Hell Fighter


Review by Doug Jackson



Graphics: 6

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 5

Overall: 6.5


You never know what to expect from a Sachen game. Sometimes a game might be good, most of the time bad, and the rest of the time you get a borrowed game from some other unlicensed company trying to take advantage of Nintendo. Hell Fighter is completely uneven as far as good and bad qualities. Although not terrible, it's not great either. I love writing reviews for the non-popular and obscure games that everyone forgets about, and Hell Fighter fits the criteria. I tell you A.V.E. and Sachen both have something in common (great label art and mostly shoddy gameplay), and Hell Fighter meets the criteria.

The basic storyline (along with it's healthy serving of bad dialogue and choppy translation) is Satan and his devils (?) are trying to take over the world but he can't until he finds the orb which will give him the power for world domination. You are one summoned to stop him in the role of the Chinese Kung Fu Artist. The game has a Japanese theme to it and plays like a B-movie. You are trained in kung fu, but in the game the only move you use is a kick to break away the ground to uncover power-ups. The game could have been better if our hero wasn't such a wuss. Control is accurate and spot on, but every thing kills you and in one hit (even sticks, birds, and falling leaves, come on falling leaves!). You turn into a writhing skeleton when you die which is amusing. Since you really don't use much kung fu, at least the game makes up for it with a decent supply of power-ups, which come in the form of color changing orbs. They change from red (nothing), to blue (barrier), to green (powerful energy ball shot), and to gold (three way shot), but that's it. It desperately needs more variety.

On the downside, you jump slow and sometimes don't have enough time to get out of the way of enemies. The first two stages are not too hard but the third stage has so many enemies and obstacles that they are nearly impossible to dodge. Top that with horrid slowdown and some of the worst flicker I've ever seen in a NES game and you have the game killer right there. Another really dumb point is that you can select to start with 19 lives and six continues which you will need, but if you push select you just die (what the heck Sachen! Why did you put that in the game?).

The graphics are O.K. The stages are very colorful but the enemies and backgrounds lack polish and are boring to look at. The bosses are pretty cool to look at though. This game tried to knock off Ghosts n' Goblins but fell short. The music is actually pretty good, although not ground breaking or long lasting. I enjoyed the tunes in the stages and almost found myself humming along with them.

There are certainly better games out there even in the rare and unlicensed field, but there is some fun to be had here, at least for the cheese factor portion of the game. If you find this game for a decent price it has some mild enjoyment as well as collector's value. Well Chinese kung fu master, I thought you weren't given a fair chance. They made you too weak and you lacked decent moves and died from anything. It's like your pal Swamp Thing when they gave him a game. Next time you come around as some generic reincarnation in some new B-grade game, maybe you'll get a fair chance to prove your worth and not let that falling leaf send you away screaming.


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Last updated: Saturday, July 23, 2005 07:04 AM