Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Retro Saga part 8: Top Hunter





When you think of the company SNK, what do you think of? Metal Slug? King of Fighters? Samurai Shodwon? What about Top Hunter? In the SNK universe I feel like this game was highly overlooked, and I feel like I need to do a review and talk about this game.

The story is about two people, Roddy and Cathy, who are the galaxy’s top bounty hunters. Their latest job is to take down a colony of pirates who have taken four planets under their grasp, and it is up to Roddy and Cathy to stop these pirates and save the galaxy. While the story is interesting, it just isn’t that original. It’s kind of hard to come up with an original story for a bounty hunter that hasn’t been dragged in the ground. However, you don’t play this for the story.

The game play is in the form of a side-scrolling beat ‘em up, with some plat-forming elements thrown into the mix. You can either control Roddy or Cathy. Roddy’s main form of attack is punching and stretching his arms like Stretch Armstrong for a long-range punch or to grab opponents. Cathy can also use a chain-like punch, since she can’t stretch her arms like Roddy. You can also pick up guns and get into mech suits that are dropped by opponents. A cool little innovation is that you can go into the background and then jump back into the foreground. In a way, it’s like Wario Land for the Virtual Boy.

Graphically, SNK did another great job making this game look amazing. The whole style of the game looks like something from their other creation, Metal Slug or from Konami’s Mystical Ninja series. Everyone has a very cartoonish look on his or her face, and the grunts of the game are like super deformed anime-style characters. I also enjoy the look of the bosses in the game. They still look like something from Metal Slug or Mystical Ninja or even Rising Zan, The Samurai Gunman. The music is also very impressive with a Japanese techno feeling.

However, there are some things I don’t like about this game, but hey, if this game were perfect, then multiple other people and me would be out of a job or hobby. The game itself is rather short, and anyone could beat it in about 45 minutes or so. The game is also a little bit too easy. I mean, there is a challenge, but since this is a game you can beat in one sitting, then I deserve a little more of a challenge. The game also gets a little bit repetitious. It kind of seems like you’re doing the same thing over and over again, and there isn’t that big of an enemy variety. There should be some screen clearing attack, since your mech suit can be destroyed and you can run out of ammo with the guns they drop.

Although there are some faults with this game, I think it’s a fun game. I would look this game up IF you have a Neo Geo and I REALLY emphasize on the “if” part since I don’t know anyone who has a Neo Geo. Your best luck is to get it with the SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1. Maybe, instead of focusing on King of Fighters, they can bring this game a couple sequels on a handheld or maybe on the virtual console or maybe in a Top Hunter collection.

This game gets a solid 7 out of 10

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