Thursday, 11 February 2016

Night Slashers (Arcade)


It's like killing monsters... Actually it's just killing monsters.


Data East has a history of hit and miss gaming. This one is more of a "skewed off to the side" kind of game. In the same vein as Final Fight, Mutation Nation, Violent Storm and other such brawlers, Night Slashers takes a sort of Van Helsing approach to gaming and pits three characters (The Heavy, All Rounder and Nimble Minx) against a medly of monsters from various franchises and source materials and you get to beat them up in a variety of fashions and ways.

How's it "uncanny" if he knows lots of martial arts?

You've your strong character, a mix of cybernetics and cheesy rock with a dash of California in there. Capable of picking up monsters and leaping around while using combos and attacks others can't. Your all rounder character that looks very synonymous to Van Hellsing while having a balance of combos and moves and then there's the token bonus nimble character that nobody really wants to pick as they can't take a hit as well as the others and has more moves than most people will bother to try and learn to be effective with them before having to select another character as they've just lost their last life... again. Night Slashers knows its cliches and falls into the same trap as almost every other similar game (Undercover Cops... Monster Maulers... Dynamite Cop 2... I'll stop there...)

...maybe

INTROOO!!! Actual fighting is not as fun/easy.

Plot wise for Night Slashers, you get various monsters roaming the world and these 3 people are going to fix it. By killing everyone and not looking for a cure. Zombies are roaming the streets, Doctors have gone mad, Frankenstein's Monster is stalking in the shadows, a pastiche of Dracula causes trouble, someone gets to punch out a helicopter, a Mummy fights using wrestling moves (not bad for an emaciated guy...girl...dead person), all because some demon is returning to this plane of existence and your characters need to kill it. (No spoils but if you've seen certain episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, you know what to expect. Yeah that episode with the possessed book that got scanned into a scanner...)

Give it now! Cut this 'running away' shit and get to the fighting!

Graphically, Night Slashers is certainly riding high in the blood, guts and gore department. Everything you fight and kill dies (un-dies?) in a violent or gruesome fashion while cut-scene images look impressive and reek of 90s comic book stylings which adds to the cheesiness of the game but not in a negative manner. Likewise, getting critical hits on enemies throws up a comic book style effect to illustrate that you just hit harder than you ever hit before and often resulting in an instant kill with standard enemies. The largest problem, graphically speaking, is that the animations of the creatures and the characters becomes less fluid depending upon which movements the characters are forced to go through, usually getting up or moving more dynamically beyond the point of the generic "menacing walk" down the street.

At least he has an idea of what to do

Having said that, the audio in Night Slashers tries its hardest to give the player an experience with the music that ultimately falls flat in places but ambles along amicably enough to set a suitable mood without the emphasis on being too serious while not being overly slapstick (the graphics and Over The Top violence do that already), and while it's impressive to hear digitised speech and sound samples for the combat, it's rather repetitive to hear the characters repeating the same words over and over, ad nauseam, every time they get up or do a special move. The first few times it's ok, after that it simply becomes dull and monotonous.

Obligatory lift level

There's little here to come back to for Night Slashers, after the first time the game is beaten, aside perhaps to see the excessive violence and cheesy horror setting and in all regards, even that isn't enough to determine more credits from pockets. Repetitive gameplay despite the option for more attacks and combos and an awkward control system coupled with monsters and bosses that get stupidly high levels of priority in attacks, bury any chance of a real replay interest with the very undead it has with its own monsters.

Don't care, kicked your arse already.