Warrior Blade: Rastan Saga 3


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 7.5

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

Rastan is one of those classic gaming characters that never gets the respect he deserves. Here's a guy who must work out 8 hours a day so he can continue to fit into that loin cloth and maintain his physique, yet no seems to care. Sure, the Ax Battler guy from Golden Axe looks pretty buff, but Rastan must take on all kinds, especially in this second sequel to Taito's original classic. It's not quite a radical departure from the first two games, but it is miles ahead of the ever so sad Rastan Saga II.

Yes, this is now a standard beat-em-up, but there's a lot here to make fans of the series shed a tear when thinking of the hulking brutes first adventure. There's still some mild platforming segments, you'll still have to climb up/down metal chains (the animation here is exactly like it was in the first game), and rip apart countless beings with you mighty broadsword. Wait...what's this? The mighty Rastan has help? Yes, 2 other characters have been added to this exercise allowing for simultaneous play with a friend. Though they don't feature the massive sword, the whip and knives they carry are more than adequate.

Unlike previous entries, you now have the ability to choose your path through the game. The entire plot of the game revolves around finding magic treasures strewn throughout the land. Each of these give specific power-ups to the player, so you can make the game easier for yourself if you choose wisely. Each of the stages is varied enough to keep you interested and there are few exciting segments which involve dragons, a massive mountain slide, and another which has you battling the forces of evil on a raft. It's all fast paced and a blast to experience.

There's a lot of ideas strewn about in this game that never really seem to take off. Yes, just like in the previous two outings, weapons can be obtained, but their numbers are few and the upgrades are meager. A small segment late in the game in which you get a magician to lend you a hand and cast spells, thwarting enemy progress in a big way. It would've been great to see him back for more, or maybe even appear earlier in the game at least one more time. Regardless, each of the characters have enough of a move selection to carry themselves through the game which really isn't all that difficult.

For a game released in 1991, this game is, simply put, gorgeous. Each of the characters are heavy on detail and the animation remains adequate (though a few enemies are lacking in this area), especially on a few of the bosses. There's a fire-dragon-thingy late in the game that is mesmerizing to watch. The music suffers some, but not in quality. The orchestrated tracks are superbly composed, but there are far too few of them to be had. The game isn't even that long so there's really no reason for it.

Will we ever see Rastan again? The ending leaves it open (poor guy still hasn't become a king yet...depressing, ain't it?) for a sequel, but so far, fans have gotten nothing. In fact, I don't even believe this one ever came out here in the states! Why? I have no idea. It would've had no trouble holding it's own with the best. It's a great game, only lacking in a few minor areas that can easily be ignored. Rastan, we love ya big guy....really...but not in that way.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:36 PM