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In the Hunt (Saturn) artwork

In the Hunt (Saturn) review


"The world is screwed up. Well, mostly screwed up, since the Dark Anarchy Society has taken over half of the planet with its use of brute force. And if no one puts a stop to them anytime soon, the rest of the world will be met with D.A.S.'s weapons of mass destruction. Thankfully, all's not lost, because you, yes YOU, have been sent on a mission to invade D.A.S.'s headquarters and put an end to their evil badness.... doings. Basically, a suicide mission. Well, at least you get to control a souped..."



The world is screwed up. Well, mostly screwed up, since the Dark Anarchy Society has taken over half of the planet with its use of brute force. And if no one puts a stop to them anytime soon, the rest of the world will be met with D.A.S.'s weapons of mass destruction. Thankfully, all's not lost, because you, yes YOU, have been sent on a mission to invade D.A.S.'s headquarters and put an end to their evil badness.... doings. Basically, a suicide mission. Well, at least you get to control a souped-up jet fighter.

Oh, I'm sorry, I meant submarine.

Yup, you heard right, in this horizontal shoot-em-up, you won't be manning a flying contraption of any sort, but a pimped-out submarine. It's a pretty cool change of pace, really, and the developers didn't hold back at taking advantage of it. Though, as you start the first stage in the South Pole, things are a bit slow: you shoot some submarines, blow up mines, and submerge to hit a couple of helicopters out of the cold sky. There are some tense moments, like when a giant boat appears out of nowhere, shooting you with loads of missiles from its top half, and filling the bottom of the sea with blue, glowing bullets with its bottom half. But, for the most part, the first stage is pretty standard, shoot-em-up fare.

However, things get a bit more serious when you start the chaotic second stage. As you enter a dockyard, a group of fighter planes will coming zooming by every few seconds, dropping missiles in your path. Since the water here isn't as deep as it was in the first stage, there isn't much room to dodge, so you gotta take them out quickly. Further into the stage is where things REALLY get awesome as you enter a city. There's chaos everywhere: helicopters in the sky, gun turrets pop out of the ocean floor, an army of yellow mechs come out of hiding places, and get this, a giant bulldozer will be shooting missiles at you while it pushes trucks into the water. And if you have time to notice, you'll also see tiny, little humans run for their lives as windows shatter above them. Hell, some of them even jump off destroyed bridges into the water below to escape!

The action, as well as the detailed animation, in that stage is definitely intense. It doesn't stop there, though, you'll endure more hectic moments later on. For instance, for the duration of one of the following stages, you're constantly moving your sub upwards, dodging various other subs, an army of falling mechs, and squeezing through mines scattered everywhere. Doesn't sound like much, until you know WHY you're moving up: a giant, ticked-off rock monster just woke up, and it's climbing up towards your sub in an attempt to destroy it. How cool is that? Things get even nuttier later as you go up against dozens of enemies filling up the screen, big and small, in locations like a ruined city and caverns filled with magma and boiling, hot rocks spilling out of corners.

While In the Hunt is an intense shoot-em-up with quite a number of cool moments, it does have a couple of problems. One such problem is that you can easily get destroyed at times due to the fact that things get too crazy on screen. There's so many things blowing up, things breaking apart into little pieces, and other effects, that, amongst all that chaos, an enemy missile can easily hit your sub without you knowing it. Another hassle has to do with your submarine's size. Because of how wide it is, there's times where sneaking around obstacles will lead to your destruction. There's these moments later in the game where you'll have to navigate through a field of big missiles that are launching out of the ground. They're tightly bunched next to each other, which really gives you little room for error. You can slow them down or speed them up with your weapons, but it's still overwhelming, and will lead to a lot of lost lives.

But, despite those rough spots, In the Hunt is a unique and fun shoot-em-up that you should try out sometime. It's a bit on the short side, though, but hey, what shoot-em-up isn't?

Rating: 7/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (February 07, 2007)

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