Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Taito / Working Designs

While I do consider this hack-and-slash adventure title a quality product, I've never quite been able to shake the feeling that it's a bit of an underachiever. Of course, to be an underachiever, a game has to have a lot going for it in the first place, and this one certainly does. As a kid, I was drawn to it by its many attractive visual elements (the large enemy sprites and vibrant waterfall scenes in particular), and I still think its graphics are superb. I also think its unusual music, which boasts a distinctive tone and undergoes many abrupt tempo changes, is very cool and memorable. It has fairly high replay value, as it allows two players to participate in the action simultaneously and provides four different warriors to choose from. And plenty of neat ideas went into the design of the adventure: you have to miniaturize your character to gain admittance to a village of gnomes, for instance.

But something about Cadash's gameplay has never felt quite right to me. The collision detection is slightly off, and while the game isn't hard, it seems cheap and unrefined at times. The lack of a save feature also hurts: while I can abide routine experience-point garnering, I don't find the idea of enduring multiple grind sessions in a single sitting to be particularly appealing. And I know the title originally resided in arcades, but I can't help but wish the journey were grander and lengthier than it actually is. Still, with all of that being said, the chip is worth buying and playing for its positive attributes.

Unlike the blasphemous Genesis version, Turbo Cadash allows you to select from all four of the original characters.

Find a comfortable spot and start leveling up.

Once you've had your fill of grinding, you can get around to doing cool stuff like visiting a trading outpost run by mini-men and escorting a merwoman back to the sea.

The bosses are quite imposing, but you'll have no trouble thrashing them if you level up enough.

If you shrink yourself down to their size, the gnomes will receive you with open arms...

...but you won't be treated to such a warm welcome in every place you visit.

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