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Review - Strahl

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:00 pm
by Trev
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Strahl never seems to get mentioned in the same breath as the classics Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace (or even other 3DO offerings like Braindead 13 or Kingdom come to think of it :? ) Yet I feel it’s a pretty good showing in a genre that, admittedly, is limited in what it can do. These interactive cartoon movie games may seem like relics today, but I sorta have a soft spot for them, and Strahl is no exception.


Lets face it, games like these are only as good as their visuals. Strahl has plenty of eye candy, and its anime style graphics and art are great! :D

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Sadly, they are hindered by appearing washed out (think an old vhs tape that’s been played over and over) 3DO is capable of better (see BD13) so it’s a shame that Strahl never reaches its full potential on the console. :(

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The music & sound effects compliment the game pretty well, and the tracks always seem to fit the action taking place. While I enjoyed the games sounds, I must say that the music never made a lasting impression. While it certainly did grow on me, its almost a bit too generic sounding. Typical anime (and rpg) music that, while plenty good, never stuck with me. It doesn’t help that parts of the game aren’t scored, and others seem to quiet. Nevertheless this is a tiny point, and I bet most will enjoy the good sounds that Strahl serves up, and they are good.


Like all games in this genre, the controls are obviously limited. In this case, Stahl's makers decided to display the directions on screen. This eliminates potential frustration of playing the same scenes repeatedly, and leaves you to your reflexes. While I don’t mind this (I’d just assume watch the animation) I feel not giving a choice was a mistake. This could be a turn off for players who seek more of a challenge (Strahl is really quite easy) and it also hurts replay.


Strahl is a very short game that won’t take you more than 1/2 an hour or so to play it through to completion. Replay is based on how badly you want to see Strahl's numerous endings. Considering all I’ve seen with each ending is one static screen (and considering I can’t understand it as my copy is an import :lol: ) I’ve never been too motivated to play very many in a row.


If you enjoy these types of games for what they are, or if you enjoy anime (or even better both! :wink: ) you’ll get a kick out of Strahl. While it could've used more care, it's action packed while it lasts, and you'll be digging the sweet visuals the whole time. :)

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-Trev

Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:29 am
by Austin
I vaguely remember this one being pretty good for what it was. Much more beginner-friendly than Dragon's Lair, that's for sure. Are there difficulty options in this one? I believe there are in Revenge of the Ninja (Sega CD), which can add to the replay value asides from multiple endings.

Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:07 am
by Trev
Austin wrote: Are there difficulty options in this one? I believe there are in Revenge of the Ninja (Sega CD), which can add to the replay value asides from multiple endings.
No difficulty options that I've seen although, to be fair, I only own an import copy. Still, I don't think they are there ... no menu really, it just goes from intro to stage select.

Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:51 am
by Trev
Just checking, and Triad Stone has difficulty options ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmjNkRx2P1w

(Btw, whoever recorded this is a dreadful player ... after 5 mins I couldn't take it anymore ... they should've selected easy)

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:06 am
by Martin III
Trev wrote: (Btw, whoever recorded this is a dreadful player ... after 5 mins I couldn't take it anymore ... they should've selected easy)
It gets much better at 7:30.

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:27 am
by Trev
Martin III wrote:
Trev wrote: (Btw, whoever recorded this is a dreadful player ... after 5 mins I couldn't take it anymore ... they should've selected easy)
It gets much better at 7:30.
I don't remember the escape scene at the end of that level ... I wonder if they did more edits to the 3DO version ...

I like the cleaner visuals, but the sfx when you hit a button I don't care for. Also, the announcer/commentator shouting power all the time, whats up with that? :lol:

Posted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:40 pm
by Trev
Like I did w/the handful of Jag reviews I've posted, I decided to start slowly updating my 3DO reviews w/screenshots. Let me know what you think. Thanks to 3DOKid for allowing me to use screenshots from his blog to do this. :)

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:20 pm
by Martin III
Forgot to mention: Thanks for the informative review! This is one game I'd been flip-flopping on whether to get or not. (Truth be told, I'm still flip-flopping. :) )

Any thoughts on whether it's worth shilling out the extra dollars for the English release, or if you're just as well off referring to the YouTube longplay for understanding the dialogue?

