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Skull & Crossbones (Arcade) artwork

Skull & Crossbones (Arcade) review

"If yer in the market for some rum-soaked swashbucklin’ filled with murderous buccaneers then this X marks a barely corroded doubloon o’ the beat ‘em up variety, straight and true."

Avast, ye scurvy bilge rats! If yer in the market for some rum-soaked swashbucklin’ filled with murderous buccaneers then this X marks a barely corroded doubloon o’ the beat ‘em up variety, straight and true. As that evil-smellin’, grog-swillin’ scoundrel One Eye or his chum-scarfin’ chum Red Dog, ye’ll pillage yer way ‘cross the high seas in pursuit o’ wealth, wenches, and a lubber o’ a wizard what stole yer plunder!

Aye, with greed in their hearts and lust in their loins, our cutlass-wieldin’ cap’ns sack gold-laden forts and rescue buxom beauties from the clutches o’ rival sea scum on their way to decapitatin’ this bald baddie. When yer not crossin’ blades with snooty Spaniards and skeletal hordes o’ the undead, yer travels even take ye straight into the camp o’ silent oriental assassins armed with sword and star – aye, it’s PIRATES VERSUS NINJAS! By LeChuck’s wrigglin’ beard, if that don’t shiver yer timbers then ye must be sportin’ a wooden yardarm.

And there be plenty more where that came from, me hearties. While ye’re swingin’ from the riggin’ and floggin’ the oggin’, ye can expect colorful and expressive visuals, cheesily adventurous ditties, and swordfightery that actually feels like duelin’ and not just punchin’ people with that cutter in yer hand. To win ye’ll have to parry, block, and thrust as ye seek a gap in yer opponents’ defenses, and ye can even strike a quick backhanded blow at the barmy bastard sneakin’ up from behind.

Only thing that gets me pantaloons in a twist is that to pull off these moves ye’ll have to jerk yer stick to and fro in a mighty struggle, and after a while that gets me wrists a throbbin’! The strength o’ yer attacks also decreases with every hit, so to recharge it ye have to pick up the guineas dropped by yer slain foes or risk gettin’ yer deck swabbed.

More important, this is the sort o’ coin munchin’ machine where ye buy health by addin’ more cash upfront and it’s hard to get more in the game itself. Yer life also starts drainin’ away if the timer runs out, which means it’s time to haul some keel; and while there’s plenty bumboo littered about to increase yer health, the results are so meager that finishin’ this one will cost many pieces o’ eight. Unless ye thieved it to yer PC, that is. Which ye almost certainly have. After all, ye don’t pay for nothin’ – ye be a PIRATE!

If a masterful brawler is yer heart’s desire then ye’d best be plottin’ a course for fairer waters, but all ye real lads and lasses o’ the sea grab a mate, put three sheets to the wind, and give a manly cheer for PIRACY!

sho's avatar
Staff review by Sho (September 19, 2006)

Sho enjoys classic video games, black comedy, and poking people until they explode -- figuratively or otherwise. He also writes a bit.

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