Maces Away! I get some weaponry to juggle in this job, I can tell you. Laser pistols, swords, hand grenades, machine guns and axes. This time, it's the delicate charms of the mace that I've had to master.
Playing Black Tiger isn't something to be taken lightly. No flimsy lightweight hack and slash this. No. Black Tiger is the double-headed broadaxe of fantasy fighting games.
Your quest is simple. FInd and kill three dragons which are hiding at different ends of a dangerous, mythical world. Even from the very start, you're tooled up with some heavy kit. You've got a huge mace and a fistful of daggers. This should give you a clue of what's to come. Sure enough, you've only walked about ten paces what a wopping great man-eating vegetable (Sounds like my Mum - Wayne) leaps up and, well, swallows you. Eurgh.
It quickly becomes apparent that your environment is as hostile as the dragons' guardians. As well the huge plants, there are horrible surprises lurking at the top of some ladders, and ultra-poisonous spikey mushrooms lurking underneath wide jumps.
There's no option but to attack from the word "go". Once you've discovered and memorized the walking patterns of the bad guys, you can then work out the best positions to ambush them. When one comes along, you can drop off a ladder and bring the mace crashing down on their heads, followed up with a volley of flying daggers.
Your level of equipment (fnar quack) can be increased once you've collected enough money. Nice to see that the free market economy still operates even in fantasyland. Fortunately, money can be found simply lying around on the floor. It's everywhere in fact. On the floor, in pots, in chests. And you need every last penny to tool yourself up for the battles to come.
Graphically, Black Tiger is about as good as they come. It's true that there have been lot of side-on monochrome games around, but the scrolling screens and the platforms that hang in mid-air have the same sort of appeal as Myth with their feeling of scale.
The gameplay is spot on. It's tough, but addictive enough to keep you coming back for more.
B.T. makes an extremely welcome break from the plethors of space exploration games around at the moment. If you fancy a bit of extremely violent fun, get your cash ready now.
Label: US Gold
Reviewer: Jim Douglas
Mythical mini-war with some very tough meanies.