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Reviewed: Daikatana
Author: Michael Ahlf       Date: June 17th, 2000
Page: 2

The game starts out in a futuristic Japan; the main character, Hiro Miyamoto, is sent off on a journey to (a) rescue a beautiful woman (go figure), (b) locate a mysterious ancient sword (the Daikatana), and (c) defeat an evil dictator. While it's a predictable plot, it does make things interesting, as well as give the player a real reason to hate and want to overthrow the enemy. Not only is the monarch ruling the world and practicing inhumane and downright evil things (a funeral parlor is intimately connected with a McMishima's burger factory), but he's an incredibly egotistical bastard who doesn't miss a chance to insult those he considers socially inferior, actually making the audience feel the hatred.

Quite the Swamp
Not Something to be Chased by
So This is Where Bodies Go...

This is the episode that garnered the negative previews of the game, as well; the first few levels consist of sneaking around, shooting bugs, frogs, and crocodiles, and generally having to be careful. On the other hand, it establishes a great mood. It forces the player to tread carefully--he can't just blindly charge into the enemy fortress, he must take his time and be careful about what he stirs up. It also makes it sweeter to finally get through the beginning and into the rest of the adventure. The weapons in this level are also futuristic; personal sidewinder missiles and a shockwave grenade launcher are there for your "enjoyment".

Skeleton Warriors Wait for You
A Beautiful Statue
Ack, Medusa!!!

After the first encounter with Mishima, the player gets thrown back in time to Ancient Greece. This episode is like out of the old myths, complete with mythical beings from walking skeletons to a Medusa. The weapons in this part also reflect the era. Of note are "sunflares" (pots of Greek Fire?), a Trident which shoots off three missiles at once, and a weapon which makes one-shot kills but can only hold 5 rounds at once. The puzzle nature of the game doesn't quite come into play here: there are a few "hunt the button" areas, along with five tiles that need to be found to get into the second half of the episode, but this level shines by setting the mood and drawing the player into a quest to find lost companions and being able to enjoy the scenery--including a Cerberus that guards the midpoint of the level.

Episode 3 takes the player to the Dark Ages, where a kingdom is ravaged by the Plague and an evil necromancer holds the land in his grip. This episode's major weaponry is magical staves acquired from the bosses (yes, there are plenty). The ultimate goal is to kill the necromancer, reconstruct a powerful sword, and restore the King's sanity so that he will help you get to where you need to go. Along the way, however, there are plenty of challenges. In addition to the usual enemies, be prepared to face werewolves, who can ONLY be killed in hand-to-hand combat using a special silver clawed glove (talk about tough). If you hit them with anything else, even the Daikatana, they just keep getting up.

Where's the Silver Bullet When You Really Need One?
Unfortunately, You Don't Get to Fight Him
Dragons? Yep, Must be Medieval Times

The final episode takes place in early 21st-century San Francisco. You begin, of all places, on Alcatraz. This Alcatraz is unique; however, it's an open prison, with prisoners being dropped into the yard by helicopter and no guards anywhere. Eventually, after a big search for components, you can assemble a bomb and get into a part of the island where there's a boat... if you can survive the gang members who use Alcatraz as a hideout and the sharks. Following leads, you get to eventually go through a platform jumping puzzle in a Navy Seal training area, and challenge Mishima for the final time before facing the REAL final boss and finally setting things right. The weapons in this level are decent, from a kinetic sphere shooter (shoots bouncing balls of ice) to a high-power laser, which makes things interesting to say the least. The final fights are also crazy since the Daikatana can apparently do some really wicked things that you don't get to do inside the game.

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Added:  Saturday, June 17, 2000
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Score:
Page: 2/6

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