Review - Sailor Moon

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Trev
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Review - Sailor Moon

Post by Trev » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:27 pm

** This game was released exclusively in Japan **

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It’s kinda tough to review a licenced game when one doesn’t know much about the source subject (and his little desire to for that matter). Yet, in this case I don’t think it matters much. Ignoring the obvious that this is a rare import for a niche platform … it’s a 2d fighter! Viewing it strictly as such is plenty fair I think, considering that fighters storylines usually fall into one of the following categories …

1.)There is none (often preferable … see #3)
2.)It’s bare bones, just barely enough to justify the fighting
3.)They stink (often in tandem with #2.)

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. It’s also a disclaimer for any lover’s of the Sailor Moon universe expecting me to gush over it … not happening.

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The game seems a bit kiddish as far as fighters go (the “Pretty” Soldier in the title doesn’t help any). It’s rated E for everyone, it has an all girl cast, it’s loaded with cheery music, it’s menus are flanked by kittens, it makes extensive use of pastel colors, etc … :roll: Yet underneath this dressing is a solid fighter, if you’re willing to devote the time. Yes, it will take repeated plays to be proficient with the ladies of Sailor Moon, as the computer AI isn’t very forgiving. They are also occasionally cheap but there is nary a 2d fighter from the 90’s that wasn’t. If you have the manual, good for you. Usually these are pretty worthless outside of collectable values (unless you happen to read Japanese) but Sailor Moon bucks this trend (as import fighters often do) with arrow and button icons that are easy to discern. You’ll be happy it’s on hand when special moves are pulled off with ease.

Speaking of the special moves, some of them are insane! Wiping out half of the player’s energy bar doesn’t seem uncommon. :twisted: Even when you block, it zaps more energy than I expected. And yes, there are cheap ones to be sure (anything with the hair) It’s good for keeping people at a distance though, as are projectiles, and sliding kicks.

How does this game fare graphically? Well, If I’m honest, I’d have to say … a hair below my expectations. The girls are animated fine and all (some of the specials prompt quite amusing animation), but what is it with these laid-back stages? :? Most are vacant, with only the mall of much note (I love how the crane machine spits out toys) Though not nearly as bad as ‘Yu Yu’, Sailor Moons backgrounds take a minimalist approach. They also share the aforementioned washed out color scheme, although it isn’t as bad. Almost seems like a deliberate artistic choice perhaps … I dunno, I guess they grew on me in a way. I’m probably overly picky, but I was expecting a bit more.

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The option menu allows access to a database with background on the girls (all in Japanese sadly) and a sound test. The tracks are actually pretty good (catchy like most of the Japanese music I’ve heard in import games), and there are 29 in total, although some are quite short. Still, audio is not an area where I’ll level complaints at this game as it is done well. :)

My main issues with Sailor Moon, besides the licenced cast (I think all girls is weak for a fighting game) isn’t actually with the game itself. Rather, it is the 3DO. It plays host to both Street Fighter II and Samurai Shodown, arguably two of the best 2d fighters of the 90’s. Tough competition indeed! And, while they both have aged beautifully, Sailor Moon does not seem to have fared quite the same. It feels very much like a 2d fighter of the 90’s which, of course, it is. For whatever reason, I just don’t feel the need to revisit it as much. Maybe it’s because an import, I don’t know ... it probably does deserve more play time than I give it, as it is actually a solid fun game. I imagine this was fairly popular when it was first released.

I think maybe it’s because it lacks a hook. What do I mean by that? Well, what makes this game feel different? How does it stand out? SFII for instance has a truly varied cast of fighters. The characters really feel fleshed out. Sam Sho. stands unique by having weapon based combat. Primal Rage has prehistoric beasts, gore, and a unique graphical look to separate it from the crowd. Sailor Moon has … again, other than the all girl licenced cast, it feels like many other 90’s brawlers.

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Not the smallest fish by far, but not the smallest pond either. Still good to grab if you can get a hold of it.

-Trev
Last edited by Trev on Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by 3DOKid » Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:33 pm

Ban request.

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Trev
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Post by Trev » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:10 am

What?!? :? Why? I know you like this game too.

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Post by 3DO Experience » Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:04 am

I have this game, no case though. :( I didn't think it was too bad of a game but the video clips had some horrible compression artifacts.
"Wait. You don't have a bag of charcoal in your gaming room???"

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Post by phatrat1982 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:34 am

I am not afraid to admit it but I watched the cartoon when I was a kid, a kid not a teenager mind you, and I don't remember much about it other than (stop starring at me I have 3 sisters sue me) anyways what was I saying? Oh yeah I remember reading reviews for this game way back in the day and always thought it was sad they never released it here, or for Sega for that matter (back then all I had was my trusty Sega) but that is well besides the point.

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