Sunday, 18 September 2016

Edono Kiba (SNES)

If you're of a certain age, you might remember the days when the only Japanese cartoons being released in the UK were what were sometimes called "beer and curry videos," which were mainly 80s and early 90s OAV with lots of sex and violence, and lots of gratuitous swearing added in the English dub, and a lot of these OAVs were set in cyberpunk dystopias, with lots of evil robots killing people and slightly less evil robots also killing people, but sometimes killing the evil robots as well. Anyway, Edono Kiba, aesthetically, owes a lot to those old OAVs (though I guess they'd be fairly contemporous when it came out), but with the sex and violence.

It's a beat em up in which you play as a constantly-running (or walking, or riding a flying surfboard, depending on the stage) robot, who travels through a futuristic city killing lots of evil robots. the constant movement does make one common beat em up bugbear irrelevant: the old "stay in one place until you beat up enough enemies" gimmick, as it keeps the stage constantly scrolling and enemies either come zooming in from ahead or behind you, or they jump in from the background. The downside is that though the stage is constantly scrolling, it still looks a bit silly when your character is staying on the same spot of the screen, apparently walking or running in place. Almost all of the enemies are one hit kills, too, which also helps give the game a fast pace.

There's a much bigger downside to the constant movement thing, though: as the stage keeps moving in one direction, and your character has no animations for running backwards, you can only face right. This is bad for two reasons: the first, and most obvious, is that you can also only attack in one direction, making combat with enemies coming from behind awkward and annoying, as you wait for them to pass you before you can strike. The other problem is that it makes the game feel very cheaply made, like it wasn't totally finished. I mean obviously, it's done as part of the game's whole fast paced, always moving forward thing, but even with that in mind, it still feels off.

Edono Kiba isn't a bad game, it looks great and it's a decent enough way to pass half an hour or so. But it's no classic, and the SNES has many other, better beat em ups you should play before you get to this one. And if you really want a grim cyberpunk SNES action game, you'd be better off going for Hagane.

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