Saturday, January 23, 2010

Schbibin Man


Most people are going to toss this action-platformer aside immediately because of its poor controls, which are floaty when you're in the air, slippery when you're on the ground, and slow to respond wherever the hell you are. Repetition is also a major issue: you can take various "paths" to the end, playing only a few stages or a whole bunch in the process, but every damn area is a park, city, or factory, with the only variations coming in the forms of occasional nighttime treks. Whether you're outside or indoors, you'll come across the same sorts of platforms, the same vats of lava below said platforms, the same spiked balls that try to knock you into said vats, and the same small enemies who just roll or bumble about.

And every boss save for the last one is either a blockheaded robot or a three-headed dragon.

Of course, Schbibin Man wouldn't truly be a bad game if I didn't have a few nice things to say about it. Goblin, an audio team known mainly for its fine Moto Roader work, came up with some really nice music for this title. Some of the platforming sequences definitely represent a bit of design ingenuity, and it does take skill and memorization to get through the trickier strips unscathed.

Playing long enough to experience all the different levels without finding the experience deplorable is actually possible, as the game engine can sometimes seem broken but never feels completely smashed to hell like, say, Genpei Toumaden's. And despite the repetition, it can be fun to explore all those stages, as your character acquires extremely helpful items when you reach certain points on the map.

Even with those many, uh, "positives" working in the chip's favor, its poor gameplay and repetitiveness will cause most folks to loathe it. Personally, I had some fun conquering all the stages, listening to the tunes, and powering up the protagonist.

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