Review - Stellar 7: Draxon's Revenge

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Review - Stellar 7: Draxon's Revenge

Post by Trev » Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:32 pm

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No introduction needed ... this game is absolutely awful!

What little plot does exist is very 'run of the mill' sci-fi stuff. Unsurprisingly, there is only one hope for mankind. ("You must pilot the raven ...") Nothing even the slightest bit unique here. No surprise really.

There are not many missions included in this game, and what are included all feel the same. Very little in the way of variety. Not nearly enough weapons or enemies. With the exception of the change in background color, you might think that all the missions took place on the same planet! Very dull.

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Surprisingly, I thought the music was decent. Certainly not the "killer cd audio track" that the package boasts, but solid nonetheless. The sound effects are nothing to write home about though.

Despite the claims made ("Awesome 3D graphics in millions of colors!", "Cinematic film-quality animation sequences") I found the graphics in this game to be bland and fairly weak. I will cut it a little slack as it was a very early 3DO release, but just a little. Total Eclipse was also released around the same time, and it 'totally eclipses' Draxon in the graphics department. (I apologize for the awful pun, but this game is so poor I needed to lighten the review up with some lame attempt at humor :P )

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The only thing that did live up to the developer's promise was the "Light source shaded, texture-mapped polygons" While very dated looking today, at the time they looked quite solid, and offered a glimpse into the potential of the 3DO. The Briefing mode, which allows you to view and zoom in on the enemy vehicles is actually rather polished. Accompanied by music and an audio description, it gives the game much more hope than it should have.

At it's best, the most this game could have hoped for was to be a mild distraction until the second wave of 3DO titles hit the market. It could not even do that. It fails in most all aspects (including the most important one, fun.) But easily the biggest failure of this game is the challenge. You are given only 1 life, with no continues, and no save feature. Your life bar is not very large, and worse, it does not reset between missions! (fuel bays can replenish you, although I only counted two during the whole game) Not only was this decision beyond stupid on the part of the developers, but it was just plain lazy! A game should be challenging because of cleverly laid out levels and smart artificial intelligence. The levels in Draxon all look alike, and while the computer might be cheap, it is not very bright (bosses can be destroyed in just a few seconds) The ridiculous challenge that the developers tacked on only serves as a bandaid, attempting to cover these other failngs in hopes that they will be overlooked. When the development team openly admits in the manual that you will need a "...large measure of just plain luck" to progress through the game, you know that they have failed in their jobs.

Just to drive home this failure a bit more, I used a code to allow myself to finish the game. From start to finish it took 15 minutes! (half of which was spent struggling to shoot down flying enemies that were difficult to hit) Fifteen minutes ... absolutely pathetic! (and the 5 second ending...my goodness how lazy could the developers get?) This is obviously why they made it so difficult to progress ... so that players wouldn't discover just how little of a game this really is. When I think that some early 3DO adopters actually paid $50 or more for this title when it was first released... :evil: Dynamix should have been ashamed for putting such garbage on the market!

The only reason to maybe own this title is if you are a serious 3DO collector (and even then it is a big maybe) With crap like this early on, it is no wonder that 3DO stuggled to be taken seriously. One of the worst games for the 3DO, or any platform for that matter.

-Trev
Last edited by Trev on Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Mobius » Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:46 am

Ah, I love a good scathing review. It's strange, though, because I remember Dynamix being a very good developer, back in the day. At least, I liked several of their PC games.

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Post by Trev » Sat Feb 10, 2007 3:25 am

It was actually kinda fun to write a "scathing" review. Glad you enjoyed it. Thankfully I enjoy most 3DO titles, so hopefully reviews of this nature will be few.

As far as Dynamix goes, they did release the Incredible Machine for 3DO which was pretty fun. And Willy Beamish was/is still one of my favorite titles for the Sega cd. So maybe Draxon was just an awful fluke.

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Post by Mobius » Sat Feb 10, 2007 4:02 am

Willy Beamish and The Incredible Machine are the first two I thought of, then there are the Red Baron games, the Aces series, and even Space Quest V! They were a good developer, no doubt.

Apparently Stellar 7 is the first game they ever made and is a Battlezone clone that came out in 1982. It isn't listed on their Wikipedia page, but Draxon's Revenge must be a sequel. Maybe that explains the simplicity. (But really, it couldn't have killed them to make a game that lasts longer than 15 minutes!)

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Post by 3DOKid » Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:04 pm

Moaning and scathing is what I thrive on. Nice review - I think we are total harmony on this one. I utterly didn't care about it.

