X-Kaliber 2097


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 5

Overall: 5


xkalibersnes1.bmp (171290 bytes)Average platform mechanics are installed perfectly in X-Kaliber 2097, and those are mixed with boss fights like standard tournament fighters. The mix is a fair, though it adds little to the intensity of the boss battles, and only brings down the rest of the game. It's a short, average ride that will capture some gamers with its slightly unique style, while the rest will move onto something better.

Immediately apparent are the detailed, bright, and beautifully shaded graphics, setting a bleak tone for the game. That sets up the generic dark storyline (told through anime inspired cinematics) that will carry the player through six stages of iffy level design, and too-similar end level skirmishes. It's fast paced enough, and the variety of moves is more than usually offered by games like it, but X-Kaliber tries too hard.

xkalibersnes2.bmp (171290 bytes)The developers have thought of everything, including a lavish techno soundtrack, nifty sword weapon, plentiful (and different) locales, and unique bosses that guard the way to the next stage. They're one of the problems, even though they all look different. Each battle is far too simple, and while higher difficulties will suck a player's life faster, it's always the same block/counter attack style of play (except the for the overwhelming power of the final boss).

Each individual stage before that is tolerable. There are definitely frustrating moments, especially on the construction site. That's designed like far too many in the 16-bit era, offering a variety of moving platforms, and being knocked off one could send you all the way to the bottom. Other levels are straight forward, flat, and mundane. There are just enough jumps to keep things from becoming a straight shot.

xkalibersnes3.bmp (171290 bytes)Controls are responsive, and it's easy to use all of the moves when needed. The two types of slashes offer enough to make the two-player combat a little intriguing, yet it's simplistic enough to write it off of any fighting game lists. It's a more of a diversion and something else to add on the box than it is a true, useful addition. Since the game is a meager six stages, you'll need something else to occupy your time, and that's all this title offers.

This is an easily forgotten title, and there are plenty of reasons for that. X-Kaliber tries, but with the various gimmicks (multi-player) and so-so mix of genres, it can't pull itself out of average-ness. A sequel would have been interesting, especially if combat deviated from simple slashing. That game however, was never made. That leaves X-Kaliber behind with its ridiculous title and "been there too may times to care" gameplay.


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