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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Rediscovering: Hagane
Hagane is a weird game.  When it was new, I had a copy and I thought it was staggeringly cool.  It couldn't be more Japanese if it crammed wasabi down your throat, and it was so fucking difficult that's more or less what it felt like to play it.

The graphics were very different from most other SNES games, with this dark, super-gritty feel that, if it weren't for the lush colours and palette range, would be more at home on the MegaDrive.

Did I mention it was difficult?

This is part of a rediscovering series:  Check out the others if you wanna!

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/games/Hagane-1.png]

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/games/Hagane-2.png]

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/games/Hagane-3.png]
BLEARGH
This post was edited on 2016-07-07, 14:27 by NFG.
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Hagane is weird on many, many levels.  It has some weapons sort of like Irem's Ninja Spirit, and it plays sort of like Sega's Super Shinobi, and a retro Japanese robot theme sort of like Ninja Aleste.

It was a late SNES release and should have benefited from all the things learned by games that came before it, but it didn't.  There's only one menu option: START.  No configuration, no difficulty settings, nothing.  It was much more like a NES release in that respect, just get playing, loser.  Oops, are you dead?  You suck.

That's sort of what Hagane says to me every time I play.  It's not nice to the player.  I owned an original cartridge for years and never cleared the first stage.  Emulation and save states to the rescue, again!
BLEARGH
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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I'm not very far into the game and it has already started to feel like the end result of four other half-finished projects slapped together to create something, anything, out of the pieces.

At the end of a long series of stages I fought a boss, and the next round started and it was another boss without the preamble of a playable level, and then it was off to the next round after beating him too.  No story, no cutscenes, just level-boss-boss-level for no good or apparent reason.

It's sort of pissing me off, actually.  I think the visuals and difficulty blinded me to the fact: Hagane sort of sucks.  It's 16 bit style over substance.  And now that I think about it, the graphics are sort of random in theme and consistency, as if they had a brilliant Japanese history and design artist teamed with the CEO's son.  For everything excellent, there's something garish and awful.

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/games/Hagane-4.png]

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/games/Hagane-5.png]

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/games/Hagane-6.png]
BLEARGH
This post was edited on 2012-06-18, 11:24 by NFG.
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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Most enemies only attack you when you're within a certain range, and won't attack no matter what you do if you're outside this boundary.  You can stand still, lob shots at them, and never be attacked in return. 

When a powerup falls, you can collect it by touching it, even if it bounces off the ground a few times.  Once it stops bouncing, you have to stop and crouch to collect it.  I'm not really sure how that makes sense.

I have concluded that this is the Super NES wannabe Strider, which - like the arcade Osman before it - learned all the wrong lessons from the source material.  Where Strider was a rollicking world tour with a backstory featuring some innovative setpieces and minibosses serving to mask some rather rough and not-quite-finished gameplay, Hagane (and Osman) have great graphics and fancy setpieces that just don't make sense, along with the same half-broken gameplay.

They should have fixed the way it plays and put even a half-assed effort into a story and point to the whole thing.  Instead we got everything that was wrong to start with extra shit we didn't need and every redeeming feature (bar the graphics) removed.

It's hard to imagine how a whirlwind tour of exotic locales and bizarre hardcore Japanese imagery could be boring and annoying, but Hagane shows us how it's done.

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/games/Hagane-7.png]

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/games/Hagane-8.png]

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/games/Hagane-9.png]

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/games/Hagane-a.png]

[Image: http://nfgworld.com/grafx/games/Hagane-b.png]
BLEARGH
This post was edited on 2012-06-18, 11:19 by NFG.
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