Is it one of the worst games? I don't know. You see, I have a Plan 9 from Outer Space moment and can almost (I said almost) forgive it on the grounds that is very kitch! It's such a cliche, in every department, it's almost cool...

...nahhhh it's rubbish.

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Post by Lemmi » Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:10 pm

Trev wrote:As far as Dynamix goes, they did release the Incredible Machine for 3DO which was pretty fun. And Willy Beamish was/is still one of my favorite titles for the Sega cd. .

ugh willy beamish gave me headaches and to this day i still havent beaten it, every now and then i would put it in, then 15 min later my head would start to hurt and i would have to lay down for awhile :D

i love the game but some of the clues are stupid, i would try and get the ninendo? what was the system in his room called? i just wanted to play the game on his TV instead :D
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Post by Mobius » Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:44 am

Lemmi wrote:
Trev wrote:i love the game but some of the clues are stupid, i would try and get the ninendo? what was the system in his room called? i just wanted to play the game on his TV instead :D
Nintari :)

And I beat that game back when I was like 11... What's wrong with you? ;)

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Post by T2KFreeker » Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:58 am

I actually kind of like Stellar 7 in a twisted satomasochistic kind of way. Not the worst game i have ever played for sure, DOOM on the 3DO was worse!
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Post by Lemmi » Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:02 am

Mobius wrote:
Lemmi wrote:
Trev wrote:i love the game but some of the clues are stupid, i would try and get the ninendo? what was the system in his room called? i just wanted to play the game on his TV instead :D
Nintari :)

And I beat that game back when I was like 11... What's wrong with you? ;)
hahah when i first played it (1997), it was the first time i =ve ever played a point and click thinking game :D
i did pretty good on Dragon Lore tho i got to the 3rd disc before i quit playing (i still have a saves on my 3do and its been 5 years since ive played it)

maybe it has to do with the kid element ;)
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Post by avanteproject » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:06 pm

I just ordered this game, like, an hour ago. lol The videos on youtube look pretty cool.
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Post by Trev » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:49 pm

Hope you didn't pay much :wink:

At any rate, it will help you to appreciate a good game like Immercenary even more.
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Post by avanteproject » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:49 am

Trev wrote:Hope you didn't pay much :wink:

At any rate, it will help you to appreciate a good game like Immercenary even more.
5 Pound including shipping from Japan so I thought it was a good deal. This isn't looking good though, 3 of the 4 games I've ordered for my 3do are supposedly a load of crap. :shock: :roll:
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Post by avanteproject » Sun May 02, 2010 5:47 pm

I've had the chance to play this now and yes, it is quite crappy. :wink:
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Post by stienreys » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:01 am

Not only does this decision was beyond stupid on the part of developers, but it was just lazy. A game must be difficult because of the continuing levels defined and intelligent artificial intelligence. The level of Draxon all look alike, and while the computer can be cheap, it is not very clear ..

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Post by Rust » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:17 am

A point about the quality of this game. I played it through from start to finish - on a frankenstein Tandy/286 hybrid computer. It was originally released in an era where anything 3D was pretty astounding, to the extent that the box it came in specifically boasted that the cover art was an actual screen shot.

Possibly not a great game to choose to port to 3D0, but once upon a time it was top notch.

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Post by 3DOKid » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:18 am

Rust wrote:A point about the quality of this game. I played it through from start to finish - on a frankenstein Tandy/286 hybrid computer. It was originally released in an era where anything 3D was pretty astounding, to the extent that the box it came in specifically boasted that the cover art was an actual screen shot.

Possibly not a great game to choose to port to 3D0, but once upon a time it was top notch.
When you look at some of the battlezone clones on iphone, stellar 7 could have been awesome on 3do. Look at tempest on the jag. It's a good game and very pretty. Neither of which are allocades you could offer stellar 7.

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Post by Rust » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:54 pm

I did play a demo for this port, and the one thing that really struck me was that it played at about 3x-4x the normal speed. I admit, that's not a sign of a well-managed project when you miss that the game needs to be throttled.

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Post by FrumpleOrz » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:39 pm

Huh. I must be the only person who likes this game, eh? I dunno, I actually like how simple it is. Turn, shoot, turn, shoot, etc. I really liked that Battlezone remake that came out on XBLA a few years ago too and no one agrees with me on that one either.

