Saturday, 15 February 2014

Zeiram Zone (Playstation)

So, this is a beat em up based on the excellent Zeiram movies (well, the first one is excellent, at least. I haven't seen the second one yet, or the spin-off animated series.) In it, the main protagonist of those movies, Iria, goes to various planets to apprehend evil-doers and space criminals and the like, by defeating them in battle and trapping them in crystals, just like she does in the movies.
The controls are more like a fighting game than a beat em up, with up being jump and the four face buttons assigned to LP, HP, LK and HK. There are even special moves, the three I've managed to figure out are:
Quarter Circle Foward + Punch to do a swipe with a lightsabre-type weapon
Quarter Circle Back + Kick to do a big flippy kick thing that can attack enemies in front of and behind you,
Dragon Punch Motion + Kick for a quick kick combo.
The game mostly plays like any other regular beat em up, walking along and beating up monsters and robots and other weird things as you go, though rather than the typical belt scroller movement, the game uses L2 and R2 to allow you to jump between planes, Guardian Heroes-style. The boss fights are slightly different, being more like a primitive 3D fighting game, and the plane-switch buttons become left and right sidestep buttons.
The game is pretty fun to play, as simple and clunky as it is, and though the graphics are pretty poor even by the standards of 1996 3D games (and on a related note, the CGI cutscenes between stages look awful), the enemy's designs do look pretty cool and original, my favourite being the robot cranes that attack at the start of the "Ghost Castle" stage.
There is a big problem with the game, though. A few stages in, you'll reach the "Bio-Ship" stage, which is full of huge moving traps that drain your health on contact, and the game's control scheme doesn't really equip you well enough to effectively avoid them. Getting past this area has been impossible for me so far, which really is a shame, as I was just getting to enjoy the fighting mechanics and figuring out the best strategy for different enemy types and so on. It's made even worse by the fact that the Bio-Ship stage itself also actually looks pretty cool.

1 comment:

  1. This was made by Kitamura Akira, director of Mega Man.