This week we dive again into the world of obscure Neo Geo Pocket games. Between more obvious titles like Metal Slug: 1st Mission or Match of the Millenium, there's a less known but excellent title waiting to be discovered. Settled in the same universe as SNK's Beast Busters, in 1999 SNK released Dark Arms for their own handheld console.
Tell us if you have ever had the honor to play this Action RPG and share your impressions with us. This time there won't be any HSC of course, unless you want to take some hours for a non-stop Speed Run.
Dark Arms: Beast Buster
Genre: Action RPG Players: 1 Size: 16 Released on: NGPC
Dark Arms: Beast Buster is an action role-playing game released by SNK for Neo-Geo Pocket Color in 1999. It is the follow-up to the SNK arcade shooter Beast Busters. Dark Arms features a girl, Meghan Loughlin, whose job is to defeat and contain an outbreak of demons and act as a mediator between this world and the next. The game is unique in that the character can collect the spirits of the various demons and zombies you fight in the game with a gun known as The Catcher. The player character can use captured spirits to 'feed' his weapons and evolve them into more powerful forms. For example, the Handgun evolves into the Sub Shotgun, which can then evolve into the Shotgun, and so on.
Ok so two things I should admit before giving my opinion on this little game...
One, Iím not a big fan of RPGs. Quite honestly, I usually plain-out donít have the time to put into them.
Two, Iím a big horror fan. The mere fact that this is an SNK horror title might automatically make my opinion of this title a bit biased.
That being said, I think that if you like ghosts, monsters, blood, and spooky little things of that nature, itís probably impossible to hate this game.
If you are a hardcore RPG player, this might turn you off because itís probably a lot shorter than most RPGS. I would also imagine it wouldn'tít be half as fun playing on an emulator, as half of the appeal of NGPC games (IMO) lies in playing on the hardware itself. The NGPC hardware makes this game simple and enjoyable. The fact that it is portable gives people the option of playing a RPG of this nature during the countless times youíre just sitting around waiting for something.
Anyways this game saved me from hours of boredom.
Ok, so the game itself.
Basically, in theme, itís what would happen if you mixed Ghost Busters with Pokemon.
Itís generic, really... but it does have itís twist and turns. You start out just wanting to make ďthe strongest weaponĒ and be the strongest Beast Buster in history. You initially are working for this evil-looking skull-head guy named ĎThe Masterí. By the end of the game, all of that changes and you end up fighting for the freedom of the soul of a innocent little girl, who is basically trapped in hell 0_0. There are some plot twist, like I said, and the cut scenes are pretty cool. Not the best of stories but, enough to make you want to continue with the game.
You basically look for eggs (which you use to create various weapons) and Oum (basically the souls of different weapons types). You apply each different type of OUM to an egg to create a base weapon. I think there are about 5 different Oum. In the game you can find a total of 10 eggs to which to apply the Oum. This results with quite the assortment of weapons possible.
In order to make you weapon stronger. You basically have to slay OR catch different monsters.
Slaying a monster merely gives weapons experience, while catching a monster (can only be done with certain weapons) give the weapon ďevolveĒ points. Each weapon type has many ways to which evolve your weapon. This kinda gives the player some options as to which weapons to create, feed and evolve. Basically the game automatically keeps track of each type of enemy (the are 47, including bosses) that you catch. Enemies that are caught can be fed to your weapons to evolve. Once a weapon is evolved as you wish, next step is to just kill the strongest enemies you can find (they give more EXP) and make your weapons stats better. The highest level a weapon can obtained is 50.
Graphics / sound:
Anyways. The graphics are pretty damned good for a NGPC game. The colors are awesome. Also each area that you can travel to has two versions, a night and a day version of the level. The monsters themselves look pretty awesome and the bosses are pretty evil looking, which is good.
The sound effects of course are limited, but they really do the best they can. After all, this is a NGPC game. The music is awesome, a lot of scary little tunes that match the game perfectly. Some of the spooky music got stuck in my head, and most of it sounds like 70ís-80ís horror movie music.
Overall I found is game very entertaining and addicting. I managed to catch every monster in the game ( it took some time), including the bosses (the last boss is a BITCH to catch). The game isnít that difficult but itís not a pushover. Finding the best weapons to evolve and feed is the most important thing. If you want some advice... Shoved Mano ( a very powerful closed ranged weapon), Protects Gun ( a good long ranged weapon) and Dummy Trap ( the best way to catch monsters) are a MUST in this game. The others really are just for show and should only be developed when the game is finished.
Sorry, this was more of a mini-review. But I had some spare time today.
Ok, I will shut up now.
Edited by LIFE_IN_2D on 07. May 2012 04:39
shot in the eye
shot in the brain
shot in the ass...
Real life has had me swamped all week so I haven't had the time to play this like I had planned! I wanted to put a bit of time into it in preparation for this GOTW, but then a bunch of people quit/got fired/got injured at work so I suddenly had a ton of extra hours. Don't you hate it when real life gets in the way of video games?
Anyway, it looks like this is what I'll be playing this week when I get the time. If I get the time.
Never played this one, myself- I don't have a NGPC (yet) and rarely play handheld games on an emulator (they belong on the small screens they were designed for, IMO). The game looks interesting, though. Like 2D, I'm a horror fan so the aesthetics and tunes of this little action-RPG are very appealing. The music reminds me a bit of Shadowgate for the NES (a personal favorite). The weapon-leveling system with its "undead Pokemon" theme sounds very cool
Edited by Chiba3010 on 07. May 2012 07:54
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