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Highlander: The Last of the Macleods (Jaguar CD) artwork

Highlander: The Last of the Macleods (Jaguar CD) review


"The Jaguar CD's heavy reliance on ports, arcade FMV adventures and multimedia showcases in its short existence made it impossible to truly grasp its potential as 64 bit system. While the idea of the Jaguar being a true 64-bit system is laughable in retrospect due to the 32-bit Playstation providing players with a far greater aesthetic experience, I find it interesting to look back on these failed adventures that attempted to lead us into a new and exciting technological era. "


The Jaguar CD's heavy reliance on ports, arcade FMV adventures and multimedia showcases in its short existence made it impossible to truly grasp its potential as 64 bit system. While the idea of the Jaguar being a true 64-bit system is laughable in retrospect due to the 32-bit Playstation providing players with a far greater aesthetic experience, I find it interesting to look back on these failed adventures that attempted to lead us into a new and exciting technological era.

Highlander is odd because it looks great. Well, let me rephrase that, it looks great in comparison with any other Jaguar CD game. An “open” world adventure title is much more ambitious that compressed Don Bluth animation or live action sequences, all of which were thrown at us in mass during the FMV experiments and while Alone in the Dark had wooed PC gamers with its polygon shaped demonic aura, not many home consoles were able to provide enough juice to take that experience to your television. Highlander bears a great deal of resemblance to that adventure but with none of the creativity or personality to make it stand out.

Anyone who was a fan of the movie will ultimately be disappointed by the fact that this game is actually based on the animated series. So instead of grainy cut scenes from the film, you get grainy cut-scenes of animation to link the story together instead. After a tenuous opening sequence, you'll be thrust into the action.

You'll notice the impressive polygon graphics and will be captivated by the CD quality ambient drones. The 3-D environment is certainly something to fawn over since it's really one of the few titles on the system that attempts to live up to its own hype. It is interesting to see, but sadly, your time to gawk is up!

As you begin, an armed guard is charging towards you. Your first instinct is to protect yourself. You attempt to back into a defensive position and launch a counter-attack. The guard leaps in your direction, clutching a whip and proceeds to violently flail at you. You hit back but you notice that your punch lunges forward a second, after you tapped the attack button. Unfortunately, this delay doesn't go both ways and before you know it, the guard has beaten you to death.

Back to the fight again, I realise that a direct attack will not be effective so I back away. I, painfully, back away. The sluggish delay almost drags my avatar away from the immediate threat and I turn to face my enemy for my second attempt at combat. Sadly, he is two steps ahead of me and leaps across the area, proceeding to beat me to pulp a second time.

Round 3. I've already concluded that fighting without a weapon is pointless and that the controls are not on my side, so I choose to just run. The game is about to present me with its second fatal flaw. The overhead camera decides to change itself mid screen and completely disrupts my movement. It couldn't wait for me to reach the edge of the area I was in before it decided to give me a cinematic viewing of my inevitable demise. Wonderful. Not only are you thrown into an area with two visible enemies, you have two invisible enemies after you too. The camera and controls effectively team up against you to prevent any progress whatsoever.

It's hard t explain when a game is so bad, that even its basic mechanics directly hinder your progress. It's a shame too, as this title's open world environment definitely pushes the Jaguar to its limits, especially since enhanced original Jaguar games and FMV reaction test marathons were its only brethren. It's unplayable but it's hilariously unplayable. It's unfair but it's brilliantly unfair. It's also the final time that this successful franchise which once spawned multiple movies, an animated TV series and a live action TV series would be encapsulated into a video game. Maybe it's for the best

1/5

Vorty's avatar
Community review by Vorty (November 15, 2017)

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