TOKYO - Yesterday, GameSpot News reported on Sega's fiber-optics service, net@. Today, we continue our coverage by bringing you our hands-on impressions of Smilebit's net@ version of Hundred Swords. The game is similar to the PC real-time strategy games Command & Conquer (C&C) and Starcraft, where players collect resources, build up troops, and take over enemy territories.
Hundred Swords takes place in a medieval setting and has four different characters to choose from. Since the net@ console doesn't have a keyboard or mouse equipped, players must use the controller pad that is provided. Players who have tried playing C&C on both the PC and the PlayStation are most likely well aware of the difference in the controls - using the keyboard and mouse is much more comfortable. Hopefully, the Dreamcast version of Hundred Swords will be compatible with both peripherals.
The graphics in the net@ version are crisp and smooth, and the environment and characters are rendered in 3D. The camera angle sports a quarter view and can be rotated 360 degrees (in increments of 45 degrees). Unfortunately, this is problematic, since, when using the quarter view, it's difficult to assess the various situations players will find themselves in, as opposed to the simplicity of the top view used in C&C or Starcraft. Other than the camera angle, the game plays comfortably. In terms of gameplay, there is nothing uniquely different about Hundred Swords except for character design and setting. Players who own a Dreamcast and love C&C or Starcraft should enjoy Hundred Swords.
We hope to see Hundred Swords on the Dreamcast soon, despite net @'s lack of public exposure. Although the DC and net@ versions will not be compatible with each other, the DC version will feature its own network multiplayer mode. Stay with GameSpot for continuing coverage.