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Panzer Bandit
  opened by paleface at 20:17:55 08/31/03  
  last modified by paleface at 06:16:05 09/28/03  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Beat_em_up; loc=JPN]
Gorgeous super-deformed side-scrolling 2D beat-'em-up with semi-3D backgrounds, screen zoom like Samurai Shodown and a two-plane fighting field like the early Fatal Fury titles. The characters all have a sort of Mega Man cuteness to them, animate well and, in a few of the boss characters, reach considerable size.
You've got four playable characters, each with three hand-to-hand attack buttons of varying strength, a special move button and an energy attack button. The energy attack power comes from hitting people with other attacks and builds up in a fighting-game-style power meter. As far as we could see, however, there's almost no reason not to use the special move button to the near exclusion of all others as the special move are powerful, combo easily and use no energy.
So at least with two players there's very little finesse to the game: you special move, special move, special move, etc until all the badguys are gone, then you dash forward and repeat in the next section of the level. Not that this is bad: there's considerable gleeful fun to be had as you corner-trap and juggle the baddies up into the air while your partner keeps them off-balance with a constant barrage of bouncing bomblets. The carnage is immense and nearly non-stop as long as the game lasts. Very satisfying, if not always very challenging.
There's also a fighting-game style Vs. mode where you can play with up to four characters at once (multitap or CPU), team or battle royale. Sort of fun but not meant as more than a diversion, I think, since there really isn't all that much strategy or variety to be had with only four characters and one background; oh, and the characters are not very balanced. But if you like 2D beat-'em-ups, the story mode is well worth it.
· action.jpg

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