As I've mentioned, I recieved Hyperforce today in the mail. Here's the review. (feel free to copy and post this where ever you please by the way all you site owners. Just tell me that you did it.)
I was quite happy to get the package and spent a good three minutes trying to rip it open. Finally, the priority box opened and I pulled out the lovely looking Hyperforce box.
Of all the Songbird releases, the front of the box is the most appealing one so far. The graphic is bright and uses all types of colors. The words HYPER FORCE look absolutely stunning and my expectations of the game started to climb much higher then originally anticipated. I removed the cartridge and the instruction manual.
Where'd the color go? The same HYPER FORCE graphic which looked so incredibly cool on the outside of the box seemed to blend right in with the black of the manual. The cart was almost the same way. If you look at it from about 10 feet away, it appears to say HYPCN TONLE. Oh well. That doesn't really matter in the long run.
I plugged in the cartridge, turned on the surround sound and was immediately blown away by the stunning opening music! I don't remember hearing the music on the Jagfest video, and if it was there it didn't sound this good! I happily pressed the "fire" button awaiting my first mission. The screen went blank and... it stayed blank for about five seconds. I hit another button, fifteen seconds... blank. Thirty seconds... tried the reset buttons... what the...
Manually restarted the game. Game loaded 100% fine. Funny things our Jaggys are.
I commenced running around. At first I thought the game looked like a version of Metroid with large graphics. Unfortunately, no. The control is extremely touchy and whenever you crouch the screen immediately drops at a high rate. UuGgHh! If you hit down too much, the game starts to look like a ride on a tilt-a-whirl... The jumping/flying thing gets kinda annoying too. After the jerky crouching, the jerky flying doesn't help control much. It's really too bad because this is the only thing that caused me trouble in enjoying the game.
Your hero is very big, but unfortunately he isn't animated nearly as well as the rest of the game. The enemies on the other hand are large and animated extremely well. I also like how most of them operate. Many of them resemble cartoon animations and not video games. Unfortunately, since you are so freakin' big along with the enemies, it's very hard to avoid them. Some things that are indestructable are nearly impossible to pass as your guy bounces back whenever he hits them. This size/bouncing imbalance makes it quite annoying to pass certain areas. You must either run and hope you get it after two or three blitzes, or wait and try to time it just right. Most of the time, you're timing is off.
I kept playing of course and was quite happy to find out that even with the sloppy controls I could still get along in the game and find a lot of redeeming qualities. I played until the third or fourth level, at which point I had to leave the house.
I am still impressed with the games music. I found out you could save, but I haven't tried this yet -- a definate plus for a game like this. I liked Soccer Kid a lot but the stupid codes for countries was just too much for me. The game is well paced with both puzzle solving and platforming tasks. Unfortunatly, most of the puzzle solving is the "throw the switch" or "get the key" type of thing that is in so many video games, but HF's puzzles seem to be a little more easy to find and balanced. It's platforming action on the other hand is what I would expect from a game of the genre. The only thing I was disappointed in was an inabilty to jump instead of using your blasters. It makes somethings harder to do.
Once I was used to the controls, the game had stopped making me sick. It surprised me by being better then I originally thought it would be when I ordered it, and it is a good attempt to fill a void in the Jag's "adventure" catagory. While it is only a mediocre game, with the recent rash of Tomb Raiders and other horrific 3D adventure games, it's pretty darn good.
For information on purchasing this game, please go to Songbird Productions.