Thursday 29 March 2018

Supreme Warrior (Sega 32X-CD review)

Developer: Digital Pictures
Publisher: Digital Pictures
Released: 1994

Supreme Warrior is a Full Motion Video (FMV) game that was also released on the Mega CD in 1994.

Your mission is to carry a magical mask from the Shaolin temple to a secret sanctuary in order to stop Fang Tu from using its powers for evil. Along the way, you'll face 12 opponents that each have unique abilities and fighting styles. The action takes place from a first-person perspective and while the FMV plays it's up to you to block and look for openings to strike; this includes punching, kicking, and learning secret moves and special skills (such as temporary invincibility) after defeating foes. In some ways, the game resembles Punch-Out!! (1990, NES) in that each opponent has a specific weakness you need to exploit; however, the combat here is by far the clunkiest fighting system I've ever used; for starters, you can only attack when an icon pops up, but these only appear on the edge of the screen and by the time you've gazed away to look at them you've already been punched in the face. Another problem is that there's barely any differentiation between these punch and kick icons from a design standpoint, forcing you to waste precious time deciphering them before attacking. On top of this, there are many occasions where the game doesn't even register your inputs (despite you hitting the correct button at the correct time) and blocking only works infrequently. The enemies are infuriatingly relentless from the get-go, and to make matters worse their health regenerates whenever they move away from you; this is totally unfair considering you have no control over the FMV and spatial distance! The voice-overs are horrifically stilted, and even the upgraded visuals are grainy and heavily compressed.

Supreme Warrior is utterly broken, and when the only positives are that it loads quickly and saves your progress you know you're in for a world of hurt! Most FMV games from this era haven't held up particularly well, but this takes the biscuit and ends up being the exact opposite of an immersive and fun gaming experience.

Random trivia: The game has a number of humorous Easter Egg videos which you can see here.

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