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Old 11-04-2004, 11:51 PM   #2
Joe Redifer
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 20,149
Space Harrier
Sega 32X

When I bought this box, I naturally assumed that a
32X version of Space Harrier would be inside. I was right!

Back in the day when Space Harrier arrived for the Sega 32X at my local WaldenSoftware store, I was MAJORLY excited. Never before had I played a version that was so close to the arcade. I didn't care what the game cost, I handed over a large sum of cash, accepted the change and headed for home. I still don't remember what the total was. Oh well. I played the game and was in gaming heaven. This made the purchase of the 32X completely worthwhile for me... until the Saturn Sega Ages version came out anyway.

Story: 3/10
The story is about a dude who flies through the air to save the land of dragons. There has never been a better story written in the history of all mankind. OK yes, it is lame. But who cares?

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics are very colorful, exactly like the arcade except for a very slight loss of resolution due to the mandatory use of the composite video cable. I know of no one who plays their 32X in RGB or S-Video. The screen area is also slightly smaller than the arcade and Saturn versions and is letterboxed, but this does not detract from gameplay. The scaling is all there and I have not seen much, if any flicker. Lots of stuff on the screen and the inhabitants of this world are very well drawn. The Genesis is responsible for ONLY the backgrounds (multiple scrolling layers of mountains, etc. but NOT the smooth colors behind these layers), the ranking score text, the start/option text, and the option screen text. The 32X itself handles the rest of the graphics. This can be proved by wiring the Genesis directly to the TV via the composite cable instead of routing the video through the 32X first. Usually the 32X is barely used at all in most games.

Yes, the game is letterboxed. It helps the 32X
run the game a bit smoother, but still not 100% perfect.

Sound: 10/10
100% exactly like the arcade. All of the voices from the arcade are here. Normally people like to pick on the sound capabilities of the Genesis, but with the right amount of memory it can sound very good. All of the voices sound real, not like scratchy digitizations the Genesis is known for. I don't know if the 32X had a part in this or if it is the Genesis doing all of the work, but it sounds great! Of course, the voice used in Space Harrier II sounded completely real as well, and that was only a 4 Meg Genesis cart (this version is 24 Megs). The music is some of my favorite ever used in a game, but that's because it was some of the first videogame music I was ever exposed to. It basically has one long track with various sections. As the stages advance, the track begins from a different segment. There are a few different boss tunes as well as a bonus stage tune that is catchy.

Gameplay: 8/10
Fly around and shoot stuff! There is very little strategy required... all arcade skill! Not everything can be destroyed, however. And some things can only be injured when they open up or are in a certain position. When fighting the bosses, some of them will fly away if you don't beat them fast enough. But most of the bosses are especially designed for each stage, and they will stick around until you beat them. Unfortunately there is some slowdown that occurs quite often when the screen fills up. I had to deduct some points for this. The Saturn version eliminated this slowdown. Overall it is a fun game and I play it again and again, and I'm sure I will for years to come.

Wrap up:
Space Harrier for the 32X is a hit! If you have a 32X I highly recommend it. The Saturn version is slightly better, but you can't go wrong here. You don't get to play as a spaceship like in the Master System version, nor is there a final boss and extra music like the Master System version, but it still is a great arcade game!

Last edited by Joe Redifer; 11-24-2004 at 04:42 PM.
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