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Old 12-07-2004, 09:18 PM   #189
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,144
Soul Star
Sega CD

The only version of Soul Star.
Can you believe that Core was working
on a 32X and Jaguar CD version?

Core, creators of Tomb Raider as well as something else, was one of the few developers who took actual advantage of the Sega CD. With it they were able to do games that Nintendon't. Soul Star was one such game. It was eagerly awaited as the screenshots looked fabulous and promised lots of scaling and rotation and furious gameplay! There was just one problem... it was programmed by British people. Their idea of "arcade action" was quite tame compared to the non-stop madness we were used to from Japan. But they were trying, and they did pull off a few cool things in this game. A high replayability factor was NOT one of those things, unfortunately.

Fly forward and destroy everything.
Wouldn't it be easier just to nuke the place?

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics were pretty sweet overall. Aside from the color, there is nothing in this game that the SNES could surpass or even duplicate. Many scaling and rotating screens and sprites here, as well as excellent (for the Sega CD) use of color. The whole game runs kind of slow, so they may be taxing things a bit. There is even a stage where you run around a cavern and it even has walls. It looked like it could be a 16-bit version of Doom in a very wide open area. Sometimes though there are so many scaling graphics onscreen at any given time that things in the distance become a bit grainy and difficult to decipher. Speaking of rgainy this game also has some full motion cutscenes that look pretty bad. It looks as if 16 or 32 colors was their limit. It's all CGI, no real live video. Overall quite an impressive game to look at.

Inside the ship you have complete freedom.
Unfortunately you don't have complete fun.

Sound: 7/10
The sound effects are pretty pathetic here, but at least the game has a good musical score. It sounds kind of orchestral-ish. It also sounds like it has a lot of fake reverb and that lends itself to a sort of "canned" feeling. But it's worth listening to and adds an epic feel to many stages. The only voice in the game is a British lady telling you that you have to do a million things for each stage. Her accent is cool. She sounds like that one ancient chick who played "Q" in some of the recent James Bond movies. I dunno. She sounds old and British, but cool.

Loooook!!! You fly forward towards the
ship through the asteroid field until... get close enough to blow open the
doors, fly inside and borrow some salt!

Gameplay: 6/10
The game tries to incorporate many different styles of play instead of just focusing on one area and doing it as good as possible. First you have the standard shooter where you fly into the screen similar to Space Harrier, though the feeling of movement seems loose and kind of slow. Entire planets will approach you from being not much more than a speck in the distance. Then you can morph into some sort of hover-ship nonsense. In this mode you can fly freely in any direction around the stage in sort of a search-and-destroy type mission. You fight the first boss like this, and it can be maddening. First you have to activate the boss by approaching it. Then it constantly sucks you towards it and there is nothing you can do about it. Once you destroy the boss you still have tons of enemies shooting at you. At this point in the game is where you select your difficulty: Easy, Medium, or Hard. You fly over to the launch pads of your difficulty of choice, destroy rotating orbs circling around some stupid thing, then do it again on the other side of the same launch pad, then fly to the launch area of the launch pad, and the game continues. Maddening! Did I mention the controls are horrible in this mode? Then there is the mode where you run around on the ground similar to any standard mech game. It is also a search and destroy type mission. Controls are slightly better since you don't have to worry about flying (though you can hover to go faster). Explore a giant area and destroy things on poles for whatever reason. Exciting? No, it's British. Cool? Yeah, kinda. The game is quite difficult, as it's pretty easy to get hit by enemy fire in any of the game modes. There aren't too many addictive qualities about this game, though.

Ya gotta admit that this is pretty impressive for
a 16-bit system. Many, many layers of scaling here,
all full screen.

Wrap up:
A good game to show off your Sega CD, but make your friends play it so they won't laugh at how much you suck at this game. And you will definitely suck at it!
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