sábado, 20 de dezembro de 2014

WolfChild [1992, Amiga / SNES] Review - It's a Pixel THING

The year was 1992 when Core Design released another awesome title.
This time around, the Atari ST was the chosen platform to develop another outstanding piece of software, but it’s on the Amiga that this title really shines. I even consider it to be an hidden gem, ‘cause every time I talk to my friends about it, no one really knows it.

For the ones that never played WolfChild, well, you should!

The game was created by Simon Phipps, the designer of Rick Dangerous and best known for providing that hilarious scream of death (SCREAM)! The audio department was in the good hands of Martin Iveson, renowned artist of the original Tomb Raider musical score.

As said before, WolfChild was originally released for the Atari ST and the Amiga, and, later, ported to every single Sega machine: the MasterSystem, Game Gear, Megadrive/Genesis, Sega CD and, also, for the Super Nintendo being, this last one, the only console version that you should play, mainly for its amazing parallax scrolling graphics and great music.

Obviously inspired from comic book art, which Simon Phipps’ is a huge fan, the characters’ animations, sprites and colorful background graphics are simply amazing.

The game features a pretty nice intro, where we get to know the reasons that made Europe’s vocalist, Joey Tempest, to submit himself to a biotechnological experiment that his father was working on before being kidnapped. The experiment gives our hero the ability to transform him into a wolf- human hybrid that has special attack techniques that may defeat the Chimera organization.

The scientist’s research was the main objective of the Chimera organization that aims to rule the world with their own breed of hybrid beings. But Joey Tempest is in the move and on its “FINAL COUNTDOWN” to slay all of those nasty creatures and rescue his father!

The action takes place over five amazing and beautifully designed multi-directional levels. In the first one we’re on this massive spaceship hovering over the clouds and taking down some stubborn bird-like bad guys. As we progress, power up items are laying around just waiting to be picked up. These items will give us the ability to change into a sort of werewolf with some bad ass weaponry!

Second level is set in a Endor-style forest and we’re faced against a horde of lizard beasts and nasty carnivorous plants.
The third level is a sort of Aztec temple filled with insect warriors that we must kill in our way to Chimera’s laboratories.

Once there, we come across a mish-mash of half-finished mutants and failed experiments which burst forth from their own incubator containers. Amazing stuff!

Apart from the first level, that functions as an appetizer to warm up the player making us believe that we’re this great undefeatable beast, all the others are quite long and maze like filled with platforms and nasty enemies in which we’re invited to explore and search carefully for extra hidden pick-ups and bonuses, shortcuts and secret rooms that are scattered through this fabulous scenario just waiting for us to discover.

In the end of each one there’s a nicely drawn boss that, in the Super Nintendo version, has pretty nice new and fancy animations when they appear on screen. So, to progress into the next level, we just need to hit them a several number of times in order for them to explode.

The sheer speed at which things happen force us to keep moving, making WolfChild a super-fast-paced game.

Technically superb, with its awesome atmospheric graphics, lightning effects and smooth scrolling, WolfChild is highly recommended to all fans of shoot’em-up platforming action.

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