UEP Systems



Rising Zan: The Samurai Gunman Review

By: John Doe

From the opening strains of Johnny No More, Rising Zan's theme song, you'll know this isn't the usual videogame fare. You're Zan now, the Ultra Sexy Hero; part cowboy, part Samurai swordsman and all man. You've got to save the Old West from the scourge of the East, namely a whole whack of Ninja's. Luckily you've trained hard in the ways of the Samurai and can be rest assured no one will ever say "Looks like you brought a knife to a gunfight, pardner," ever again. Cuz this time, you're packing both.


Have you ever watched a movie that tries too hard to be quirky and ultimately falls a little flat? Rising Zan is like that. Even though this game originated in Japan where the most bizarre ideas are made into games, the premise still feels forced. Johnny gets attacked and gets the crap kicked out of him. Feeling inadequate, he picks up and moves to Japan (which is no easy feat back in the 1800's) and learns the art of swordplay, fending (??) and blowing people away with his six gun. He then returns to the Old West to stop the infestation of Ninjas. The Ninjas must work slowly because you have to figure the boat ride back and forth to and from Japan, not to mention the ten minutes spent training there must have taken a loooooooooooong time.

While the game tries hard to bring something new to the table, it just misses the mark on most counts. The graphics are first generation at best, the control is mediocre with either the digital pad or the analog control, the camera is one of the worst I've seen, the end level boss encounters harken back to the 16 bit days of game design and sadly the game just doesn't do all that much to hold your attention or encourage you to continue, unless it's of the "Let's see how bad this level will be" variety. I wanted to like Zan but thanks to the horrible camera, I found this game almost impossibe to play. I can't tell you how many times I fought with the camera, trying to get it focus on anyone else but Zan. I know Zan has an ego but does he really need to look at himself while he is in mortal danger?

I feel the rest of my review can best be summed up in song. Please sing the rest of the review to the tune of Spider-Man, which is not only the best song ever written, but should be America's new national anthem. Who's with me on that one?

Okay so maybe that didn't tell you much. You can't blame a guy for trying. Anyway, trying to play a game with bad camera angles, repetitive gameplay and questionable control is futile and frustrating. Rising Zan has it's moments but you probably won't stick around long enough to experience them. Bottom line: Almost quirky enough to be a cult favorite but only if it controlled better and didn't try so hard to be different. Rent if you are curious.






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