Um, it's about a Samurai gunman? OK. I guess the team at UEP couldn't decide whether to do a cowboy game or a ninja game, so just did both. The first time I played this it was midnight after a long day--to say that its weirdness did my head in a bit is something of an understatement. Looking purely at the mechanics of the gameplay, which is simple linear levels with extremely basic combat moves, this isn't actually that great. Mechanically it's a bunch of clichs that we'd normally hammer for being so uninspired. You mash one button to use your sword and you mash another to fire your gun. Wiggle the pad and mash buttons some more and you get special moves. What rescues Rising Zan though is that it's all carried off in such a frickin' weird and bizarrely lapanese way that you'd probably forgive it just about anything. The script is so bad it's fantastic "Super Ultra Sexy Hero...ZAN!" Wow. Anything that can get away with a line like that is OK with me. It's a shame the graphics are a bit on the ropey side and the camera system sucks so much. Fighting bosses can get really tough because you run around completely unable to see them! It's got lots of nice extras though. The "interesting" bonus character is a nice touch which I'm sure will get the hormone-driven crowd excited too.
This has got to be the most f#&$!ed-up idea for a video game ever, but surprisingly--it's fun to play. It's got a very arcade feel yet has an 8-Bit gameplay style that's fresh. The story's well-written and has plenty of laughs. I dig the 8-movie mixture of the old west with samurai action. It's a great combo. The game's control is a little lacking and inconsistent, making that the game's biggest flaw. It's not for everyone, but it's got a cult feel that some people will really like.
You've got to wonder what the designers of Rising Zan were on when they came up with the concept (maybe they watched a little too much Six-String Samurai?). Within this oddball premise is a game that may not look great but is quick and easy to get into. Cutscenes could've been better if they'd opted to use more than FMV of the game engine, but it creates a very low-grade movie feel that makes you think the MST3K guys are going to pop up.
You'll either love this game for its bizarre sense of humor, or hate it because it's so mediocre. Personally I got a huge kick out of Zan. Yes, I also had problems with the game's unwieldy camera, graphical glitches, low poly count models and dubious controls. However, Rising Zan carries with it a rare sense of enthusiasm. The game pulls off its B-movie spaghetti western parody with plenty of smarts. Those of you down with obscure pop culturalisms will have a field day.
Download Rising Zan
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP