Saturday, 6 August 2011

Abalaburn (Playstation)

Abalaburn has two main modes: story mode and arcade mode.I haven't played much of arcade mode, because it's pretty awful. Story mode I have played a lot of, though.
It comprises a 3D roaming beat em up with some huge stages, lots of varied enemies and the occaisional bit of insanely painful platforming.
Each stage basically involves you wandering around beating up monsters until you beat the one that drops a key (pointed out by a small spark floating above its head), which will open a door that leads to that stage's mid-boss, which will be a huge monster of some kind. Then you find another key, and beat the stage's actual boss, which will be more humanoid in proportions (and for most of the game, they will be the other selectable characters. the aforementioned arcade mode is made entirely of these fights). As an aside, the playable characters are very varied in design, with some cool characters (eg. a spiky-haired and chunky-limbed shonen protagonist and a light-footed catboy) and some that are awful (a grotesquely racist caricature and a shape shifting midget thing).
For a few hours, this is all a lot of fun. Eventually the cracks will start to appear. You'll notice that every normal fight consists of doing a short combo, holding block while the enemy does the same, and then repeating until the enemy is dead. And then there are the terrible parts where you have to use the slightly awkward controls to navigate moving platforms, which will take a long time, and will be no fun at all. At least you don't die or take damage for falling off of them, though.
All these minor flaws do add up, but it wasn't until the final stage that the game really killed my desire to play. The final stage, in true Japanese videogame cliche fashion, is a futuristic technology stage, following all the other, fantasy themed stages. It's also got several huge mid-bosses, which are a series of heavily armed (and heavily armoured) tanks. They kill you very quickly, die very slowly and are just no fun at all to fight. It was a shame to have to give up on a game that was, up until that point, so charming and fun, especially so close to the end, but those bosses really were terrible.
It's really a shame this game never got a western release, though. I'm sure I would have loved this as a teenager, if I'd had the chance to play it back then.


  1. I remember this game as a kid, it's really fun although stage 8's bosses geez.

    I like the girl with blue hair and the cat boy the most.

    1. The catboy was my favourite too :D