Millennium Warriors - Rerelease
Copyright/Publisher: First Star/Software Business,
Release Year: 1991,
Genre: Fighting Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
IAN OSBORNE is the master of time - the way he sprints for the door at 5.30pm has to be
seen to be believed! Makes him a dead ringer for Millenium Warriors, methinks...
Prince Kronos, first-born son of the Great Galactic Emperor Iridon I, has come of age.
According to ancient Iridano law he must undergo a test of courage and skill, overcoming
earth warriors in five different aeons.
These comprise three beat-'em-up levels and two blasters, each played in a single static
screen. The beat-'em-ups are very two-dimensional, allowing only simple left-right
movement. To get past your enemy you must crouch, jump or climb, depending on which time
zone you're in. The shoot-'em-up duels take place in the air, allowing full-screen movement
Each pugilist has three statistics, displayed via a bar system. ENERGY decreases each time
you throw a blow. HEALTH is your 'life' rating, and WEAPON is a measure of how much
punishment your trusty tool has taken.
If your energy or health bar reaches zero it's game
over, but a knackered weapon soon reappears - you just have to take half a dozen blows
while retrieving it! Power-ups replenish energy and health. The icons change from level
to level, but the effect remains the same.
Millennium Warriors is brilliantly presented. The animation is full of great touches; for
example, a victoriouq knight removes his helment and bows to his stricken foe, and the pirate
takes a swig from his hip flask. Unfortunately the graphics are the most varied thing in
the game - each beat-'em-up level plays almost exactly the same as the one before. The two
shoot-'em-up levels are also irritatingly similar.
Alas, this isn't the only fault - far from it. The controls are very difficult to master,
especially on Level 5 where exaggerated momentum makes the sprites virtually uncontrollable.
Even when you've got the hang of it there's precious little skill involved - you just stand
toe to toe and hit each other!
Also, the extra energy and health power-ups appear with alarming regularity, making
fights ridiculously long. As soon as you've battered your opponent into near-submission,
a power-up apppears (which the computer-controlled players appears to anticipate) and you're
back to square one!
Like most below-par beat-'em-ups, Millennium Warriors is better in two-player mode, but
this isn't enough to save it. Shallow, samey gameplay ruins what should've been a really rad game.
On first loading Millennium Warriors, I was strongly reminded of the old Palace classic
Barbarian. Graphically the game is top-notch, the character sprites are large and nicely
detailed while movement is fluid and looks very believable. Game content is very close to
my heart: bash your opponent's brains out in the shortest possible time.
The pain in the proverbial ass that hampers an otherwise good idea is 'Mr Gameplay'.
I've played Millennium Warriors umpteen times have yet to beat the Captain Caveman
lookalike when controlled by the computer. However, in two-player mode the game really
comes into its own: you can beat yer mates up and still take 'em for a pint afterwards!