Review by The Manx

Reviewed: 02/25/04

Bland name, bland game

I saw an ad for this game in Gamepro once. It couldn't shut up about all the beautiful women in the game. Later, getting a chance to go to Funcoland and desperate to get something, anything, to justify owning a Sega CD, I saw this game and picked it up. That I was a few years shy of the Mature rating on the game didn't deter the guy from selling it to me, and having played it from beginning to end, I can't really say why this game has such an extreme rating.

Anyway, you're Cobra, the most notorious space pirate in the universe. Supposedly you died ten years ago but in fact you just got yourself a new face and have been lying low all that time. Resurfacing with your new identity, you meet Jane Royal, a bounty hunter looking for her two sisters, Katherine and Dominique, because each has a portion of a map leading to the greatest treasure of the universe tatooed onto their back. But the Pirate Federation wants the treasure too, and their top assassin, Crystal Boy, follows Cobra and Jane wherever they go.

I'm told this kind of game is called a ''digital comic,'' and indeed is ostensibly based on a manga by a fellow called Buichi Terasawa. If you're familiar with Snatchers it's the same kind of thing. You have a visual display and below it a list of options to select like ''look,'' ''talk to,'' and when you're in a fight you get options like ''punch,'' ''kick,'' and ''shoot.'' It's like a lot of the menu-driven bishojo games I've played in that you need to exhaust every option before the game lets you move on, except for one crucial difference.

There's absolutely no graphic nudity or sex of any kind in Space Adventure. The raciest thing in the game is that each and every woman wears a thong. That's it. Guess that still warrants a mature rating, though.

Unfortunately, there isn't much else to sustain any interest in the game. There are action sequences, but you have little or no control during them. You either just sit and watch, or control what hapens with commands like every other part of the game. When you're not fighting, though, it's repetitive menu-selecting at its finest. You have to go everywhere, try everything, and sometimes what you have to do isn't very clear. It took me days of wandering around Hedba City looking for Duck before anything happened, and I'm still not sure what I did that finally got the game moving again.

Plus when isn't being repetitive, the game is sometimes just plain dumb. At the very beginning of the game Cobra complains that he can't use his one of a kind psycho gun or he'll blow his cover, yet pretty soon he's drawing down on everybody and his brother with his secret weapon. You'd think having the biggest bounty in the galaxy on his head would've taught Cobra a lesson or two about keeping a low profile.

The game is pretty boring and repetitive, but I will say that it isn't all bad. I thought Crystal Boy was a pretty cool villain. Besides his attitude he's a cyborg made out of transparent crystal so laser beams, even from Cobra's psycho gun, don't hurt him. Also, during cinematic sequences the characters talk, and apparently the guys at Urban Vision thought enough of the quality of the speech to hire back the actors who did Cobra, Crystal Boy and Dominique (though she's a different one of the triplets) to star in a Space Adventure anime movie. But those factoids don't stop this game from wearing out its welcome and giving the player little to sustain interest. See if you can find any of those two million copies the case claims were sold of the comic instead.

Rating: 4

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