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Spawn: In the Demon's Hand (Dreamcast) artwork

Spawn: In the Demon's Hand (Dreamcast) review


"If nothing else, the latest electronic incarnation of Spawn can at least know it's the best looking god-awful game of the year. Maybe I'm being too harsh. But while Todd McFarlene continues to change from indie comic artist to obscenely rich uber-sell out, gamers are screwed. The straight-from-hell hero is cursed on gaming platforms, and Capcom's latest effort (a port of an Naomi game) could've ended up being enjoyable if Capcom only tweaked a few things. "



If nothing else, the latest electronic incarnation of Spawn can at least know it's the best looking god-awful game of the year. Maybe I'm being too harsh. But while Todd McFarlene continues to change from indie comic artist to obscenely rich uber-sell out, gamers are screwed. The straight-from-hell hero is cursed on gaming platforms, and Capcom's latest effort (a port of an Naomi game) could've ended up being enjoyable if Capcom only tweaked a few things.

As I said, it's good looking. The 3-D models are well animated and well textured, and enviroments look clean. But the lack of analog control and funky camera doesn't fit in. The game came only be controlled only with the cross key. A damn shame. Spawn, or any of the other characters you can play as, move sluggishly. I literally bled playing it. Somehow, constantly pushing my thumb around on the DC's poorly configured cross key reopened a cut. Not much blood came out, but still. ANYWAY, this isn't really a problem when equipped with a Joystick, but a Joystick doesn't help the experience since the camera is even worse than the control. The camera doesn't even know wether it wants Spawn to be a 3-D beat em up a la Final Fight, or an FPS. The camera goes from first person, then out on top of you, then pulled far away, then in front of you, then pulls you out of frame, then above you...etc. Frustrating.

The core of Spawn's one-player options is the Boss Kill Mode. You usually have 2 and 1/2 minutes to run around a scrunched enviroment beating on hapless minor enemies and almost unstoppable bosses. The goal is to simply beat the boss within the alotted time and move on to the next level. Dying in is constant, and instead of giving you lives to lose, you lose 12 seconds. Bosses typically have patterns of attack, but attack moves, like those of the Violator, are impossible. Bosses leave few openings to exploit, forcing you to try and hit them as much as possible before they finally kill you. There is very little variety and it's all frustrating.

The single player gameplay is a good example of why gamers want more than a simple straight arcade port. It would be fun if you were just chugging 50 cents in for a play, but at $49.95 in GD form it's worthless.

Now all of this isn't to say there are not good things. There are pleny 'o characters from the Spawn universe to play as, and the game features some nice multiplayer options like death match. What's peculiar about this effort, however, is Capcom's move to take out internet play from the US version. With SegaNet up and running, one wonders why Capcom didn't exploit it.

Spawn is a game to avoid. It's not EGG or 7th Cross in terms of awfulness, but it's still pretty bad. Rent this if you must, but don't commit any real cash to it.

Rating: 4/10

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Community review by pestes (Date unavailable)

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