Shin Force | Sega Dreamcast Review
Shin Force
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Shin Force ~ Dreamcast ~
 Rippin' Riders / Cool Boarders Burn!
UEP Systems (Japan)
Sega (USA)
UEP Systems
Aug. 25, 1999 (Japan)
Nov. 12, 1999 (USA)
3rd Person
Backup 4+
         > Its a snowboarding game with hip looking contestants boarding down environments that are completely unachievable in real life. It's being "super-extreme." Definitely made to catch that thrill-seeker demographic. Made by the same makers of the Cool Boarder series (barring #4).
         > Fabulous. Did any of you like those Alpine Racer arcade games? Ever want the arcade experience at home? Well, graphically, here you go. It's an arcade experience at home. The graphics are wonderful, smooth running the vast majority of the time with light sourcing and other nifty graphic tricks. Is it stupendously mind-blowing, unconsciously inducing drool? No. But it is done well. The characters are animated decently as humans. The art designs of the characters are good, terminally hip and sacrificing realism for style (skimpy clothing in a winter landscape?), but hey this is fantasy, enjoy it for the arcade experience that it is. Also the art design of the tracks are on par with, if not better creatively than the character designs. Again retain the idea that this is intended to be fantastic, not realistic, especially as you deflect repeatedly from the buildings in the city stage. Basically the whole graphical experience wows satisfactorily.
         > And then comes controls... If you want any tricks cut to the chase and read the instruction manual, I know it hurts your pride to do so, but why waste time. There are six basic moves (R+Up, R+Down, R neutral, B+Up, B+Down, B neutral) which can be chained into each other, some chains leading to one of the two signature moves for each character. Add to this horizontal, vertical, and diagonal rotations in which to incorporate your stunt combos and it seems you have a complex and diverse trick system. Well it looks good on paper. The rotations require a bizarre control system involving holding jump and the direction you want to rotate, though this ties your character into going in a straight line until it is executed (and how long can that last?). To rotate faster you need to hold this position longer, otherwise you start at the base rotation speed: snail. When it is executed you must still hold the direction for... and that's just it I don't know how long or even if it effects anything. When executing a misty 900 degrees while chaining a combo into a signature to hold for drama points I don't feel I have the control in the rotation to pull the landing (and yes, you DO get kudos for being able to follow that one). This lack of control for rotations hurts this game way too much. This "charging" may be realistic, I don't snowboard I wouldn't know, but why would you add realism then if everything else is over-the-top? I don't want to count seconds holding trying to guesstimate the rotation speed. Put a "charge meter" or pull this function out, but for heaven's sake just do something else. The boards and character stats have influence on the game controls, more so than I expected, too bad I don't care after this. The options are decent with replay functions, scores divided into stunt, speed, and overall, jukebox, control assign, etc. - all the basics.
         > A fantastic sound track!!! But, and I cannot stress this enough, you must use the DC CD player to hear all 14 soundtracks from the get go. The game offers 6 BGMs in the beginning in the options menu and they are basically the character BGMs. Those soundtracks include some decent songs, but you must listen to 16 and 17 in the CD player. For video game music, not being actual tracks from big name artists, it delivers the goods and then some. This is THE reason I bought the game; crazy, yes - justifiable, completely. Will everyone appreciate it? Of course not. Most reviewers don't appreciate electronic music, unless it's by an artist they can buy in the music store. But this game tries to touch base with a decent song for each of the characters' attitude and lays sweet beats for other levels. Most of these audio gems are only heard in the Super Pipe part of the game, a shame because more people should be exposed to it. Excellent material here. Sound effects, the surfer announcer should be able to be turned off, not bad just tiring the 15th time. Other sounds... just like everything else one would expect from a snowboarding game, crunching of snow, bleating of sheep, crashing of boulders and stone columns... heh heh. Actually it is good, though I'm not picky.
         > Yes if you play this game like an arcade game. No if you want depth. The controls are too much of a barrier to reach the higher scores. Enjoy the scenery, pull a trick or two, have a snow cone, just don't expect to be rewarded well for the time put in mastering the stunts.
     > Buy it for the music!  Most of you won't, so buy it for the lighthearted arcade feel at home! Honestly, rent before you invest. This title might be well worth it for a good secondhand price. A classic and benchmark it isn't. But it is fun if you are not too serious.... (now if there were any gamers who were not so serious... ).
Overall: 7.0 | Graphics: 8.2 | Control: 4.1 | Sound: 9.6 | Fun: 6.0
~ Senpi ~