat old ones I suppose I can get behind that. Might as well differentiate your game a bit right? I’d definitely recommend giving this game a shot. It has a lot going for it and at the end of the day there’s just a lot to like here. Even the main characters here are a lot more likable than in the actual manga so the game did a really good job of bringing out the best in everyone.

Overall 8/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Dynasty Warriors 2 Review


It’s time to look at one of the original beat em ups out there. Dynasty Warriors has really created a name for itself over the years. When you think of a beat em up it is certainly one of the first ones that you think of. It’s almost unfortunate though as I consider it to be one of the weakest ones. The reason for this is that I’m not a big fan of the characters. They are all rather forgettable to me and I feel like they all act the same as well. They pop in to talk tough but ultimately just don’t do much. I still like the gameplay a lot, but it’s the only thing holding the game together. What I wouldn’t give for another Hyrule Warriors type of game right about now!

So, I couldn’t even tell you much about the plot. Essentially the feuding nations are once again at each other in mortal combat. You have to pick which side you want to help and you lead them to victory in the 5 battle Musou Mode campaign. Each level is very long so you will be glad that it is only 5 levels. Any more and the game would have really dragged on. No matter which team you pick your character will be the one doing all of the work. Your allies can’t really handle even one named opponent. You’ll look on with a bit of sadness as you rack up 250 kills while your teammates are still struggling. Ultimately you have to be a one man army.

I will give the game some credit for being a little difficult though. This beat em up was made before the current days where the enemies only exist to inflate your stat sheet. If you rush off by yourself to fight a big group of opponents you probably won’t last long. You’re encouraged to just stand and fight with the rest of the crew. It takes a little longer of course, but it’s the most efficient way to go about it. I did manage to ditch my army once as I ran in for the win but I nearly died quite a few times. It goes without saying that dying is something you really don’t want to do in this game since you have to start the super long level from scratch. You can find save points inside of vases sometimes but it can be difficult to find those. I suppose you can go after the vases but that could take time so usually I didn’t bother.

You have your basic attacks and charge attacks in this game. You can also use your ultimate move. Again, the destructive capabilities of your attacks are a lot milder than something like Fire Emblem Warriors. It’s just a different kind of beat em up. I went into more detail with this in another review but essentially you won’t be just mowing down dozens of opponents with a single hit here. You can still take down like 300 opponents, but it will take much longer than in other games. I prefer the other type, but I also understand that this game is really old. We’ll see if the system changes as we enter the modern day. I own games 4 and 5, but not 3 so I will have to wait a bit before re-entering this series. I look forward to that opportunity arising though.

The graphics look pretty decent. The character models are on point and it does accurately show off how the era looks. It’s not particularly fun to look at since all of the battle fields look the same, but it’s more of a design choice than a graphical limitation. Unfortunately the soundtrack is rather bland so that part I’ll blame on the game. The only good theme is the one that plays during the credits as we get a quick look at what this game could have been like. The cool visuals and emotional lyrics just make you feel like this game was ultimately meant to be a lot quicker paced than it was.

There is certainly a lot of replay value here though. Each story mode will probably take you around 3 hours. By the time you play everyone’s stories you will be looking at 20+ hours of content. That’s really not bad although we’ll see how exciting beating the enemies will be by that point. There really isn’t much in the way of actual rewards either so the satisfaction will have to suffice. Of course, I guess that should always be enough.

Overall, Dynasty Warriors 2 delivers on the beat em up action that it promises. Beyond that there isn’t a whole lot of exciting content to be enveloped in though. It’s pretty much just a beat em up with a story that you won’t be invested into. Taking down the enemies is the only reason why you’re here. If you’re such a big fan of the gameplay that this doesn’t bother you then you are certainly in the right place. If not, then I recommend looking at a better title in this series like Pirate Warriors 3.

Overall 6/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Black Clover Quartet Knights Review


It’s rare that I pre order games. Honestly there are probably only around 10 or so that I can think of at the moment. I’m only counting games that I actually paid for so pre orders for Christmas or my Birthday don’t count. Off the top the games that I can think of are Super Smash Bros 3DS, Super Smash Bros Wii U, Pokken, Street Fighter V, Star Fox Zero, Black Clover Quartet Knights, Blazblue Cross Tag Battle, Sonic Forces, and Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet. There may be a few more that I’m missing but that’s basically it. Considering that this spans a time frame of around 10 years, you can see that I basically only started pre-ordering recently. It’s definitely fun to get a game at launch, but it’s also risky if the game ends up being underwhelming or just not worth the money. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I actively regret any of these or anything like that, but some were certainly more rewarding than others. I’d probably say that (not counting Super Smash since those would be the easy answers) Pokken was probably my favorite one. I definitely spent a lot of time with that game and the PVP was just a lot of fun. Definitely good times remembering when you didn’t have to pay to go online. Getting off topic though, lets talk about Black Clover.

