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February 28, 2002
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 Overall Score: *71*ESRB Rating: Teen (T)

Crypt Killer [Sony PlayStation] 

by Konami  Reviewed by: Mark Skorupa  


screenshotOverview

Are you one of those people who have gone out and bought one of the cool light guns on the market, only to be disappointed with the lack of games that support the gun? This has been my biggest complaint. Well, Konami is adding a title straight from the arcades to your PlayStation that supports light guns. This is a step in the right direction, although Crypt Killer is not a ground-breaking title. At this point, any gun-supporting title is a welcome addition.

For those not familiar with the Crypt Killer arcade game, let me fill you in. First off, don't look for anything that even remotely resembles strategy from this game. The object is, purely and simply, shoot the bad guys. When you finish shooting the bad guys on the screen, wait for more and then shoot them. That's it. The game is a typical light gun game that automatically advances you through various different situations, facing assorted enemies. As the title suggests, the enemies happen to be either dead, rotting, skeletal or a combination of all three. Crypt Killer does offer the choice of multiple paths through six different worlds. The goal is to finish two of the worlds and receive the fabled Eyes of Guidance jewels. Find two jewels and you will be treated to one of the various ending cinemas.

Gameplay

Crypt Killer is a self-advancing game that throws you into the mix with a ton of evil enemies. It is a standard shoot-and-reload adventure with the traditional bad guy jumping up directly in front of you. The basic object is to shoot everything in as few shots as possible. At the end of each section, you are briefed on your shooting percentage. I did not see any advantage or bonus to having a high shooting percentage unless you play games for the high score. I personally have not played a game for high score since, probably, Asteroids. The name of the game today is finishing the game. So basically what I would do is blast anything and everything as often as possible. I didn't care about anything else but survival so I could go to the next round.

ScreenshotThe game does sport a nice assortment of enemies. You will find yourself crossing paths with sword-wielding skeletons, zombies that crawl up through the ground, gargoyles, walking fish-like creatures, giant rats, bats and huge spiders, not to mention six different bosses. All the enemies have their own special attacks and vary in the number of times they must be shot before they die. Also, the enemies have a cool way of exploding into flying chunks of meat, flesh or bones depending on the one you shoot. The exploding bodies may sound a bit disgusting, but it is not too graphic, more exaggerated and humorous.

Along your journey, you will encounter treasure chests. These chests are the homes of special weapons. You start the game armed with only a 5-shot semi-automatic weapon. You will find shotguns, grenade guns, machine guns and automatic assault weapons. One of the problems I found with the game is what you almost never find. It is almost impossible to find any health in the game. The reason that this is lame is because of my second complaint -- you can't save the game. You basically have a maximum of three continues to make it through all six levels with no health-ups. This does make it more challenging, but let's be realistic. What if I am in the middle of a great game and have to leave? Too bad.

The different game environments that you will be escorted through are quite fitting. The first world takes you through a jungle and then into a lost cavern. Next, you may find yourself blasting away in ice caves. Try another level and you will find yourself on a raft floating down a river picking off enemies from the banks of the stream. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention the winding corridors and the incredibly long spiral staircase. Whatever world you choose, you will definitely be entertained.

Crypt Killer almost must be played with a light gun to be enjoyed. Playing with a standard controller is just too slow. One word of caution: before starting the game, if you choose to turn on the auto re-load or if you have a light gun that auto re-loads automatically, the game is too easy. You can just sit there and pump rounds into the enemy until your finger falls off. This takes away the only miniscule element of strategy required in the game.

ScreenshotGraphics

The graphics in Crypt Killer are, well, umm, let's just say that the game has graphics. The problem arises when the enemies are close to the front of the screen. To say they are detailed and well-drawn would make anyone laugh hysterically, but when they step back a little, they don't look too bad. The game environments are similar in that if you are up close to something it is very distorted, but things in the distance look good. The best way to describe the graphics in Crypt Killer is to compare them to a 25-25 paint job on a car. This means that the paint job looks good from 25 yards away when the car is moving at 25 MPH, but when the car stops and you get a closer look ...

Bottom Line

Crypt Killer has one thing going for it. This is the fact that there just are not many games available that support the light gun. If you invested in a gun, more than likely you will be willing to shell out your cash for mediocre games like Crypt Killer because you have no other choice. On the whole, mediocre pretty much sums up Crypt Killer -- nothing great, but you could do worse. The enemies and game environments are entertaining, but the game may fall short on replay value.

 
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