Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tiger Road

Victor Musical Industries / Capcom / NEC

A sidescrolling action-platformer that truly could've been excellent, Tiger Road is one of those unfortunate titles that have a lot going for them but are considered by most players to be mediocre (or poor) because of a few catastrophic flaws.

Let's cover the good stuff first. TR's graphics are cartoony but have a certain grittiness about them that you don't often find in light-shaded visuals. The music is uptempo and catchy. Main character Lee Wong controls pretty well (his leaping ability is particularly impressive). There are plenty of expansive stages to play through, some of which offer multiple routes and shortcuts to take. And if you have backup RAM, your progress will be saved every step of the way.

Now, the bad stuff. The collision detection is HORRIBLE. Legendarily bad. You can't ever actually count on your hacks to hit. Meanwhile, the very quick and constantly regenerating enemies can have field days batting you around and knocking you into pits.

There are "flying" stages here and there where you basically have to guide the hero through gauntlets of spikes, fireballs, and inflatable fat men. While it was commendable of the developers to strive to inject some variety into the game, these short strips don't amount to much of anything.

I must say that I do enjoy Tiger Road thanks to the positive elements it has going for it. Unfortunately, the aforementioned flaws will kill the title for some people. The collision detection will seem particularly awful the first few minutes you play; count on it. If you stick with the game, though, you might end up enjoying it.

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