Spawn Hands-On

Capcom's putting the finishing touches on its arcade-to-Dreamcast conversion of Spawn. But does the undead hero hold water on the Dreamcast?

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The Spawn-licensed 3D shooter that Capcom originally released in arcades is almost finished being ported over to the Dreamcast and is expected to ship by September. We got our hands on a nearly final version of the game and have found that while certainly flashy, the game may in fact be more suited for the arcades than the Dreamcast.

The presentation of the game is top notch, from the moment the explosive CG intro loads, to the climactic battle with Malbogia. The game's visuals, voices, and, to a lesser extent, music are all of extremely high quality. However, the game's rapidly changing camera angles make it hard at times to understand what is happening. This confusing camera work combined with the game's limited gameplay and overall brevity makes playing the game a quick and not so interesting experience.

The gameplay is limited to running, jumping, and shooting, all of which you do constantly since the game is a third-person shooter. However, you really only have two modes of play: boss attack mode and battle mode. Boss attack mode places you in a level where the sole objective is to take out a boss by inflicting enough damage within the allotted time. This time limit on the average is about two and a half minutes, which means you can sail right through the game's boss attack mode with relative. Battle mode consists of various forms of deathmatch games, including team play and solo tournaments, which can be played with up to four players. Unfortunately, the distant and ever changing camera angles make this split-screen battle hard to follow. The game has got a ton of hidden characters that you can unlock by making a quick run through the game. You also acquire new weapons to use as you discover them hidden within the game's levels.

We'll have to hold off on passing judgement on the game until we get a final version, since Capcom may throw in a surprise or two. We hope so, since it seems the Dreamcast port could definitely benefit from a few additional modes or even minigames.

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