Divine Sealing (Genesis) review
"All I can tell you is that you shoot your way through five planets, kill a boss and then get a couple of delicious moments of cartoon girls stripping while expressions of what could either be ecstasy or anguish dance across their face. "
I have to admit I got what I deserved when I played Divine Sealing. Letís be honest -- people donít play this game because of intense shooting action or innovative gameplay. No, they lower themselves to the level needed to even touch this game for one reason and one reason only:
Not every Megadrive/Genesis game can boast five anime girls all too willing to remove their garments (although the world would be a better place if they did). Since I have NO ability to read Japanese, I donít know what all the dialogue during these scenes meant AND am clueless about the gameís plot (if there is one). All I can tell you is that you shoot your way through five planets, kill a boss and then get a couple of delicious moments of cartoon girls stripping while expressions of what could either be ecstasy or anguish dance across their face.
Personally, Iíd prefer ecstasy....but you never know with these import games. Iíve read far too many reviews for PC games where youíre encouraged to sexually torture stepmoms and half-sisters to take for granted these chicks are pleased to be forced into sexual servitude just because you shot the crap out of a bunch of stuff on their planet.
But anyway, I must say that, considering we are talking about a 16-bit system here, the girl scenes were pretty damn fine. Theyíre well-drawn and you get to see five sets of boobies, so thereís not much to complain about as far as this aspect of Divine Sealing goes. Personally, I hope my mind continues to work proficiently enough to remember those scenes as long as I live, since the odds of me playing this game again are lower than low for one reason and one reason only:
ITíS TOTAL CRAP!!!!!
The horrid gameplay exhibited here really brings me back to the days of the Atari 2600, when certain developers would create ďadultĒ video games. Essentially nothing more than poorly-designed, butchered versions of existing Atari games, these primitive babies were played solely so the gamer could watch the payoff: a brief snippet of two blocky people (I think) going at it in some way, shape or form. While Divine Sealing has longer cutscenes that look better, the same basic formula for disaster was definitely applied here.
As a pure shooter, this game is an unadulterated failure. The graphics are horrible and lacking in detail for the most part. Even worse, in some areas (particularly the fourth level), the backgrounds are so intrusive that the average set of human eyes will not be able to make out enemy bullets at times. Musically, things arenít much better, as for the most part, this gameís tunes were so soft that I barely noticed them over the typical, generic sounds of guns going off and enemies getting erased. That was too bad, as a couple of the selections kind of put me in that soft-core, late-night Cinemax mood, which was a positive. Or at least would have been if I didnít have to strain my ears to make out the notes.
But Divine Sealingís problems run far deeper than mere aesthetic flaws. Take a look at the enemies. There are only a handful of different foes, ranging from bees to simple crystal-like shapes. Each of them pops up on every single level and does the exact same things. The only way in which any level is different than the one preceding it is that, as you progress, enemies come at you more frequently, forcing you to fight off multiple waves at once. Oh, and they also begin shooting at you more. On the first level, itís unlikely youíll see anything besides the boss using gunfire against you, but as the game progresses, youíll be under fire quite often (with those backgrounds making things a bit harder than necessary).
The bosses arenít much better. They fire the exact same bullets as their subordinates, just releasing them a bit more frequently. And thatís about it. I even noticed that you can run into at least a couple of these guys without dying, meaning that the only way you can lose a life in those battles is by getting shot down. Since the bullets arenít that fast and the bosses arenít particularly durable, itís a safe bet that usually wonít happen to the average player.
Oh, lest I forget, you also donít get power-ups in Divine Sealing (at least not in the traditional way). You start out with a weak gun and the only upgrading it does is gaining the ability to fire in multiple directions. This doesnít happen as a result of you picking up items, though. To the best of my deductive reasoning (although I could be wrong Ė I did find this game more playable when I completely shut down my brain), the additional weaponry is triggered by reaching certain scoring marks without losing a life. If you go for a while without dying, youíll eventually be able to shoot in about eight different directions with your weak attack. Itís better than nothing, but I prefer being able to customize my ship to some degree.
Because of all these things, I must admit I found one of Divine Sealingís flaws to actually be a blessing. This game only has five stages, with most of them not being particularly lengthy. Thatís a couple levels short of what I tend to consider an acceptable length for my shooters, but I made an exception for this one. As poorly as Divine Sealing played, I was all too glad to see that the game was over. My only regret? That the naked chicks were gone from my life forever.
Staff review by Rob Hamilton (October 06, 2005)
Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.
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