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Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage

video game review video game review video game review video game review Video Game Review: Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage Publisher: Eidos
Category: Adventure
Platform: Dreamcast
ESRB Rating: Mature    Release Date: February 2000

Overall Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 4

Review by Tom Allen
3½ Stars out of 4

The Dreamcast is spoiling me, and so is Eidos. I played three of their Dreamcast titles in a row: Kain, Raider, and Berserk. All three games were extremely enjoyable, but I was most surprised by Sword of the Berserk. This game truly excited me. I was constantly impressed at Kenpuu Denki's polished, professional story, based on manga (Japanese comics).

The characters quickly grow on you. Guts, the main character, is a husky-voiced Clint Eastwood/Solid Snake wanna-be with one lazy eye. That one eye does a lot for his persona.

Cam Clarke is a bona fide scene stealer as Puck, who acts exactly like his namesake in William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Overall, the game's voice acting is top notch.

Susumu Hirasawa's music is well-done, mixing Renaissance themes with vocals and more action-oriented themes at times.

The game is truly a fighting game in every aspect of game play (like "Batman Returns" for the Super Nintendo), but the long movie scenes give it an adventure feel. In fact, the thirty (30) cinemas may challenge those with short attention spans. Personally, I loved every minute of cinema. Each scene is no longer than necessary to establish and develop characters and introduce conflicts as direct, tangible products of specific story points.

As you encounter cinemas, they are stored in a Prize Box, so you can review the cinemas again at any time in any order.

Sword of the Berserk is really an amazing accomplishment if you think about it. It is, perhaps, the closest we have come to a true "interactive movie," a term which was unfairly bastardized by Sega CD critics in the early 90's.

Sword of the Berserk is exactly how I have always envisioned interactive movies. Some critics may feel the movies are taking over game play, but this argument is irrelevant as long we enjoy the product.

I admired the acting, the story, the animation. In short, I had a lot of fun. The game play may be a bit slasher-heavy, but I was more than willing to hack my way through the onslaught in anticipation of what would happen next.

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