Wednesday, August 12, 2009

3x3 Eyes

~ 3X3 EYES ~
NEC Home Electronics / Nihon Create
Arcade-Card-Enhanced Super CD-ROM

If you have an Arcade Card, you should own this game. Even if you don't like digital comics and aren't familiar with the 3x3 Eyes manga or anime, plunk down ten bucks for this CD because it features some of the most amazing cinemas ever to hit the Duo, incredible examples of the sort of theatrics this technology is actually capable of. You won't see animation of this caliber in many other PCE titles.

The game itself is an interesting beast. It has you sit through long, boring stretches of conversation, and then, for brief spurts, utter chaos occurs. Large bugs burrow into people's heads, limbs are severed, bodies are chopped in half, sphinxes and giant lizards and three-eyed girls appear, bathroom walls turn monstrous, beautiful women hurl your character down and have their way with him... it's bloody, crazy, and shocking. You just need to be willing to sit through the slow stuff to experience the interesting material.

It's possible to get Game Overs, but they're not such a big deal. In fact, even though I've played through the adventure multiple times, taking different paths and reaching different endings in the process, I can recall an experience ending prematurely only once; it happened during an unforgettably brutal sequence that sees the protagonist's mother stab him and his dad beat him down with a golf club.

Still, you'll probably want to keep multiple save files going to avoid finding yourself in a bad position. More annoying than the inclusion of Game Overs is a first-person maze sequence late in the affair; I hate when good comic-style adventures deviate from storytelling for the sake of pointless stretches of labyrinth. (There's a path you can take to avoid the maze, but you probably won't discover it the first time you play through the game.) But to note another positive, there's a handy in-game option under the System command that allows you to see the files currently stored in your backup RAM, how much room they're taking up, and how much free space is available. And, again, you'll probably want to have multiple 3x3 Eyes files going concurrently--not only to sidestep Game Overs but also to view all of the included scenes.

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