Run Saber


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 5

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 6

Overall: 6


runsabersnes.bmp (171290 bytes)If it weren't for the 2-player aspect, Run Saber would fall into the generic action platform genre and never rise above average. However, anyone who has played it will tell you what a difference the multi-player mode makes, and Atlus deserves some credit for it. It's a rare genre to see co-op in, which adds to its charm.

This is an obvious Strider knock-off. The stages are designed much like the classic action title from Capcom, with numerous angular sections that rarely stay on a flat path. Players can grasp onto just about every ceiling and wall, adding to an otherwise absent defensive/evade mechanic. Their sword is a powerful weapon, and can be powered up once.

The sprites are small, not particularly colorful, and detail is lacking. Oddly, it works to the game's advantage. Whereas Strider offered a huge player sprite to work with, Run Saber allows for plenty of movement, to avoid any attack. That's a necessity in a game where you're sometimes overwhelmed with firepower. It also makes the game too easy.

runsabersnes2.bmp (171290 bytes)Using a continue drops a player right at the spot they died, which cuts down on the repetition of repeating levels, but cuts the life span short. You'll be tearing through this one in a matter of a few days, if not hours. Multi-player makes the game harder and easier, as someone takes the lead too quickly, preventing the game from scrolling and likely leading to a frustrating death.

That's just something you need to accept, because during the countless number of mini and end level bosses, you'll appreciate the help. They use plenty of graphical tricks (the first is fought on a rotating jet) to disorient the player, and an extra set of eyes adds a lot. The final boss, taking up the entire screen, is a major task for a single player. With two hacking away side-by-side, it's a more enjoyable experience as strategy is formed.

The games major issue is, that beyond a few choice encounters, Run Saber doesn't offer much in the way of remembrance. The music is decent, level design about perfect (plenty of room to explore), graphics average, and the simple slashing/jumping gameplay is easily forgotten in a sea of games like this. If you have someone willing to play through an overly average title, it becomes something you'll remember, but only then.


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Last updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2005 04:53 PM