Saturday, 21 February 2015

Sukeban Deka II: Shoujo Tekkamen Densetsu (Master System)

Or if you'd prefer, "Delinquent Girl Cop II: Legend of the Girl in the Iron Mask". I should also let the uninitiated among you know that this game isn't a sequel to an earlier Sukeban Deka title, but is based on the second Sukeban Deka TV series, which sees a girl named Yoko Godai, who spent her childhood with her head trapped in an iron mask, taking up the Saki Asamiya codename and becoming the second Sukeban Deka, in the hopes of finding the reasons and culprits behind her stolen childhood. It's an excellent show, and is currently being fansubbed by The Skaro Hunting Society, should any of you be curious.

The game presents a heavily abridged version of the TV show's plot, split into adventure segments and beat em up segments. Unfortunately, the adventure segments make up the bulk of the game, and though I admit that it's a genre that doesn't especially appeal to me at the best of times, Sukeban Deka II's adventure segments are of an especially old-school flavour. There are very few clues as to what is supposed to be done, and though there is an english fan-translation, you'll still probably want a guide to save the tedious effort of going to every room and clicking on everything to find clues and items.

The beat em up sections are much shorter, and similarly old-fashioned, but they're pretty fun. Typically, you'll fight off a small gang of high school boys, before fighting a boss, and though the gang fights are pretty much all the same, the boss fights are really varied, though oddly, they seem to actually get easier as the game goes on.

There's also a couple of 3D maze sections, though they are really just that: empty mazes for the player to navigate that just pad the game out and fill a little bit of extra time.

Unfortunately, I can't really recommend this game unless you really love the TV series, or if you want a nice little slice of 80s Japanese pop-culture (for some reason, I associate SEGA's 8-bit consoles with the period far more than I do the Famicom, despite the Famicom's near-monolithic popularity in Japan at the time, and it's can't be denied that Sukeban Deka is an important artifact of the era.). But if you just want a Master System beat em up, there are far better examples, like Hokuto no Ken or Kung-fu Kid.

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