Dezaemon Super Famicom
Review by Keita Iida Athena Shooter
Overall: 7

Do you have the creativity of da Vinci and the programmer's mentality of, say, Jarvis? Shooter fans craving for the equivalent of Pinball Construction Set need look no further. Dezaemon lets you design your own 2D vertical scrolling shooter. Using a nifty little editing tool, you can alter a wide range of variables such as your ship, the levels, enemies and even the music. You also get to decide the placement and the behavior of your foes. No more staring at static screens of your finished work (a-la Mario Paint) in this one. It's quite a feeling to be able to interact with your creation!

Using a plethora of easy-to-use menus and simple creation tools, players are free to design their own 2D shooting game. Want to attack a flying Pac-Man with some deadly popcorn? No problem. Dezaemon enables you to create your own space ships, enemies (and their behavior), backgrounds, structures -- even the music -- and put it all together in a shooter in the style of Raiden Trad. Composing the music is by far the best part and is not unlike Mario Paint's. It's basically like making sheet music by hand in that you select notes and place them on the staff for the desired tone, then choose the instrument for each note. It's not as repetitive as you may expect, either, thanks to the copy/paste feature.

Playability falls somewhat short of the actual game-building process. It's no slouch and offers good controls and fairly intense gameplay. Several games are already on the cart, although it's not of the type of quality that'll make you buy it for the games alone. The graphics won't remind you of Axelay, to say the least, with no scaling and rotation found anywhere in the game. Sound quality, on the other hand, is in stereo and more than holds its own against the average SNES title. Sound effects themselves are tinny and will remind you of the 8-bit days, however.

Your enjoyment (or lack of it) will largely depend on your interest in tinkering with game design, because the average player who lacks creativity or otherwise has no patience will want to avoid Dezaemon. Playstation and Saturn fans can also sink their teeth into Dezaemon because it was recently brought out as Dezaemon Plus for the both machines. It's nothing more than a (very slightly) enhanced port of this one, but it has the added benefit of allowing you to save your work on a memory card. A big plus. Also be on the lookout for Dezaemon 3D for the Nintendo 64, which is slated for release in Japan in early '99 and looks to be a souped-up version with presentation that's similar to Raystorm.

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