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Review: WANDERING FIGHTER
After having played this game over and over again for nearly a month, I figure it's time for me to write up a review..Maybe then I'll understand why I keep coming back to it.
PRESENTATION: 8 The game is rather slick and professional in terms of production, and is a welcome change of pace from the typical Klik games I've seen as of late. Not only is there an intro movie (of sorts), but there are also an option screen including three difficulty levels (consisting of limiting the number of "continues" one has) and unlockable extras, and information about all the in-game items the player will encounter. A great feature that MIG2 includes in all the KONAMIG games I've seen is a quick demonstration of game controls. A solid effort in production values here, and as a whole it's definitely a few notches up from the average Klik presentation. Unfortunately, a serious lack of engaging storyline hampers the total package.
GAMEPLAY: 7 Plenty of options exist for the player, and this is one area in which the game shines admirably. Allowing both keyboard and gamepad control is nice, but I found the gamepad controls finicky at best; opting for the keyboard controls seemed to be the most reliable option. Items can be bought, but not sold; equipment is easily upgraded. An interesting feature (or setback, depending on your perspective) is the lack of ability to "backtrack" or visit previous locations. In other words, if you find an item you want, you better hope you have enough cash to pay for it right then, or else you'll miss your chance once you leave that stage. This adds a strategic element into an otherwise played-out game category, encouraging repeat plays as the player tries out several different combinations of items to see what's most effective, or saving and scrimping all their cash to buy that Vedic blade in the desert stage...Some areas are inaccessible without higher-grade boots (which allow you to jump higher) or with the use of the "Angel Wing", which allows you limited flight capabilities but disappears once you take damage.
GRAPHICS: 8 From what I understand, everything in this game is drawn by the programmer, and there's a HUGE amount of material in this game. Even the upgrades of items--though all look essentially the same--are of different colors, adding a bit of variety to your character as you progress through the game. Animations seem smooth, enemies and locations appear varied, specific, and understandable. In short, there's a solid graphical aspect to Wandering Fighter.
SOUND & MUSIC: 6 Although the sound effects and music are of typical fare, there's no repetition in background music that I've noticed. Sound is used in each stage to create a distinct feel for when a player visits another area. There's some quirkyness with only one sound effect being played at one time, mimicking old-school console limitations, and I think this can be circumvented by MMF, but I'm not so sure.
LASTABILITY: 10 As mentioned earlier, plenty of game mechanics encourage lastability, from the difficulty levels, to the vast number of items available, the unlockable options included, and the fact that it's a game of respectable length but no save feature (!). I've been playing this daily ever since it first appeared on TDC, and I've no excuse for my lack of productivity at work other than to say that this game is _that good_.
OVERALL: 8 It's a fine title, by any perspective, and it has a little bit of everything rolled into an incredibly replayable package. It's definitely recommended for everyone, though I can't take responsibility for some folks obsessing over collecting the best items over hours and hours of gameplay, in an effort to eventually beat the game...Nice job, MIG2!
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