GAME REVIEWS

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bakuretsu Hunter Duo Comic

~ BAKURETSU HUNTER ~
Media Works / Hudson Soft / Dengeki
Super CD-ROM
1994

Bakuretsu Hunter essentially places a comic book on your television screen and takes you through its story in slideshow fashion. Unlike most PCE games considered "comics," BH doesn't have the "player" actually participate in the goings-on. There are plenty of sound effects and lots of voice, and the images slide and swirl around; but there's nothing to do except adjust the coloration of the panels and sit back and look at one pencil sketch after another.



Well, it sure is different for a PCE title; and for all I know, it might be a pretty damn sweet show for fans of the BH manga who really know their Japanese. In fact, sitting through the story doesn't have to be a throwaway experience for the Hunter-ignorant, as doing a bit of research beforehand will put players in position to understand (to some extent) what happens in the game. Still, I can't help but wish that the "interesting" approach were eschewed in favor of a traditional digital-comic setup. The story seems to achieve moderate success with both its action and its comedy, and the character designs aren't terrible. It's just hard to get much enjoyment out of the product with the format that's in place.



Of course, most folks who acquire the disc will do so because it was originally part of a novel "CD plus book" package and won't give a damn about the BH plot or cast anyway. But whether you're a Bakuretsu aficionado or not, you really should make sure the book is part of the deal if you go ahead and buy the disc, as it contains comic strips, character profiles, removable goodies, and other such things, making it pretty neat to flip through once or twice. Of course, as is the case with the "game" itself, the book won't be of much practical use to those who aren't already into BH and can't read Japanese. It's a cool (and fairly hard-to-find) collectible, plain and simple; and unlike some similar items, it isn't very expensive.


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