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Post by Trev » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:55 pm

FrumpleOrz wrote:Huh. I must be the only person who likes this game, eh? I dunno, I actually like how simple it is. Turn, shoot, turn, shoot, etc. I really liked that Battlezone remake that came out on XBLA a few years ago too and no one agrees with me on that one either.
I might not have minded it so much, but w/only one life I found it impossible to enjoy. I've no doubt the challenge was made so extreme to mask the very short length of the game.
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Post by FrumpleOrz » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:40 pm

I might not have minded it so much, but w/only one life I found it impossible to enjoy. I've no doubt the challenge was made so extreme to mask the very short length of the game.
I can understand that. I get a kick out of how freaking hard it is though. It's one of those games where I feel like I can do better each time I play it. I've only been playing it on the hardest difficulty too and I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to stuff like this.

I guess this is my Cyberdillo, eh?

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Post by Trev » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:17 pm

FrumpleOrz wrote:
I might not have minded it so much, but w/only one life I found it impossible to enjoy. I've no doubt the challenge was made so extreme to mask the very short length of the game.
I can understand that. I get a kick out of how freaking hard it is though. It's one of those games where I feel like I can do better each time I play it. I've only been playing it on the hardest difficulty too and I'm a glutton for punishment when it comes to stuff like this.

I guess this is my Cyberdillo, eh?
:lol:
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Post by Austin » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:23 am

Is this basically like the Sega CD "Stellar Assault" game?

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Post by Trev » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:21 pm

Austin wrote:Is this basically like the Sega CD "Stellar Assault" game?
I think so. I own both ... It may not be the exact same story, but the gameplay is pretty much identical in my opinion (to be fair, I haven't played the Scd game very much) At least the 3DO one has more colors,
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Post by Austin » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:12 pm

OK, that's what I thought. When I busted out my Sega CD again about a month ago, Stellar Assault was one of the cheep games I bought.

The visuals are impressive at times, considering the hardware, but I have no idea what to do in the game. I read the instructions and I thought, "oh, that makes sense", but putting what they say into actual practice seems impossible. I just couldn't seem to progress at all. The action, visuals and sounds seem fine. It's just that it's too difficult to figure out what the hell you are supposed to be doing.

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Post by FrumpleOrz » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:22 am

The visuals are impressive at times, considering the hardware, but I have no idea what to do in the game. I read the instructions and I thought, "oh, that makes sense", but putting what they say into actual practice seems impossible. I just couldn't seem to progress at all. The action, visuals and sounds seem fine. It's just that it's too difficult to figure out what the hell you are supposed to be doing.
All you do is shoot anything that moves. I remember having that one on Sega CD as a kid and I was overthinking it too. If it moves, kill it. That's the key!

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Post by Austin » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:06 am

Yeah, but you are supposed to collect certain pickups or something. It's weird how it worked. Did you actually manage to make it anywhere in the game?

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Post by Trev » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:26 am

Austin wrote:Yeah, but you are supposed to collect certain pickups or something. It's weird how it worked. Did you actually manage to make it anywhere in the game?
I beat the first level and, um, that might have been it actually. :P
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Post by FrumpleOrz » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:41 am

Austin wrote:Yeah, but you are supposed to collect certain pickups or something. It's weird how it worked. Did you actually manage to make it anywhere in the game?
Hmm.. I might actually be mistaken then. I had the Sega CD one when I was like... 12 or 13. I don't think I've played it since then either, on account of my Sega CD add-on breaking. I don't remember doing anything other than shooting thing but I wasn't a very bright child and I had the attention span of a gnat, so maybe I was playing wrong?

I just found this bit on a YouTube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlEeCv2ECgI
The game is extremely repetitive. You grab moon crystals pointed out on your radar which are hidden in seemingly endless stretches of nothing while zapping enemies with power-ups that don't add much to the experience (other than "Fat Boys", the mighty bomb). After flying around for crystals for five-to-ten minutes, all the enemies vanish and you face a big, polygonal boss. The bosses are interesting enough, but I don't think it's worth putting up with each boring level just to face themThe game is extremely repetitive. You grab moon crystals pointed out on your radar which are hidden in seemingly endless stretches of nothing while zapping enemies with power-ups that don't add much to the experience (other than "Fat Boys", the mighty bomb). After flying around for crystals for five-to-ten minutes, all the enemies vanish and you face a big, polygonal boss. The bosses are interesting enough, but I don't think it's worth putting up with each boring level just to face them
So I was wrong. Foiled again by you meddling kids!

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Post by Austin » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:02 am

Hey, we all have faulty memories, shielded by rose-tinted glasses. :)

That's actually one reason why I like revisiting these games, because sometimes my memories don't seem to hold up (sometimes for better, sometimes for worse!).

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