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Review: WANDERING FIGHTER
I was quite suprised to see a game from MIG2 that wasn't packed with ripped graphics, and it was a nice suprise indeed (I actually haven't really given MIG2's earlier games a chance, simply 'cause I think ripped GFX take away a lot from the overall feel of a game), so I decided to try it.
Apart from the disgustingly awful Konamig-logo that really doesn't give a nice first impression, the presentation was nice. After having watched the intro and explored the options menu, I already got the impression of a quite ambitious game. That feeling was intensified during the short introduction to the gameplay. The map between the levels is also a nice addition.
The graphics have a nice retro feel and add to the atmosphere, and they look really good overall. They could be better, but don't need to. There's a lot of them, too, and it's quite impressive that almost every level has unique graphics.
Sound and Music:
Again, very nice, very retro. Mostly well chosen, distinct and fitting SFX that enhance the gameplay. Most of the music is also nice and often feels right within the context. I really like the town music. I'm much more forgiving with ripped SFX/Music than I am with GFX, but ripped is ripped and can't earn a full score. (I don't know if all is ripped, though.)
Gameplay, the heart and soul of basicly any game, and the most important element. This is both a strong and a weak point in Wandering Fighter. The linear, arcade style with small non-linear aspects is a very nice concept, and most the time it works well in the game, but there are flaws. Some secrets seem like they're placed without thought, and some are simply too non-rewarding. So, a slight balance issue here. Also the engine isn't completely solid, which for example causes a certain flying enemy to not get pushed back from your hit when it's touching the ground. Balance/design issues like those is found throughout the game, but most of the time, the control response, enemy tactics and overall feeling (hitting enemies, etc.) of the game works really well. Better than most, actually. The spells are dull though, and doesn't really fit in. So, gameplay is hard to rate here. It's a bit flawed, but it's still really, really decent in its core. I guess you could say the gameplay is great, but some of the design doesn't live up to it, somtimes. It's no big deal, really, but it's a bit annoying when it could've been perfect, and I'll let it drag the gameplay score down slightly.
Good gameplay is high replay value, is lastability. That's a motto I have when it comes to games. Wandering Fighter certainly grows on you as you discover new hidden treasures, new hidden doors, and new ways to approach the game (trying different upgrade tactics, etc.), even though all this is slightly watered-down from the design issues. It's not bad, but could be better. This game is fun at its core, its gameplay has some depth, and that makes me come back to it, despite its minor flaws. Most of the time there's a lot of fun in playing it, and there are probably only two or three other klik-games I've played as much as this, and I'm sure I'll keep playing.
If the concept is somewhat lacking in creativity, the game takes the best of both Wonderboy and Cadash and puts it into one game, and the sum of these parts seems to exceed both of the sources of inspiration (I only have the Genesis version of Cadash to compare with) when it comes to fun factor. It's a somewhat flawed, partly a bit unpolished, but overall very solid and entertaining game with classical retro elements, and nice gameplay. It's good in most areas that matter. One of the best klik-games I've played in a long time. Thumbs up!
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