Saturday 23 November 2019

Delta Hero (Supervision review)

Developer: Bon Treasure
Publisher: Watara
Released: 1992

Delta Hero is a maze game that sees you playing the role of an adventurer named Wei-Wei.

Your mission is to reclaim a country's money that's been stolen by a poisonous spider. There's five stages and each tasks you with scouring the environment to find 9-12 bags of money and then locating the exit. Your constantly depleting life metre can be topped up by obtaining food, and hidden treasures can be found by locating glasses. The controls immediately disappoint, as they're unresponsive and make your character's movements feel heavy. Often the game refuses to recognise your inputs which is infuriating when an enemy is attacking you and you can't quickly turn around to face them; even the collision detection is shoddy and bullets will usually pierce opponents with seemingly no effect. Also, attempting to press the Start button to see how many money bags you've collected is an exercise in frustration, as it only works intermittently. The control issues don't end there, as you don't automatically pick up items when walking over them; instead, you need to press the B button when you're directly standing over them, but the game doesn't always comply with your request... not great when you're against the clock! To top it off, there's a ton of ghosting when you try to move which strains your eyes after a while. At least the level design is solid though, with intricate maze-like layouts (which aren't too overwhelming) and lots of hidden areas / items to find. I also like how Stage 2 introduces the ability to shoot parts of the environment to locate money bags; these are subtlety and cleverly marked to stop you from firing blindly. There's a decent range of enemy types too to somewhat keep your interest throughout all five stages. The music is utterly atrocious though, with a high-pitched 14-second loop that plays ad nauseum.

Delta Hero is an interesting and welcome concept with above-average level design, but it leaves a lot to be desired in the control department. You'll be battling with the game's inputs the entire time you play, and after repeated cheap hits its potential soon turns to inescapable problems that will have you reaching for the power switch.

Random trivia: Bon Treasure published a whopping 22 games on the Supervision in 1992, including Grand Prix and Police Bust.

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