This game really is a rare gem. This is probably the only reason why it was worth having a Sega Saturn back then.
The graphics is classic 2D mixed with 3D backgrounds and movement. The game looks like a late 1980s to 1990s cartoon you would watch on a Saturday morning; however it works since it was made during that time period and it fits the type of genre Treasure was working with. The graphics has been remastered for HD as well; which gives the characters a cleaner and better look. If you prefer the old school look you can stick with that as well. Overall, the quality is great for a game as old as this one.
The story is the typical good vs evil type of game; however it seems like the heroes are a group of common folk whom becomes the cream of the crop as the story goes on. The cool thing about the story is that you have to make choices; which alters the story and levels. The game has more than 3 endings and plenty of characters to unlock for the other modes so replaying the game is encouraged.
This game is good old fashion hack and slash beat'em up; however this one has a lot of depth in terms of gameplay. It is like the Blazblue of beat'em ups; because of all of the options you have available.
Every character has their own movesets and special powers. Each character goes beyond one combo attack string and two special attacks. Each character has about 6 or more physical attacks, depending on who you pick you have a nice range of magic attacks, throws, counters to push surrounding enemies back, and has powers that evolve as you level up the right attributes. It is really cool when you see special attacks grow larger and stronger as you level up.
You move around the level by doing what they call row shifting; which allows you to move from one part of the field to another. As you move farther away the size of your character shrinks and moving vice versa will make your character enlarge to match the size of the plane you are on. This form of movement is a little weird; however I find it to be quite charming. This kind of movement can help you avoid encounters with enemies on a different plane and allows up to flank enemies of interest. You can also give commands to a special ally that will accompany you as you play the story.
You can mix and match moves together to set up devastating juggle combos in order to weaken your foes, and you will need to take advantage of this skill in order to progress through the game at a harder difficulty level, because the number of enemies can quickly overwhelm you as the enemies themselves level up. Like I mentioned before you can block, so make sure to use it. Blocking magic causes damage; therefore be careful. As you are blocking you can counter attacks with good timing. You can either push or blow enemies into the air depending on whether you use the light or medium attack; but it does cost MP to use it.
The characters themselves play very differently from each other, so take advantage of the training mode available in this game.
You can choose between the original and remix control scheme. The remix control scheme adds a few more tweaks hear and there; however after reading other sources it was mentioned that you don't gain experience points for juggles. The original mode allows you to play the game using the traditional controls of the Sega Saturn version. The original seems to give you more of an advantage, due to the ability to gain more life as you level up and gain more mp as you attack. The remix allows you to dash all the way across the screen, perform air dashes, and use counters. But the remix version doesn't give you more health as you level up and mp is regained gradually. Play around with both styles and read the tutorials to see which works for you. You can also edit the button configuration to your liking.
You can play the story with one other person locally and online. For the record, the online mode works wonderfully.
Use this mode to get used to the game; because there is a lot to learn, see, and do.
You can go head to head with up to other people locally and online. Online you can play against 12 people at the same time; which is really insane. You can also set your own rules and use them offline and online. This mode is really versatile.
This is a survival mode. You and others fight endless waves until you die. It is so easy to get lost in the crazed numbers of enemies. The arcade mode would have been more interesting if you could play this with 4 people on and offline.
You can choose between old and remix hd graphics.
Very good price.
There are multiple control schemes.
The story mode is really deep for a beatem up.
There are plenty of levels and enemies.
The gameplay has a lot of depth.
Plenty of characters to unlock for other modes.
Online coop play was added.
You can't keep your leveled up characters.
There is no online coop options for the arcade.
Not enough credits for harder difficulties when using the remix mode controls.
Treasure created yet another gem for gamers to play. I thought I would never be able to play this game. I am so happy I got the opportunity to play it. This game is another reason why 2D beat'em ups still has plenty of life left. I wish we could keep our leveled up characters, there was 4 player online coop for the arcade mode, and it was easier to regain lost health.
I give this gem a well deserved 9 out of 10. Thanks again Treasure. I feel like I stole this game; because this game came with an unbelievably good price. I guess the price is another reason why this game is a rare gem.