Saturday, 15 December 2012

Vectorman: Game Design Review

Released on the Sega Megadrive, Vectorman was re-released as part of Sega's release of Retro games a couple of years ago. Despite people saying it's one of the better games on the Sega Megadrive, I really can't get into the game.

Vector was partly created to showcase the 3D capabilities of the Sega Megadrive and has very interesting early 90's visual style which is certainly very unique even if it hasn't aged as well as other 2D games. It's not quite Shinobi or Golden Axe on the Megadrive in terms of 2D Artwork but I think it measures up well in an artistic manner.

Most enemies and objects in the game are animated quite well in the game which is important in games like this. The actual controls of Vectorman are fairly robust. He only has one attack but he's fast, responds fairly well and has a double jump.

Despite all it's pluses, the design breaks down in the level design and gameplay department. Why? 

Speed- Simply put, everything is just too fast. Bullets are too big and enemies move too fast. When combined with the extremely fluid motion highly responsive speedy movements of Vectorman it ends up being very difficult. I was constantly running into enemies that were just off-screen or being blasted by the fast bullets.

Levels are a bit too big- The levels are fairly large and at times it can lead to accidentally missing platforms several levels. It's a minor quibble but tighter level design really would have benefited the game. When combined with the speed as mentioned above, I find it hard to recommend the game.

I liked the idea of Vectorman but the tight gameplay from other games like Golden Axe I, Golden Axe II and Shinobi III is simply missing and the high frustration factor completely diminishes any hope of me recommending the game. This is one game which has all the technical elements of a good game but where careful editing and thoughtful level design would have made all the difference.

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