Review - Starblade

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T2KFreeker
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Review - Starblade

Post by T2KFreeker » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:32 am

Well, I can say that it has been quite a while since I played this game on the 3DO, and now that I have gotten it again, thanx' Trev, it is time to dust off the keyboard, clear the cobwebs off of the top of my head, and do the review for the game that was Starblade.
Getting into the meat of things here, this game is simply brilliant. I remember playing an old sit down version of this in the arcade when I lived over in Hawaii and totally loving it and what it did. Starblade at the heart of things is a FMV game where you let the game "Fly" for you and you just shoot whatever enemies you can on screen. Sound easy? Think again, the game can be very brutal, especially in the arae occasion that you have never played it before.
One of the first things that you will notice are the exceptionally clean graphics. Man, they are awesome, and double so if you play the 3DO enhanced version to boot! (Eat that Playstation!) The entire games backgrounds have been completely redone on the 3DO enhanced version to take advantage of the 3DO's hardware. For all of the idiots out there that really have tried to say that the 3DO cannot do nicely textured polygons, they really need to see this game so that they will shut the Hell up! I mean, I remember thinking that the arcade version of this game was amazing back in the day, but when I finally was able to check out the redone 3DO visuals, I was blown away. To boot, the game has aged rather well as it still is nice and pleasing to the eyes.
Okay, basically, you are the gunner of Geo Sword, a ship that has to take down an evil armada of aliens that are trying to destroy the human race. Okay, so the stiry line isn't the most original, but when you look at the visuals that come along with the story, you have to love it. When you reach Octopus, you will see some really awesome stuff going on, and alot of it was said tyo not be able to be done on the 3DO to boot.
Soundwise, the game is nice. Nothing really super amazing here, but it does it's job well. Explosions rumble very well, laser blasts come out of the speakers quite clean, and the "Ting" sound when you are hitting stuff you are supposed to shoot is nice too so that you know where you are supposed to be aiming.
The controls, again are pretty straight forward. The only thing I can gripe about, and it is really a minute fact to bring up, is that you can't invert the controls in the game. Give me that option and it would be perfect.
Now, onto the small bad points of the game, and yes, there are a few to point out. The thing I wish that they could have done here, especially since they went through the work of retexturing the entire game, would have been to add a couple of missions to the 3DO mode of the game. This is Starblades biggest drawback that it is an arcade game that was meant to eat quarters and is really not the longest game ever. You can beat the game in about half an hour. The other thing is that some people will be turned off at the fact that the game is on rails and goes where it goes and you just shoot. Mind you, there were a couple more games like this for the 2DO, and they too were good, but again, some people just aren't into this kind of thing, I myself, am.
So, given the plusses and minuses of the game, Starblade is a fun good time for a good half hour or so, plus factor in that the game isn't the rarest in the world, and you can see where this is good. If anything, it is a great tech demo that shows what could have been with the future of the 3DO system, had it survived just a little longer. I recommend it, fun play.

Pluses:
Awesome 3DO original mode.
Nice controls
Perfect arcade translation
Better than PSX version! :twisted:

Minuses:
Too Short
No Inversion option for controls

Graphics: 10
Sound: 8
Controls: 9
Fun Factor: 10
Replay: 7
This is a stick up! Put all of your 3DO games in the bag and nobody gets hurt!

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Trev
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Post by Trev » Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:00 pm

It really is a shame that Namco didn't throw more support behind the 3DO platform. Just imagine what else they could have done ... (ahh, to dream)

I love this game, and the fact that it is on rails is not a bad thing in my book either. FMV shooters that allow you to move the craft yourself often result in poor control (ex -smaking the scenery in Microcosm) I agree, it would have been nice if some new or extended missions were added (many arcade translations suffer length issue when being ported to a home console) I thought the challenge was, for the most part, spot on. I don't usually have trouble until the very end of the game.

Enjoyed reading your review (P.S. Didn't the Psx version 'StarBlade Alpha' also have the option to play the two graphic modes?)

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zetastrike
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Re: Review - Starblade

Post by zetastrike » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:59 am

Necrobump

Is there any reason why Namco chose to use FMV for the game instead of realtime 3D? The flat shaded polys don't look like anything the 3DO couldn't handle. Even the textured ones don't look too taxing given that objects do the same thing every time you play the game.

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Martin III
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Re: Review - Starblade

Post by Martin III » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:03 am

zetastrike wrote:Is there any reason why Namco chose to use FMV for the game instead of realtime 3D? The flat shaded polys don't look like anything the 3DO couldn't handle. Even the textured ones don't look too taxing given that objects do the same thing every time you play the game.
Real time graphics don't offer any advantage when, as you say, objects do the same thing every time you play the game. FMVs always looks better than real time graphics because they're prerendered. I haven't played the game myself so I can't be more specific, but that's the gist of it.

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Barone
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Re: Review - Starblade

Post by Barone » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:57 am

zetastrike wrote:Necrobump

Is there any reason why Namco chose to use FMV for the game instead of realtime 3D? The flat shaded polys don't look like anything the 3DO couldn't handle. Even the textured ones don't look too taxing given that objects do the same thing every time you play the game.
The main reason is probably cost.
By pre-rendering it and making it an FMV was quicker and cheaper than porting the original code, which ran on several processors.
On top of that, porting to other systems, like the PS1, was fairly easy in the FMV form. As cheap as it gets.

But I might say the 3DO version has FAR better video quality than the PS1's. BITD several magazines mistaken the 3DO version by a real-time polygonal game rather than a FMV rendition. It's very hard to notice artifacts in the 3DO version.
OTOH, the PS1's is a bloody mess in such aspect.

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