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      28.04.2005 04:38
      Very helpful



      Over the past few years, Todd McFarlane's comic book series Spawn, has
      seen several video game incarnations of itself on the SNES, PS1,
      and the Gameboy. However, unlike the great comic book series which
      it was based on, none of the games themselves were even close to
      being great. Now, Capcom has stepped in to give it a shot at the
      Spawn license in the arcades and on Dreamcast with Spawn: In the
      Demons Hand.

      Unlike past Spawn games on other consoles, Capcom's version of this
      dark hero is a deathmatch based shooter such as games like Quake 3
      and Unreal Tournament. Although the gameplay style is pretty similar
      to those games, Spawn is not a rip-off and does more then enough to
      distance itself from those 2 classics as i'll explain.

      For character, you have a good 24 or so of them in there to choose
      from the Spawn universe. These characters include Spawn himself,
      Spawn 4, Dark Age Spawn, Al Simmons, Clown, Jessica Priest,
      Redeemer, Brimstone, Grace, Sam and Twitch. Each character. Each
      character starts out with their own unique weapons and special
      moves. These weapons include things such are machine guns, pistols,
      grenades, swords, axes and land mines. Special moves vary from
      character to character and range from mundane looking kicks that
      Jessica uses to Spawns ultra cool looking chain attack.

      The levels themselves look really well done and the style of art
      Capcom used to create them looks very faithful to the series from
      what I can see. You'll fight in various locations like an ally,
      caves, a forest and a volcano like stage. Levels are a fairly good
      size and seem to be on par with the size of most of Quake 3's
      levels. In the levels you can also find several different types of
      power-up including weapon upgrades, speed boost, increased defense,
      life recovery and extra weapons.

      Now for the gameplay. Gameplay is pretty similar to Quake 3 or
      Unreal Tournament like I mentioned but plays slightly different
      depending on the mode your playing in. First in the Arcade Mode
      there's the Boss Attack where up to 2 players (split screen) can
      fight it out in a level against a boss and his goons. When your in
      the Boss Attack your on a set time limit to defeat them. Each time
      your character is killed, you loss time. When time is up, its game

      Then there's a 1-4 player Team Battle mode where 2 teams fight to
      the death. This is probably my preferred mode of play.

      Next up is the free for all Battle Royal Mode that can be played
      with up to 4 players. Now teams here. Its just everyone for
      themselves. This is probably my second favorite mode of play.

      Finally there's also a single player Tournament Mode where you can
      play Team and Battle Royal Modes in that as well. These are pretty
      much the same as the ones found in the Arcade Mode except their a
      single player experience and seem to be abit tougher. You also have
      to earn special KO points which are needed to advance to further
      stages of the game rather then simply killing a boss.

      Now, unlike Quake 3, Spawn is set in a 3rd person behind the
      shoulder view like in Tomb Raider. While this may look cool, Capcom
      unfortunately didn't spend much time and effort on the camera
      system. This make running around and tracking enemies far tougher
      then it should be. Many times you'll find yourself getting killed
      time and time again and you'll never even be able to see what killed
      you. This is especially problematic in the Boss Attack mode where
      your swarmed with the bosses goons like no tomorrow while trying to
      take on the boss. It's really a damn shame Capcom opted not to fix
      this problem. You would figure that the programmers would have
      realized that this major problem during development.

      Now, another big gripe that I have here is the total lack of online
      play. Why? Isn't multiplayer online the biggest draw to games of
      this type? I mean, the split screen runs ok and all here (despite
      the camera problems anyway), but nothing beats full screen when it
      comes to multiplayer games. Who wants to play in a tiny scrunched
      down box anyway?

      Graphics 7: Graphics in Spawn are mighty pretty. The frame rate runs
      around a steady 30 frames per second, textures are clean and well
      drawn, the environment look fantastic and strait from the comic.
      Character models are also very well done and animate very fast and
      fluid. Some of the larger boss characters such as Violator look a
      slight bit blocky but still very impressive nonetheless. Then there
      the final boss Malebogia who looks simply amazing. He's hands down
      one of the most impressive looking bosses i've ever seen in a game.

      Like I mentioned earlier, the camera is the only real problem with
      the games graphics. This has got to be one of the worst camera
      systems i've ever seen. If not for it, this game would have easily
      scored a strong 8 or 9 in the graphics area.

      Sound 8: Another impressive area of the game is the sound. The music
      is your typical heavy metal type soundtrack that fits the game
      perfectly. Sound effects are very well done too. The one real
      complaint I have here is with the voices. There's just really not
      many of them here and the ones that are here have sort of a low and
      slightly muffled sound to them. Still pretty good job on the sound

      Control 7: Grrr this camera. The horrid camera angles make
      controlling your character far tougher then it should be. Also, why
      won't the game let me use the analog stick to move my character
      around? It would have been much better for me then using the digital
      D pad. Despite these 2 flaws, the control is pretty responsive and
      easy to learn. Again, this would have scored higher if Capcom chose
      to fix the camera.

      Overall, Spawn: In the Demons Hand is a good game held back from
      being great because of the camera. There is simply no excuse for
      this except for sloppy programming on Capcom's part. I would have
      easily given the game 4 stars if not for the problems. However, I
      still found myself drawn to the game despite its flaws. I'd
      recommend this game to fans of the genre or Spawn. I just wouldn't
      suggest paying over $20 for it.



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