Astyanax Review
by Daryn

   

Okay, this game isn't all that bad. Well...yes it is. I could just start going off on how this is just another "save the princess" tale, but I could easily forgive a game for that. It's just that this is possibly the most bland and boring retelling of that tale I've ever seen. Our story begins with a normal high-school freshman named Astyanax being zapped to an alternate world. Like I'm really supposed to believe anyone with a name like "Astyanax" is normal. I have a different theory. I think this guy is so tormented by his peers for having a totally assanine name, that he probably does drugs to escape reality, and this whole damn game is just one fucked-up daydream of his. If you need more proof of this theory, read carefully the part where he tells the fairy he's only sixteen. Remember he said he was a freshman? I was a Junior by the time I was sixteen. Great. This world needs a hero, so they choose someone who's either a drug-addict, or mentally retarded.

Cutie the Fairy explains to Astyanax that he must save Princess Rosebud from the evil wizard Blackhorn, because only Rosebud can send him home. (Okay, any game that makes a Citizen Kane reference scores a few brownie points in my book.) Astyanax agrees to find Rosebud, and he is given a special axe to use as a weapon. Really? An axe. Astyanax, "God, Cutie, you transport me from my home to this world, against my will, tell me I have to fight horrible demons and an evil wizard to save a princess I don't even know, and you can't even give me some kind of powerful sword or something? No, you give me a FREAKIN' AXE! Oh, this will come in REAL handy if I get attacked by some killer Redwood Sequoias! Well, kiss my AXE, Cutie! And you would THINK that if this princess has the power to send me home, then couldn't she just USE that power to escape from the wizard, herself?!" (Okay that wasn't really in the game, but I can dream, can't I?)

Cutie also tells Astyanax that he was chosen because he has special "inner powers". Apparently, As's (can I call him "As"?), inner powers include being 3 times the size of a normal video game character, and the ability to get hit by unidentifiable flying objects with little or no way to dodge them. His lovely powdered-blue armor (which looks like a skirt), goes lovely with his chubby pink arms and legs. The animation of his walk as he trudges through the levels looks like a cross between Robocop and Glenda, the Witch of the East. Like most games, you can collect powerups by hitting statues. The good news is, one of the powerups changes your weapon. The bad news is, it looks even more retarded than the axe, and it's twice as useless.

I have to admit, though, Astyanax has pulled off something I thought no game possibly ever could. That's right. This is the one game that managed to include a fairy that is even more useless than Navi in Zelda 64. She doesn't even follow with you, and the game manual says that if you find her in a statue, she changes your weapon! Well Big WHOOP! Not only does the little claw thingy do the same thing, but that's just what I always wanted!! She can change my retarded axe to that even-more retarded curling-iron type thing, and back to the retarded axe! In fact, she's so useless and boring, the writers decided to kill her off halfway through! (oops. didn't mean to ruin that for you...YES I did!! hahahahha!)

Okay, I'll warn you this time. This part has spoilers!

If you manage to survive the choppy gameplay without going completely insane (don't worry, it gets better once they dump the damn fairy!), and trudge Roboglenda all the way to the end, you'll go up against the evil wizard Blackhorn. Once you beat this pretty cool-looking robotic-type Dragon, you will see an ending sequence of Rosebud sending As home. Translation: As finally comes down off his high and wakes up to reality. As he walks across the same bridge he was walking across at the beginning of the game (which, incidentally, I hear is the same bridge he's now living under since this game bombed so terribly), he comes across a human girl is supposed to be a reincarnation of Cutie. The two embrace, Rosebud tells him this is his reward, and the game ends. Tonight on Springer: Reincarnated, Otherworldly, Insect-women and the men who love them.

I suppose this game could've been worse. In fact, after really thinking hard about it, it's difficult to believe I actually found 9 more games that are even worse. Here is a breakdown of my thoughts on this game:

Story: 1 - Okay, I have to give it at least one point for killing off the fairy.
Graphics: 6 - They aren't all that bad. It's just too bad that, with the exception of the bosses, I can't tell what I'm fighting half the time.
Sound: 5 - The music is standard NES stuff, the title theme being the best part. But it will probably all be drowned out by your endless laughing at yourself for even buying this game.
Play Control: 5 - Controlling As is easy. Move left, move right, swing your useless axe, jump. The problem is, he's so damn huge, you can't avoid getting hit! The most annoying thing of all, is making a leap across a chasm, only to have some stinkin' plant pop up underneath you as you land, and cause you to fall backwards into the pit!
Hero Rating: 2 - He gets one point for his good sense of color coordination, the other is for his nice eyes.
Overall Score: 5 - 1 point is for killing the fairy. 2 points for the Citizen Kane reference. 1 point for at least making an attempt in the graphics and sound department. 1 point because I'm partial to men wearing powdered-blue skirts.

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