“ Manufacturer: Lucas Arts / Genre: Fighting / Release Date: 1997 „
A long time ago, on a games console far, far and away greater than those released today...
MASTERS OF TERAS KASI
So, the Emperor wishes to retaliate against the Rebel
Alliance for their destruction of the Death Star. Enter
stage left Arden Lyn whom, with a mechanical arm and
armed with the knowledge of an almost forgotten martial
art Teras Kasi, is called upon by The Emperor to remove
key members of the Rebel Alliance. Naturally, the news
filter through to the Alliance, whom prepare to fight...
For those wanting to live out those lightsaber duels in a fighting game, Star Wars: Master of Teras Kasi will come as a disappointment. Had the lightsabers been true to their depiction then the game would have been like Bushido Blade I guess, but it's the Tekken series, with it's button-for-each-limb system, of which it shares similarities. Where it doesn't match up is that throws cannot be countered, but that's not to say that it doesn't throw punches of it's own - taking on-board side-stepping before the Tekken games did. Also, it features a power bar which allows for special moves, and as it is filled by pulling off certain moves as well as taking damage, thus it presents a chance for the losing fighter to strike back and force (groan) a comeback.
Controls are non-customisable, with the shoulder buttons seeing to side-stepping, as well as switching stances by drawing out a fighter's weapon (if available). The fighting modes are fairly standard - Arcade/Vs/Survival/ 4 vs 4 Team Battle. Sadly, an in-game moves list is absent, and this is not helped by the Practice Mode being so basic - input commands can be seen but no setting up of situations. Furthermore, ringouts cannot be turned off. Could a remote not be brought in for blocking and dodging practice? - now there's a missed opportunity! The game does open to the familiar scrolling yellow text prologue, and during the fights, various Star Wars vehicles are there for spotting in the background however, the character models are rather average. Present though are the recognisable Star Wars sound effects and music offered for listening to in the options - oddly, the music can be turned off, but who'd want to do that?
Admittedly, I like Star Wars, but am not a fan; I appreciate fighting games, but am hopeless at them - thankfully, the other options (no of rounds; time of rounds) made completion of Arcade on Jedi difficulty setting not too troublesome a task for myself. I found the fighting to feel somewhat sluggish. The endings are well underwhelming - if it isn't the shortest of FMV sequences, then it's a block of text. As for the unlockables, they do see to characters with cloned move-sets - the number of unique move-sets fails to make double-figures. However, on the good (or Dark) side, not only can the Dark Lord of the Sith himself become available to play as, but best of all, Princess Leia can be unlocked in THAT outfit! Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi is a fair fighter, but it lacks the variety to attract fighting game fans, and it's far-from-fluid game engine would do well to force (double-groan) them into switching allegience.
For fans of the Star Wars universe this is definitely not worth a look at for even just a peek at the style of games that the original Playstation was rife with. This very much plays on the success of the orginal Soul Blade / Tekken series that debuted those many moons ago.
It jumps on this bandwagon with some enthusiasm and playability for fans of the subject material definitely but for people interested in fighters it quite possibly isnt worth the few pounds you might pick it up for these days. It has all the characters you'd expect from Luke, Han Solo, Boba Fett to even an unlockable Darth Vader.
Unfortunately this really cannot save the game from the unbelievably slow and lackluster engine it was built on, compared to the games i mentioned above it has none of the appeal, none of the style and none of the nostalgia worth peering back through the ages for. Unless of course your wanting to look at possibly one of the worst fighting games to have graced this poor little grey console. Slow moving, slow combo's, unbalanced characters, lightsabre's that have been reduced to what feels like a nerf bat as it bounces off people were all pieces of the puzzle that led to this losing it's galaxy charms.
Even for nostalgic Star Wars fans, i'd recommend you steer clear of this unless your walking past it in a car boot sale and manage to somehow wrangle it for a price less than a cup of tea. Then power to you and dont say i didnt warn you!