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 Run Saber (SNES, Coop Combat Platformer)

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PostSubject: Run Saber (SNES, Coop Combat Platformer)   Run Saber (SNES, Coop Combat Platformer) Icon_minitime1Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:28 pm

Quick summary:
Run Saber is a SNES scrolling platformer in which you cooperatively fight against lots of enemies as up to two players.
Think of Contra3/Probotector but with a healthbar and melee weapons as well as a variety of moves.

NOTE: I will not give an overall score because everyone is looking for different qualities in games.

Story / Feel:
From the game itself, not much of the plot is revealed. A short intro without text is basically all you get.
The setting is rather generic: two specially developed androids(?) fight to save the planet, mostly against a variety of strange monsters.
The only plot development I was able to make out is a reoccuring enemy that seems to be a 3rd android(?) that went rogue. There is no dialogue though, so this is speculation.
The levels you will visit have rather versatile settings, same goes for enemy design (won't spoiler you anything). Several of the bosses are rather memorable, a few turned out a bit silly though.
The sound effects are not that great, but there are voice-effects every now and then (i like those but that's a matter of taste i guess). The music is not very memorable either. It ranges mostly from action-encouraging to relaxing.
Overall, the game often lacks atmosphere in my oppinion. Several implemented ideas can be quite refreshing when playing it for the first time though.

Score: 3/10

Gameplay / Controls:
You have several lifes and continues, each life has 3 health unless you collect more (the maximum is quite high). the amount of items is rather generous.
The difficulty is adjustable and overall more easy than hard (from my perspective) once you got the hang of the controls. still, it provides enough of a challenge on hard mode so i think they did a good job balancing the game (aside from those special-move-bombs as explained below).
Many common enemies die with a single hit, but there are several exceptions and mini-bosses.

The controls might take a bit to get used to, but there is a good reason for that: you have a wide variety of moves at your disposal which ensures that combat itself will not turn monotone throughout the game. You could stick to the basics (climbing is sometimes mandatory though) or attempt to master the other moves as they can be quite handy depending on the situation. Here is what you can do:
Attack with your (light) saber: the attack depends on the character you chose. Either way it can be upgraded once (the upgrade is lost whenever you die).
Climb: most walls (and ceilings!) can be grabbed. You will be able to move around (even switching from ceiling to walls seamlessly) but your moves are limited to attacking with your saber. This is probably the most disorienting feature for most players. However, an arrow will guide you through the levels which make good and rather frequent use of this element.
Jump: as with many platformers, you can jump rather high. Some moves only work in mid-air.
Screw-Attack: press up while ascending to hit everything you touch (if the enemy doesn't die by this, you will get hurt unless you only touched him with the special effect surrounding your character and not directly with the characters body itself; this move also stops your jump from ascending any higher)
Jump-kick: press down while falling to empower your foot. If you hit an enemy while this is active, you will bounce off quite a distance. It is possible to stay in the air for quite a while when fighting more durable opponents.
Sliding: press L or R to slide. this move starts quick (good for evasion) and slows down (leaving you a bit vulnerable at the end). You hit everything you slide into, making it an excellent move against a group of one-hit enemies. If the enemy survives, you will get hurt but keep on sliding.
"Special Move": depending on the character, you will summon a crystal nova or some sort of energy dragon effectively hitting everything on screen, even bosses which are invincible due to hit-recovery. these "bombs" are frequently found throughout the game and the amount resets to a certain value whenever you lose a life (kind of like contra). they are way too powerful in my oppinion (especially against bosses).
To sum it up: the controls can be a bit frustrating at the beginning (the pace of the game is quite fast so you dont have that much time to think and react) but once you master those techniques, you might feel like a stylish ninja. What a Face 

Score: 8/10

The game is quite fun in multiplayer. However, a newbie player will die much more often and it is very difficult (though not impossible) to help each other out. There are some other minor issues with it too, e.g. you can get in trouble if your ally kills an enemy you wanted to bounce off from, but that is just a matter of teamwork in the end. The fact that the characters have slightly different saber attacks (the man has more range, the woman covers a larger area directly in fron of her) can encourage you to think a bit tactically.
A strange flaw is that extra-lifes spawn twice (next to each other) in multiplayer. If you pick up the one showing the character of the other player, his extra life is lost and you don't gain anything from it either!
One major issue COULD have been the level design which stretches in all directions instead of just on the x-axis. They found a decent solution for this: unless it is a deadly pit (don't worry: those are not that frequent), the character who left the screen on the bottom will jump back in regardless wether there is actually anything outside of the screen to jump off from or not.

Score: 7/10

Replayability / Secrets:
If all you care about is some instant-action coop, this game is almost always good choice every once in a while. I'd not play it two times in a row though: although the gameplay is fun, it does not really change over the course of the levels and there is very little freedom for customization and no random factors. You can at least improve your personal player skill.
I didn't find any particular secrets after playing through the game several times (i think the ending is a bit different depending on difficulty but i cannot remember for sure right now). The only thing i was able to find is that you can change your appeareance (hair and clothing color) by pausing the game and pressing select to cycle through the skins.

Score: 4/10
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PostSubject: Re: Run Saber (SNES, Coop Combat Platformer)   Run Saber (SNES, Coop Combat Platformer) Icon_minitime1Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:14 pm

great review. I laughed at the screw attack comment.

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