The NEOGEO is mostly characterised by, with only some notable exceptions, combating video games and Metallic Slug. Inside a few years of its launch, the overwhelming majority of the output on the console appeared to be mining (fairly efficiently) a couple of specific varieties of video games. To be honest, such was the state of arcades by the mid-Nineties. When you weren’t making a combating game, a licensed beat-em-up, a shoot-em-up, or a puzzle game, you had been rowing in opposition to the present.
That makes the existence of Prime Hunter: Roddy & Cathy ($3.99) a little bit of a rarity. Developed internally at SNK by ex-IREM staffers, the game arrived in the summertime of 1994 alongside The King of Fighters ’94. A kind of video games grew to become near-legendary, carving its legacy into the very platform in an indelible method. The opposite was Prime Hunter. A unusual little platformer/beat-em-up hybrid for one or two gamers, one may generously say that it paved the best way for Metallic Slug in some small method.
Whereas there isn’t a vital shared employees between Prime Hunter and Metallic Slug, there are some widespread parts. The visible fashion has that very same kind of silly-but-gritty really feel to it, and there are many amusing enemy animations. Yow will discover autos to journey on, and also you’ll typically get your palms on a gun. Platforming is basically perfunctory, with leaping principally getting used to keep away from assaults fairly than navigating harrowing platforms. Levels are capped off with a boss struggle, often in opposition to some sort of giant opponent. That’s about all the shared features.
There are two key mechanics to Prime Hunter. The primary is your stretchy arms, which let you seize quite a lot of objects and both smash them or toss them. You too can use them to work varied machines, switches, and so forth. You’ll usually defeat foes by smacking them or throwing one thing at them, however you may make use of some traps and a few particular strikes for a bit selection. The opposite gimmick is that each stage has two planes, and you may hop between them as wanted or desired. Generally traps or power-ups must be accessed from the alternative aircraft, encouraging you to swap usually.
I’ll be frank: there have been a couple of platformers on this period that attempted this sort of factor, and I don’t really feel like every of them had been considerably higher for it. Most likely the perfect of the bunch was Wario Land for the Digital Boy, and there’s a cause for that. The 3D impact of the console helped resolve an issue that appears to be inherent to this sort of design. Particularly, it may be tough at occasions to inform which aircraft a given object is on. On this game, it will possibly make it onerous to line up throws and even often lead to taking successful you didn’t assume was going to hit you. The artwork fashion right here makes issues a bit worse as little is completed to tell apart the planes visually.
Effectively, it’s not an enormous deal. A much bigger drawback with Prime Hunter is that it too steadily lacks pressure. That is an unusually simple game for an arcade platformer, and when you’ve acquired the dangle of issues you possibly can go ridiculously far on every credit score. The enemies simply don’t pose a lot of a menace to your extraordinarily versatile and highly effective character. There additionally aren’t sufficient enemy sorts, so that you’ll begin seeing the identical faces many times. It’s amusing to fiddle with all the pieces and take a look at defeating enemies in numerous methods, however in the end Prime Hunter is a bit boring.
This boredom may be alleviated considerably by bringing a pal alongside for some good old school co-op mayhem, however that is in fact an ACA NEOGEO launch for cellular. Meaning you’ll solely be capable of play multiplayer when you have some exterior controllers and don’t thoughts huddling round your cellular machine of alternative. I’d think about for most individuals, that’s not going to be the standard play expertise with this game. You’re most probably going to be taking part in solo, and that’s the much less enjoyable technique to go about experiencing Prime Hunter.
It does nevertheless profit from the truth that we don’t get too many high-quality, premium video games of this type on cellular. I’d say it takes to the touch controls even higher than the Metallic Slug video games do because you don’t have to fret about exact aiming as a lot. I suppose as a solo expertise, it takes to cellular higher than some NEOGEO video games do. And I do need to stress that the game isn’t a half-effort by any means. It’s fairly beautiful in that method NEOGEO video games tended to be, and every of the 4 worlds have a definite look to them. You get three ranges in every world, plus a fairly climactic ultimate stage. When you play the included Japanese model, there are even some secret endings to search out. It will not be thrills each minute, however it actually brings the worth.
As that is a part of the ACA NEOGEO line, the anticipated extras and choices are all right here. You possibly can play with an exterior controller, you get each regional variations of the game, there are further modes with their very own on-line leaderboards, and also you’ve acquired extra choices than you possibly can shake a stick at. The emulation high quality is nice, and my solely gripes about Hamster’s half in all of this are my traditional ones about not having on-line multiplayer or the MVS model as an choice. It’s a fantastic bundle, and it’s a bit luxurious that I’m just about used to this degree of high quality in such a low-cost launch.
I’m not the largest fan of Prime Hunter: Roddy & Cathy, however it’s an honest sufficient romp that clearly had loads of care put into it. Slightly too simple and repetitive at occasions, and I’m unsure its dual-plane system works in addition to it ought to, however for a couple of dollars you’ll get your enjoyable out of it. Add within the traditional suite of options that comes with Hamster’s ACA NEOGEO line, and you’ve got a nice distraction for a lazy weekend afternoon.