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Supreme Warrior (Sega 32X) artwork

Supreme Warrior (Sega 32X) review


"Supremely Worrying"


Even before SEGA pulled the plug on the potential that was the SEGA CD by prematurely throwing in the towel for the 16-bit era and diverting all their efforts to the fledgling SATURN (which worked out great), the system itself was toiling away at collecting a library of obsoleteness. I’ll never understand why developers saw that video gaming hardware was starting to evolve so automatically concluded that now was the perfect time to have a real go at never-successful FMV-based gaming. But they did, and the poor SEGA CD was riddled with blocky low-res actors half-heartedly responding to at least some of your prompts. “Hey, I’m really looking forward to that next Digital Pictures game; Tom Zito is saving video games with his celebrated visions” said exactly no one ever.

It was baffling then – this will baffle you – that when the SEGA CD was seemingly gazumped by the more powerful 32X that, rather than use this new platform to reach towards a glorious future, a lot of lego-y FMV games were simply re-released with slightly larger screens and a better resolution. As if someone out there honestly believed that the issue with these games wasn’t that they were boring, limited and barely interactive – it's that they were slightly less clear and more cramped than they could have been.

To be fair, up until the end of this paragraph, this intro could have been about around half of the limited 32X’s doomed library. But it’s not; god help me, it’s about Supreme Warrior.

A shot in the arm of the game’s base capabilities is not nearly enough to save it, but those madmen at Digital Pictures gave it a good bloody go. Proudly splashed upon the game’s box are claims that the video is 40% larger, 25% sharper and boasts eight times the colour than the flaccid CD affair had. It’s also 100% as awful. It’s a first person-viewed tournament fighter. So, a lot like Street Fighter aside from the fact that it’s nothing like Street Fighter at all.

You see through the eyes of your resplendent warrior as he shuffles gracelessly around and gets the stuffing beaten out of him in a series of grossly unfair battles he has little chance to overcome while the viewpoint sways around helplessly like the camera has been loosely taped to the fighter’s scalp. Armed with the inspiring power of causing second-hand nausea, your warrior is, of course, the only man capable of saving the world from that one evil guy by beating up twelve successive other guys. Then, boom. World’s saved. Or something.

There’s mumbling plot explanation preceding (and sometimes, annoyingly, during) every fight which is as poorly acted and uninteresting as it is completely unskipable. You’ll likely ignore it all on your way to losing each match in a matter of seconds should your timing be ever-so-slightly off. In a display of remarkable loyalty to FMV gaming everywhere, interactions are limited to fiddly timed button prods that replicate throwing a punch or landing a kick as on-screen prompts briefly flirt across the screen in the direction you want to aim. Miss this window and no blows landed for you. Hit this window and… probably no blows landed for you. There’s a good chance your opponent has jigged out of range in a series of awkward lunges. That’s fine; just hit the block button which only works a little and still leaks damage until you get another chance to whittle away at your enemy’s health. Okay, yeah, sure, their health regenerates while they’re out of range, and they’re out of range a lot, but who wouldn’t want to engage in a war of attrition that can last about five agonising minutes a pop? Slowly chipping away at a health bar that then fills up again while you’re powerless to stop it sounds like a blast, right? Right?!

Because it’s a tourney fighter just like Street Fighter but absolutely nothing like Street Fighter, you have to beat each opponent twice out of a possible three bouts to advance.

There’s no timer on each fight, so they just drag on and on until one of you falls over and the other has to keep surviving in a world where people actually thought it was a good idea to release Supreme Warrior as a video game. Twice! Even with its supposed graphical superiority over its enfeebled predecessor, it’s still the same awful, awful experience with the same awful audio and the same galling absence of anything to take enjoyment from. Sometimes these games are so appalling that they come out the other side ludicrous unintentional parodies you can’t help but point and laugh at. Beneath these are games so dreadful that you can’t even squeeze that much enjoyment out of them. Keep digging beneath that. Go down a few more layers. There you’ll find Supreme Warrior.

1/5

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (July 24, 2016)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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JoeTheDestroyer posted July 26, 2016:

"Okay, yeah, sure, their health regenerates while they’re out of range, and they’re out of range a lot, but who wouldn’t want to engage in a war of attrition that can last about five agonising minutes a pop? Slowly chipping away at a health bar that then fills up again while you’re powerless to stop it sounds like a blast, right? Right?!"

Ugh, this sounds like that lousy Gamera game I reviewed a while back, except with the giant monsters swapped out for crappy actors. You should receive a medal for enduring this. Or therapy. Both?
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EmP posted July 28, 2016:

Of all the awful 32X games I've had to play so far, this was the worst. By a long margin.

It's only because I know this is behind me and I know they can't get any worse that I'm not dumping the 32X project right now.

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