Review by PC Kwajalein



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 9

Lara Croft, Cate Archer, and other heroines in the video game world can trace their estrogen-laden appetites for destruction back to a woman who was the first to smash her way onto a scene that was dominated by men. She goes by the name of Flashgal. Sega’s first female protagonist is no ‘girlie fighter’ by any means. Whether she’s caving in skulls with her fist, or literally cutting her opposition down at the knees, Flashgal is on a mission to kick the asses of anybody standing in her way. Let us discuss Flashgal’s own arcade game of the same name.

Flashgal’s objective is to destroy a syndicate of vastly diverse baddies headed by a roly-poly leader that’s dressed like a television evangelist. There’s no story attached to the game, but many people can relate to wanting to savagely beat up those who impersonate televangelists, or those that really are televangelists. At this madman’s disposal are a great variety of thugs, creatures, and machines that Flashgal has to contend with. But they aren’t aware of Flashgal’s mastery of the straight jab, jumpkick, and katana blade. She’s ready for anything, and she’s got the techniques and skills to take on whatever comes her way.

Click to view the enlarged imageGraphics wise, the game is solid. In addition to the dark-haired star of the game, the enemies come off as a very diverse group of characters with their own distinctive details. Flashgal is given a snazzy red outfit that includes a halter-top, thigh length tights, a headband, and a silver belt. Her red, knee high boots complete the outfit. I’d just like to point out Flashgal’s flare for fashion (try to say that 3x fast) goes wonderfully with her ravenous intent on killing her opponents. The enemies include all types of people, animals, machines, and mysterious creatures. With more badly dressed thugs than you could count, the game’s antagonists also include jet pack wearing rocketeers, portly angry women in tights, attack dogs, ninjas, mechanized birds, napalm tossing monkeys, droids, Roman giants, ostriches, and aircraft loaded with explosive armament. All these are represented onscreen in a very accurate showing with credible attempts at detail. The backgrounds in the game range from palm tree-lined streets on the shoreside to martial arts dojos sitting next to bamboo thickets. The stages aren’t anything to rave about, but they do provide the atmosphere required to give the game more variety.

From a sound point of view, the game is nothing more than a large collection of impacts, explosions, and various bleeps and bloops. All are placed well with their respective actions, such as punches, kicks, guns firing, bombs going off, and the violent, fiery combustion of some unlucky helicopter that dared to challenge Flashgal. Some of tunes are pretty good. The dojo stage features a selection of music injected with a nifty little dose Oriental flavor. When Flashgal hops on her motorcycle, a fast paced tune plays to compliment the ride as the screen quickly scrolls by. This category is more than adequate in my opinion.

Gameplay. Ah yes, the gameplay. The game is a 2D side-scrolling beat’em up along the lines of Kung-Fu Master, which was released one year earlier. Flashgal must punch, kick, shoot, and slash her way through each stage… even as it scrolls with no consideration to her position onscreen. This means no matter which direction she faces, or no matter where she is onscreen, the stage will scroll by. This means Flashgal can advance through the stage in a crouched position. This has its disadvantages as well since thugs with guns tend to ‘moonwalk’ as they fire at Flashgal. The action is intense. There are many opponents onscreen that will attack from either side. It takes some quick maneuvers to get out of a jam like that, but it’s possible and can be pulled off fairly easily. Your enemies attack in a variety of ways, so naturally, you get to have fun killing them in a variety of ways. For a couple stages, Flashgal is armed with a katana that she can use to slice her opponents. When a ninja tosses daggers at Flashgal, she can deflect them with the katana blade and then proceed to butcher the poor sap that tossed them. The most common mid bosses are the chubby girls. These plump ladies are supremely pissed at Flashgal for having a better body shape than they do. In groups of two or three, they attack our heroine with powerful kicks, but thanks to their daily consumption of eight steak and cheese hoagies, these fat girls tend to be slow. For some reason that Sega only knows, Flashgal can kill a green ostrich and be rewarded with a rapid firing gun! Now instead of punches and kicks, she can simply blow away her adversaries. There’s nothing more satisfying to Flashgal than gunning down thugs, dogs, obese women, birds of all sizes, robots, African tribesmen, and Roman guards on steroids. Not all of the action takes place on foot. As stated earlier, Flashgal can hop on a motorcycle that has a vertical missile launcher placed on its rear. With this bike, she can destroy all airborne threats above her head like helicopters, mechanical seagulls, and the most interesting of airborne threats… monkeys in tall palm trees. Other vehicles that Flashgal uses against her foes include a helicopter (used in the horizontal shooter segment of the game), and a water jet craft armed just like the motorcycle. The incorporation of these useful vehicles in conjunction with the on-foot scenes in the game adds so much to its diversity.


Graphics: I like the diversity and colors in this category. The different characters are in great numbers, and the detail put into some them are quite good. Stages are alright and add more variety.

Sound & Music: Ya hear that? That’s the sound of ass getting kicked in many ways. There’s also some nice tunes to be heard as well. Some very memorable.

Gameplay: It’s so much fun killing all these people and objects, especially when there’s more than one way to do it. Add to this a few vehicles that have feature segments on the game, and the gameplay goes up a notch.

Overall: Flashgal is a fun game, and still remains as one of my favorites from the 80’s era. Its main hero is in fact, a heroine, and the first of her kind. Thank you, Sega for a kick ass game!


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:24 PM