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:08 am
by Trev
Martin III wrote:Forgot to mention: Thanks for the informative review! This is one game I'd been flip-flopping on whether to get or not. (Truth be told, I'm still flip-flopping. :) )

Any thoughts on whether it's worth shilling out the extra dollars for the English release, or if you're just as well off referring to the YouTube longplay for understanding the dialogue?
Glad you enjoyed the review. As for paying extra for an English version ... I guess it would depend how much the difference in price was. For me, I haven't really missed not knowing what little story there seems to be (the endings really are very short) I think the game gets by on it's visual presentation and it's simple, but classic, gameplay. For this genere I'd just go for the cheaper import version, unless it was only a few bucks difference. I'm not even sure what the asking price is for this one at the moment ...?

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:28 am
by 3DO Experience
US in jewel case goes for about $30 give or take (you know how 3DO games fluctuate), a longbox in decent condition generally sells at about $60-$80.

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:24 pm
by Martin III
3DO Experience wrote:US in jewel case goes for about $30 give or take (you know how 3DO games fluctuate), a longbox in decent condition generally sells at about $60-$80.
Thanks for the info! I was lucky enough to stumble on a USA copy in jewel case w/manual for $20, so I nabbed it, figuring I'd probably only save $10 at most for a Japanese version.

By the way, in regard to difficulty settings... I haven't popped the game in yet, but the manual says nothing about different difficulty modes.

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:01 pm
by Trev
Martin III wrote: By the way, in regard to difficulty settings... I haven't popped the game in yet, but the manual says nothing about different difficulty modes.
Yeah, the 3DO version doesn't seem to have any options for setting the difficulty. Not sure why they removed them for re-release, as the original (Triad Stone) did have them. Sigh ...

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:34 pm
by Martin III
Trev wrote:
Martin III wrote:By the way, in regard to difficulty settings... I haven't popped the game in yet, but the manual says nothing about different difficulty modes.
Yeah, the 3DO version doesn't seem to have any options for setting the difficulty. Not sure why they removed them for re-release, as the original (Triad Stone) did have them. Sigh ...
To make it even more perplexing, I just checked out a brief video of the Saturn version, and it has difficulty options as well! It's only the 3DO version which left them out.

Incidentally, the narrator in the English version is hilariously bad. One of those actors who sounds like he doesn't actually speak English and just memorized how to pronounce all the words in the script. The guy who voices the old man isn't bad, though.

Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:30 pm
by Trev
That's good to know about the Saturn version. I guess that would be the better version, due to an increase in replayability. I wish all games gave you the option to tweak the challenge. It's dissapointing when a game is too easy (or too hard)

Re: Review - Strahl

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 9:19 pm
by Julz
I got my hands on a mint copy this year and I had a lot of fun with it. I like that the controls are displayed on screen. I wish Space Ace did that. I was _stumped_ after realizing I had beat the game in one sitting. Took me about 20 minutes.

But I ran through it 3-4 more times and it was just as fun. I wish they did something more with it, like mix in a life sim of sorts. The overall story is that you are bringing life back to a planet or something like that (think Terranigma or Soul Blazer) but that's only ever hinted at with cut scenes between levels informing you that "your people" now developped agriculture or some shit, but that has 0 incidence on the game.

Wouldn't it have been cool if this mixed genres like Act Raiser? It would certainly have added a lot of depth and charm to be able to somewhat interact directly with this world/civilization you are saving in some way. You could look back on the advancements made and who knows, unlock something for you character. But I'm just day dreaming here.

As it is Strahl is a fast an exciting QTE/Laserdisc type game which leaves me pumped everytime I play it.

Re: Review - Strahl

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:11 pm
by goldenband
Nice review! I keep meaning to sit down with Strahl and give it a good playthrough. How many different endings are there?

Re: Review - Strahl

Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:19 pm
by Julz
goldenband wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:11 pm
Nice review! I keep meaning to sit down with Strahl and give it a good playthrough. How many different endings are there?
There are 48, good sir. And they depend on which order you clear the stages in.

You also get different "cut scenes" telling you about your civilization's progress depending on stages you chose to complete.

Re: Review - Strahl

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:44 pm
by goldenband
Julz wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:19 pm
There are 48, good sir. And they depend on which order you clear the stages in.

You also get different "cut scenes" telling you about your civilization's progress depending on stages you chose to complete.
48?! :shock: Wow, that's intense. I don't know if I have it in me to replay even a short FMV game 48 times.

Re: Review - Strahl

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:47 am
by Martin III
Yeah, and the endings are all extremely short. Plus, if I remember correctly they're all simple variations on three main endings, but I could be wrong about that.

At any rate, it is the most fun QTE game I've played, not that I've played a ton of those. Was worth getting for me.