> From out of nowhere, Time Warner pulls a sleeper out of their hat.
Take Mystic Defender (Genesis), splash in some Shinobi
add a friend, and you have one pretty good action game. Psychic
Killer Taromaru (or Assassin) is merely an approximate translation
for the Japanese title. Unfortunately, it was never released America,
even though if converted and promoted correctly, this could have been a
decent seller here.
> Your only option is to get the Japanese import of this game. Don't
worry though, if you're lucky enough to find this game, it's importability
is very high. About the only thing that would be confusing is the
Options Menu, which is presented in Japanese. There aren't many options
though, and some of them are easy to decipher.
> Considering this game was released in 1997, I'd say the 3D backgrounds
combined with 2D side-scrolling action are quite impressive. A really
cool effect is the background pivoting in 3D splendor as you traverse corners.
There's even one level with what appears to be a transparent layer in the
fast scrolling background -- cool to witness. If you like bosses,
then Taromaru is your game. A weird assortment of animal
and supernatural foes await. The gigantic frog is interesting.
First you fight it on a raft, then you get swallowed by it and battle inside
its body! You'll battle plenty of mini bosses too.
> The control is tight and intuitive. You have jump, shield, attack
(+charge), and hypnotize buttons at your disposal. The lock-on capability
of your psychic force attack can occasionally betray you though.
Anyway, your main attack is a psychic force, which can be super charged,
a la Mystic Defender. You can also wield a hypnotizing
psychic force (otherwise known as necromancy), which recruits an enemy
to fight by your side. It doesn't work on all enemies, and you can
only have one helper at a time. It's a cool feature nonetheless.
> Dark, Japanesque tunes highlight this game. Not too shabby considering
the ninja-type action, and the fact that it's only available in Asia.
The sound effects are pretty standard fare, and well suited. A voice
acted intro scene is a nice addition to complete the sound spectrum.
> It seems somewhat easy with two people, but is much more fun that way.
Don't be fooled though, because this game is quite long and the enemies
are relentless. You can select from two characters, both of which
have the same gameplay with slightly different attacks. It's a cool
game to look at and play.
> There are hundreds of Saturn games that never made it to
the USA. This is one of the few worthy titles that deserved localization.
is a definite sleeper hit. Mystic Defender and Alysia
Dragoon (both on Genesis) are the closest relatives to this game.
If you're into ninja-type action games, then this is a no-brainer.
The only problem is finding it... at an affordable price. As it turns
out, this game was limited to 7,500 copies, so it's ultra-rare.
|Overall: 8.5 | Graphics:
9.5 | Control: 8.5 | Sound: 7.5 | Fun: 8.5