Review by GrandTheftPikmin

Reviewed: 12/30/04

John Romero was right, Daikatana IS good. Just not the one you expected.

Estimated Game Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes.

You are careless, sucker! Ke Ke Ke!

The story of the PC Daikatana game is an infamous story in gaming history. A promising company called Ion Storm, who made the awesome Deus Ex, was working on John Romero's Daikatana, a game that was promised to "make you it's *****". Basically, it soon became one of the most hyped games this side of Peter Molyneux. And when it went gold, it turned out to be a buggy game based on the Quake engine. Soon after, it was ported to the N64 so that console gamers wouldn't miss out on how big of a disaster it was. It had horrible ideas, such as fighting frogs as enemies, limited saves due to Save Gems, and naming a black man "Superfly Johnson". I haven't actually played it, so I can't give you any real detail about it. But then again, I'm reviewing the GBC version, aren't I?

It's Mishima's Team Ninja!

The GBC version was made by Kemco rather than Ion Storm. Rather than basing itself on the Quake engine and producing a gigantic amount of hype, Kemco based this game on Crystalis and Legend of Zelda and basically made it the least advertised game ever. And it's a crying shame too, because this game is actually fun! Sure, it may not give Zelda a run for it's money, but it does stand up as a solid clone.

The game's plot revolves around Hiro Miyamoto, the leader of the Miyamoto clan who must take back the mystical Daikatana sword. In his quest, he finds himself going through time to fix history and stop the enemy who has the Daikatana. The plot's ending is a bit confusing, and some dialogue is poorly written.

The gameplay is a solid Zelda/Crystalis clone. The enemies are scarce enough to avoid making battle repetitious and the variety between weapons is enough to give you some strategy (but not that much). Upgrading in health actually comes from beating bosses, so you won't find yourself being forced to fight a bunch of enemies to level up. The puzzles are clever and will actually stump you a couple of times, although some of them are jumping puzzles. But even the jumping puzzles are spread out enough to avoid being annoying. The game is rather linear, except for when it comes to puzzles, but that keeps you going at a steady pace through the game.

My name is... Superfly Johnson!

That isn't to say the game is without it's problems. As previously mentioned, the dialogue is poorly written and the plot is confusing. Another problem is that you switch characters at certain points in the game for almost no reason, playing as one of Hiro's sidekicks, and it's annoying because his partners aren't allowed to use all of the weapons like Hiro is, and they have no special abilities. Another problem is that there is a lack of replay, and that the game is weak when compared to it's big brother, Zelda.

Also, the game took me a wee bit over 2 hours and 30 minutes to beat, so keep that in mind if you decide to buy it. And I'd recommend that you check it out, because it delivers on the promise that the other two versions of Daikatana failed to deliver. It's not going to win any awards, and I wouldn't even say that it's enough to make up for the PC Daikatana. But it's still a playable and solid game. So don't let the name make you think otherwise, the GBC version of Daikatana is quite good.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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