The story has our heroes head to a cavern after stopping a villain named Mars when they are split up from Captian Yami. Asta and Noelle break through the rounds of enemies and find him, but now he has de-aged 14 years. What could have happened to him in the moments it took them to find him? They don’t have much time to rest though as a group of terrorists known as the Eye of the Morning Star have decided to team up with a mysterious lady from Yami’s past. Asta doesn’t have time to worry about the specifics here as he has a kingdom to save.

The story is extremely short as it is just 10 battles long and you’ll clear it in around 2 hours. I was a little dubious after finishing up the story. Naturally I know that the main point of this game is the online play so I wasn’t going to harsh on it too much, but only 10 levels? Fortunately by beating the game you unlock an alternate route with Yami which adds 8 more levels. After that you also get 2 “extra” levels so in total the game is a little closer to 4 hours which is nice. That definitely makes a difference. There are also other offline modes to play which extends the length. Each character has a challenge tutorial which is fairly easy and lets you get used to the characters. I’ll definitely try doing all of them at some point, but that may not happen for a while yet. Still, it does extend the game’s length.

Of course, this may go without saying, but you will enjoy the game a lot more if you have online play activated. After all, this game’s not exactly as mainstream as Naruto or DBZ so if you want to fight a bunch of people online you’ll want to do it right away. If you want until everyone is gone then it will certainly be way too late at that point. The offline content may last you around 6 hours and a little more if you decide to beat every level on hard mode. That may not seem like enough for your $60 dollar purchase, but the quality of the game is high so I don’t think you’ll feel bad about it afterwards.

For example, this game does have fully animated cutscenes which was definitely a blast. Not many games do that so I can only imagine how difficult it must be. We also get a bunch of CGI cutscenes and still illustrations as well. I definitely think that quite a bit of care was put into this game. The story is short but memorable. The graphics are definitely quite solid and are in the familiar Bandai style. If you like how the Naruto/Seven Deadly Sins game looks then you’ll enjoy this one as well. The soundtrack is a little less impressive though as there is only one really rocking theme. The lyrical song for the final boss is all kinds of hype. The other themes are all very forgettable. I think the game should have just brought in a bunch of themes from the anime, that would have certainly worked out well.

I haven’t even talked about the gameplay yet so I should get on that. It’s a pretty fast paced fighting game. It’s in squads format so you go 3 v 3. You want to construct your team carefully as you have mages, fighters, healers, and a different kind of fighter. My favorite characters to play as are definitely fighters and healers are the worst, but naturally you want a balanced squad. It plays a bit like a beat em up I’d say or Dissidia if you are familiar with that game. You have roughly 4-5 attack options so there isn’t a crazy amount of options to use, but this’ll help you memorize them quickly. The game is easy to start while being difficult to master which is definitely a good balance. I definitely enjoyed the gameplay a lot although I am definitely a sucker for fighters. They always just manage to hit the right notes which is why I always try to snag them right away.

Overall, Black Clover Quartet Knights is definitely a great game. It is on the short side which is unfortunate, but it’s a short game that really excelled in its presentation and pacing. For example, I’d say that a lot more effort was put into the actual story than Blazblue. It’s around the same length but ends up feeling a lot more like a complete adventure. I’d still be pretty hyped for a sequel after playing this one. It’s a shame that there isn’t a local multiplayer though. It seems like that would have been really easy to program in even if it would be tough to keep track of everything on only half a screen. Better a crunched option than none at all right? (Well, I guess critics would take shots at it anyway, but the devs can ignore those) If you don’t have the game yet then I definitely recommend checking it out. If you don’t have online and feel that the length is too short, then I get that and you should probably go get a different fighting game. Any of the old Naruto Ninja Storms would work in that case and will be cheaper by now.

Overall 8/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Dark Angel Review


It’s time to look at a PS2 movie tie-in to a TV series that I never actually got around to watching. It seems like a cool premise though. It’s basically Maximum Ride but taking place in a futuristic setting. I can get behind that. The actual game mixes stealth with the beat em up genre for interesting results. Honestly I think it would have certainly been sufficient to have just been a beat em up, but I suppose the stealth aspects make sense with the actual plot of the game.

