August 9th, 2005
In This Newsletter
In My Opinion
By Lucas Smithen
What do you get when you take a high jumping rebel bunny, throw in a band of evil corrupt rabbits, a pack of starving wolves and the most innovative fighting engine to hit the gaming space in a long long time? You get Lugaru. You play Turner, an anthropomorphic bunny rabbit on a quest for vengeance against those that destroyed his village and killed his family. Armed with a wide array of martial arts skill and a smattering of weapons you take Turner on a killing spree that uncovers a darker plot against all bunny kind. I've only gotten my hands on the demo but even this is a whole lot of fun.
Focusing on smooth game play this third person action game has all sorts of goodness in it. Keeping the polygon count low this game performs extremely well on even lower end systems. The lower details on models and the terrain than you would normally see in most of today's games doesn't mean that this game is lacking polish or depth. The finishing touches are all there; showers of leaves fall to the ground as you jump through trees, flying snow, splattering blood and my favorite, the scattering of teeth when you land a particularly good head shot.
Unfortunately, the game follows a limiting linear path. You talk to a couple of friends and then move on to the killing. Each battle is broken down into a small micro scene, you spot an enemy, you fight an enemy and then move onto the next micro scene. The story line is basic and seems to be there to justify the homicidal tendencies of the protagonist. However, the fighting engine is a reason to play this game on its own. Rather than require the user to memorize a number of different key combinations to perform special moves the moves are selected in context with the current action. If your opponent sends a punch to your head you can block it, grab his arm and shoulder and throw him away with a simple click of the mouse. Round house kicks can be ducked under and the legs swept with a duck and click. Feel free to throw your knife at an enemy but if you don't kill him he may pull it out and use it against you. Even more exciting, enemies can work in conjunction and team up against you. Don't be surprised if one foe knocks you down while the other takes a cheap shot when you hit the ground. Its the fighting that makes this game a riotous good time.
* Developer: Wolfire
* Publisher: Ncsoft
* Released: Jan 2005 (Mac), April 2005 (Windows)
The contextual fighting engine and fast paced action gives the action in this game the feel of a classic martial arts movie and in my opinion is an 8.2 out of 10.
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Lugaru made it into the Transgaming news letter