In The Hunt

In The Hunt

An arcade powerhouse successfully comes home to the PlayStation. One of the best buys you'll ever make.

Ridged Long Box Release Ridged Long Box Release

Genre:
2D / Arcade / Shooter
CDs: 1
(513 Megs)
Players:
1 to 2 Players
ESRB: Kids to Adult
Animated Violence
Publisher:
Kokopeli
Retail Barcode:
7 52919 47003 9
Memory:
1 Block
Developer:
Irem
Sony ID:
SLUS-00172
Accessories:
None
Released:
March 27, 1996
PSRM:
001630

Dive! Dive! You’re the Captain of the latest, meanest, baddest attack sub in the sea. And it’s a good thing too, ’cause you’re gonna need every ounce of firepower you can muster to complete this mission!

It’s time to load torpedoes and open launch bays. The enemy is at full mobilization. Get ready for the wildest underwater action yet. Down periscope and blow them to squid spit!

  • Full-screen arcade shooter
  • Simultaneous 2-Player, multi-level naval warfare
  • Hundred of enemies to annihilate
  • Six battle zones to explore and conquer
  • Dozens of weapon combinations and power ups – Surface-to-air missiles, depth charges, supersonic torpedoes, floating mines and more

 

Review

I love the copy on the back of the box. They could have completely ignored trying to make it sound like some sub simulation game and just wrote “STUFF BLOWS UP GOOD.” Because it does, a lot.

If that’s not enough to warrant a look, let this soak in; this is for all intents and purposes, the original Metal Slug. Some of the staff from Irem left to form Nazca, the makers of the Slug series. You can see almost all of Slug’s origins here – the palette, the explosions styles, the over-exaggerated but still artistically beautiful vehicle designs, and more.

Game play is pretty basic, simply move, shoot, and survive. Your submarine has three angles of fire including front, upwards and downwards. You earn power-ups that will help build up your armament, and can also find bonus items for extra points.

There are 6 total levels, each with its own boss. Enemies can range from boats and other submarines, to helicopters, planes, creatures, and would you believe a giant rock golem? Graphics are in absolutely gorgeous 2D Sprite based images, with some amazing color shading and vibrant accents to each area. You’ll travel from the arctic, to an underwater temple, to a factory, and even underwater caves. Only during a level title card sequence is there a moment to rest – the game throws everything at you, all at once. Animation is top notch on everything but your submarine…it’s oddly still except if caught in some sort of turbulence.

Music and sound effects are fairly standard and nothing truly memorable, with one important difference: in the PlayStation version you can choose between the original and a PSX remake of it. Saturn only gets the arcade soundtrack.

None of this matters though – the game is pure action and explosions from start to finish, and there is never a dull moment. The boss fights are tough, but fair, and there are so many little animation touches that you’d have to play the game two or three times to catch them all. Whether its the little people running scared in the city stage, or sailing past a submerged urban ghost town, no sprite is wasted. You could probably beat the game in an hour or so total without dying, but then this is an arcade game. It’s all about the replay value and score chasing, of which it has in droves. Especially with the 2 Player action going on.

Go buy it right now. You won’t regret it.

Go.

Now.

Media

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Variants

Jewel Case Release Jewel Case Release

Trivia

  • The PlayStation edges out the Sega Saturn version with less slowdown, more characters in the high score table, and stores it to one block of Memory.
  • Members of the design team went off to form Nazca – the creators of Metal Slug!
  • The Saturn version has a CGI Movie the PlayStation doesn’t.

The Verdict

8.5Great

The Good: Excellent Arcade Port | Amazing Sprite Artwork

The Bad: Inconsistent quality between Saturn and PlayStation versions.