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Old 11-07-2012, 02:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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ESWAT: City Under Siege (Mega Drive / Genesis)

The Eric Corp Gamer's Retro Uprising Exclusive Review 36

ESWAT: City Under Siege (Mega Drive / Genesis)


Welcome, fellow readers! It seems I'm starting to review games that either is Shinobi or has gameplay similar to it (well, I am a big fan of this style of gameplay), which were Michael Jackson's Moonwalker back in 2010, The Revenge of Shinobi in March this year, and now this called ESWAT: City Under Siege, a Mega Drive / Genesis game that was released in June 1, 1990, which is based of the 1989 arcade game ESWAT Cyber Police, though not an exact port, but a much different game.

STORY
"A mysterious and high-tech organization, named "E.V.E.", quickly threatens to take over the entire city and, after being promoted at the end of the second level, Duke Oda is given power armor called the "Ice Combat Suit". With this suit the player can use new and more lethal weapons; "Super Shot", a plasma rifle, rockets, and a devastating fire attack. The player also has access to a jet pack with limited fuel that replenishes over time. The final boss of the game, the leader of E.V.E., is revealed to be a robot with artificial intelligence that is attempting to replicate its own ICE Combat Suits to take over Liberty."
-Wikipedia's article on ESWAT: City Under Siege

REVIEW

Graphics: C+
Being a first-generation MD / Genesis game (1988/1989/1990 - 1991), the graphics of the game are above average for the most part. The main cop (with and without a suit) is produced in great detail and decent animation enough that it doesn't look obviously choppy. The enemies and bosses that boast big sprites are also given the same treatment with the amount of quality as the main character with no notable artifacts. However, the backgrounds are a mixed bag and can leave a lot to be desired. While the laboratory (Mission 3), base (Mission 4), and complex (Mission 6) levels are satisfactory enough with good detail and colors, but the rest of the levels look pretty drab and dull to look at, which is a shame because these locations in the game can be done well to great effect. Despite those setbacks, the game is still looks above average for an early MD / Genesis game, and it still has that old-style SEGA look to it.





Gameplay: B
ESWAT's gameplay is similar to that of the Shinobi titles, but is somewhat different from the arcade version's. Like in the aforementioned series, it retains a linear style gameplay is to shoot and maneuver your way through enemies to reach the end to fight one or more bosses. There are seven missions in total in the game. In the options, there are three difficulty levels (EASY, NORMAL, and HARD) and the amount of lives (0, 2, 4, 6) there. The difficulty changes the number of enemies that appear and how much health you start with and how much it increases after Mission 2. The first two levels, you take control of a human cop who tries to works to promote his way up to the rank of ESWAT and wear the ICE combat suit. After that, the remainder of the game is you as an ESWAT. The level layouts are quite interesting for a Shinobi-style game. Instead of being simply reaching the end of each level by going left to right (though some levels are like that), or bottom or top. The first two levels are okay, but nothing special, and are kinda dull and boring. The later levels is where the game starts to pick up as the levels are more interesting and funner to play as with the ESWAT suit. The game really takes advantage of the ESWAT jet-pack (except Mission 4 before the boss) and the extra weapons that the suit contains, which you will need to use at least once (except the FIRE). As a cop, you only have one weapon: SHOT, which is your gun. But as a ESWAT: The extra weapons are the Super Shot (SUPER), Rocket Launcher (R.L.), Plasma Cannon (P.C.), and your Special Weapon (FIRE). The Super Shot is the stronger and faster version of your original Shot (SHOT), and chances are, the weapon you'll be using a lot. The Rocket Launcher is a weapon that is used to hit any targets on the ground on the screen or anything below you (or even above you, if your head is close to a platform). The Plasma Cannon is the weapon that either shoots little blasts that deals the same amount as a SHOT, but is much faster, or charge up to a super plasma blast that deals a lot of damage. Lastly, your Special Weapon shoots a big flame blast as you spin around and around fast until your BURNER runs out, which kills all enemies on screen and damages bosses, and you'll probably have no reason to use it. Also, you get the ability to fly with your jet-pack for a limited amount of time, based on your BURNER. Of course at the end of each level or a part of the level, but The bosses in the game are quite imaginative and provide some bit of challenge, especially in the later levels (like any game). There are some things that are annoying like the lack of invisibility time when you're in ESWAT form. As a cop, the invisibility time is okay, but ESWAT has none at all, which means you can get damaged constantly as long as the enemies' shots or the enemies themselves are on you, which can get annoying when the damage takes 2 or more bars off your life. Also for some reason, you sometimes flash when you touch something, but you take no damage, which is odd and misleading. Even more annoying, when you die as an ESWAT, you lose the weapon that you are using (except SHOT), and now you have to get it again, which at times, never even appears for a while since the weapon pick-ups can raise from numerous to scarce, depending on the level. Overall, while the game may be kinda slow and boring at first, the gameplay really is enjoyable to play through once you get past it, and it is still a satisfying experience that any gamer could have fun with.


Controls: A
As always with this type of game, the controls are quite excellent as they are simple. Basically, you can control your character like you should. To make it better, you can change the control scheme to anyway you want if you don't like the default setting in the options menu. There's not really much to say, but they doesn't factors on the challenge at all. They are well done and very intuitive.

Sound: C+
The music is a mixed bag, though it remains an above average soundtrack. The majority of the music does sound good and catchy to listen to, though many of them are not quite the most memorable you'll hear. Nonetheless, still a good standard Genesis soundtrack. The sound effects are okay though weird. I just wished they had more imaginative sound, rather than this. Otherwise, the sound department is standard and par for the course.


Replay Value: C
Most fans of Shinobi, sidescrollers/platformers with action in it, or basically anyone who want some fun to be had will most likely pick it up or at the very least a try. The game is short enough that you will be able to play it once in a while to enjoy without worrying about the length. Otherwise, stay away from it.

Overall: B
ESWAT: City Under Siege is a great entry (and end) of a series that was very short-lived (1989 - 1990).I wished that it continued into the world of 3D, because it could possibly lead to a great franchise from Sega, but, what can I do... While it's not as polished as the Genesis Shinobi (Revenge and 3, specifially) games, the game still is very fun to play, with a great mix of fantastic gameplay and a fair challenge. It's games like this that makes it fun to be a cop.


NOTE: The Japanese version of the game is known as ESWAT (Enhanced Special Weapons and Tactics) and it has no continues, no matter what difficulty, while the North American (and Europe, I think) has 3 continues total.


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Old 11-07-2012, 03:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: ESWAT: City Under Siege (Mega Drive / Genesis)

i had 3 games on the genesis when i was younger, this was one of them, i loved this game
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