So the story follows Max (You won’t be able to forget her name since it is mentioned a few times for every single level) as she wants to rescue the other people who was kidnapped by the I-Corporation and experimented on. Among those were her sisters. Max broke out (In the show I’m guessing) but now she must head back to face her fears once more. Logan helps her from the sidelines as he tries to shut off some security cameras here and there. He’s basically tech support and I suppose he does go into the field once in a while. Can Max really save her family?

One thing to note here is that in the future the government fell apart thanks to some kind of nuclear situation so now corporations run the world. I-Corp is one of those along with a second one that I’m forgetting. Both sides are evil and do experimentation so you have to decide who to root for. In this case we are going after I-Corp, but apparently Max destroyed a good chunk of the other side prior to the game so she has done a good job of taking out any corporation that stands against her.

The gameplay is very straight forward when it comes to combat. You can punch, kick, and throw. Jumping is also useful even if the jump isn’t very high. You can run and then jump+kick to unleash a devastating tackle that will knock any opponent over. This is really useful for when a bunch of enemies are after you as they have no real counter to this. If you don’t mind taking a little while you can bear all of the enemies this way. To prevent you from cheesing the game for each level though, some will have a time limit for which you can beat the enemies. Just keep mixing up your punches and kicks to resist enemy throws and you’ll be okay. Whenever possible I would ignore the stealth option and just barrel into groups of enemies. Some groups I just barely beat with 1 second left, but that’s the kind of intensity that you want to see. Also, I didn’t quite understand the stealth part for a little while since the game never explains it.

Basically if you crouch from behind an enemy and attempt to throw them it will result in a one hit KO. This is really useful if there are a bunch of enemies. You can take them all out one at a time this way. Otherwise if you just attack one then every enemy in the room will rush at you which can be around 6 and they can take a lot of health out of you if you aren’t careful. 2 of the last levels mix this formula up a bit though as stealth isn’t optional. If you are spotted then you are sent back to the very beginning. These levels can be a little on the long side so I can definitely confirm that it’s in your best interest to proceed with caution. A good technique for mixing the enemies up is just randomly jumping and then running off to hide. It will change their current pattern into one that may be easier. Of course it could get harder so proceed with caution.

To help in your stealth missions you are given some stealth gun ammo. This is a one hit KO to any opponent so it’s a good way to cheese these stealth missions. It is a tactical gamble though as you don’t get a whole lot of ammo. I believe you get around 20 shots for the duration of the game or something like that. Use your ammo wisely. I had already spent all of mine before the last big stealth mission, but I’d say that I did a good job of making it last when you consider how many levels there are. You also have other gadgets like a walkie talkie to lure the enemies closer and health packs which are self explanatory. As with many stealth games you just want to make these items really count.

As far as the characters go, we have a good cast here. Max is definitely a great main character. All of her dialogue is basically mocking all of the minions as she beats them up. She certainly isn’t above hitting someone who’s down as we even see that in a cutscene near the end so it isn’t just gameplay mechanics. She’s had a tough past but has definitely gotten past it and turned into a good hero. Logan is all right. I’m not a fan, but I guess he is useful. I can’t say much about the sisters as they don’t appear until near the end, but Beka was cool. She’s probably the best character after Max. She can certainly fight pretty well too.

The graphics look pretty sharp. A good amount of budget probably went into the cutscenes as they are full cinematics so no text cop outs. I mean, you get a text cutscene at the beginning of each level as well, but so long as you get both that isn’t an issue. The visuals are quite nice and I just wish we could have gotten more outdoor levels as towards the end they all feel a little cramped. The game had reasonable variety though. The soundtrack is definitely pretty solid. A little on the generic side, but nonetheless the combat themes were quite fast and really suck you into the moment. It makes the battles more fun.

There is no real replay value here though. There’s no level select and no collectibles to acquire. Basically once you complete the game that is it for your adventure. You have no more reason to play at all. With 22 levels I’d say that this game should last you around 4-5 hours. It will depend on how long some of the tougher levels take you as one took me around an hour before I finally had it beat. It’s no walk in the park and the game’s difficulty is pretty fair. It’s just enough to make you try but not too crazy either.

Overall, Dark Angel is definitely a fun game. The TV show definitely sounds pretty interesting if it’s like that. Max is basically a super soldier after all so that should make for some good action scenes. Hopefully the special effects were on point for that. Considering that I got the game for a few bucks I would say that this was a bargain. If you are looking for a quality action game to get for cheap then this is definitely the one for you. It’s just such a solid action game. Who knows, maybe it’ll get a sequel someday.

Overall 7/10