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Dossiers > Articles and Reviews in English > Games > [ENG] Blue Warrior (Moai-Tech, 2000)

[ENG] Blue Warrior (Moai-Tech, 2000)

Reviewed in November 2002

The Story:
Long ago, there was a town by the name of Gamourla. This town was known for keeping the secret of life... its inhabitants spent the day laughing and frolicking around... The secret of Gamourla was the Stone of the Earth Goddess: an amulet kept by the King that protected the crops. This is why Gamourla was envied by neighboring countries... until that dreadful night when Gamourla was attacked. Evry known ghastly creature suddenly appeared and during that night of battle, the stone vanished. Not even the King could keep tragedy from happening. Evil Lord Adder attained his goal: to destroy the happiness of Gamourla and its villages. Every soldier loyal to the king was defeated. All of them but one...

The strongest boy in the kingdom: Def Kurgan, the lad who was assigned the mission of retrieving the stone. Now Def will have to defeat Lord Adder and his four most evil minions. Def was widely known as... the Blue Warrior! The adventure starts now: may luck be with you, brave Knight!

The Review:
For this first game review, The MSX Games bOX ordered one of the recently released titles on MSX: Blue Warrior, a Moai-Tech game, released in 2000. The game was ordered through Sunrise - and finally arrived approx. 3 weeks after I made payment. Not that I have anything against Sunrise (in fact I believe what they do is great) but I would have appreciated a bit more of responsiveness and faster treatment. I would also quickly comment on payment facilities: IPMO or bank transfer, not the most attractive (suggestion to Sunrise folks: get paypal working!). Anyhow, the game arrived safely and at first sight I was more than surprised by the very nice packaging of the game.

Blue Warrior comes in a large box with a very nice cover and back cover, better than anything I saw before on commercial titles from Konami or other big software houses! Great and just professional work. Opening the box, you find the DD disk with a nice high-resolution printer label as well as the manual. The manual is 4 pages (A3 folded in 2) long, which once again is top class, printed on thick paper and has little to envy to other games. The content is somewhat less extensive but as I will explain later, the story and instructions are quite straightforward, so no real need to make long stories to explain what it all is about. Just the basics: The story line, the mission, the five end-of-level enemies, the items to pick-up and some explanation on scoring and pausing the game. One thing to mention is that this manual comes in Spanish and English (Moai-Tech being Spanish ;-).

After these first very good impressions, it was time to put the game on test. For the test I used my Al-Alamiah AX-370 MSX2 computer accompanied with Panasoft's FM-Pac cartridge to be able to enjoy the MSX Music that would otherwise not run on MSX2 machines (with the exception of sounds). I also tested the game quickly on my Panasonic MSX Turbo-R FS-A1ST without trouble but because of a semi-defectuous floppy drive on it I preferred to use the MSX2.

The game starts automatically upon insertion of the disk in your MSX and switching your computer on. After a couple of seconds an animated storyline appears with a couple of nice picture accompanying the text. Background music is fine and makes the introduction pleasant. After a couple of screens, you are prompted with a very basic menu in a blue box in the middle of the screen which gives you two options: Game & Options. It's somewhat disappointing to end up on a very basic screen like this after having viewed the introduction. But it's not a problem. By selecting 'Game' you get direct into the action (loading time is about 30 seconds). By selecting 'Option' you have the opportunity to see the introduction again, switch between 50 and 60Hz resolution, exit to the main menu or exit to DOS.

The game starts. The first impression you get is that Blue Warrior is a Knightmare-clone. The screen scrolls from top to bottom vertically and you play a small Warrior who has to destroy everything that comes up on the screen. The graphics are fine, but not exceptional. Level 1 starts in a forest - you advance through trees and encounter your first enemies: green smillies that stay in place and shoot from time to time a few bullets in the field, red smillies which are a little bit smarter which try to catch you by falling down the screen vertically in your direction (also harder to destroy - you need two shots), bats that move horizontally on the screen back and forth (3 shots needed to destroy) and a large red skull that moves from to top to bottom (but without changing direction) which holds special options when you destroy it. No other monsters on Level 1 except those, and after 10 minutes play you easily reach the first of the five end-of-level enemies: The Fat Man.


The Fat Man: Your first end-of-level enemy

The Fat Man holds well its name. He's fat and has bad intentions. Seriously the first real challenge of the game. He moves from left to right and right to left and whenever he feels its time he makes a deadly move towards the bottom of the screen and launches a chained ball towards you! Be warned, it's the most feared warrior in the forest of Garmoula, his steel ball is able to smash rocks and giants trees (cf. the manual). Anyhow, he does not seem too dangerous, with a bit of ability you can kill him. However here comes my first serious negative comment on the game: you sometimes die when not even touching the enemy and it is very frustrating. Fat Man is big and takes graphically about 1/3 of the screen in width, and actually you have to keep in mind that if he was able to span his arms he would catch you and take you out in the air to dump you somewhere dead out of Garmoula (so keep well away of him, which leaves unfortunately little space to move around). There are four other levels in the game, that get more and more challenging with new and stronger enemies - your ultimate goal being to defeat the Lord Adder who has a very obscure fighting technique and uses black magic...

As far as options concern you need to kill special enemies: In Level 1 the big red skull holds the options:
* 1up: Adds an extra life to your scoreboard
* Skull: Removes one life from your scoreboard (you have to hit it)
* Arrow: simple arrows, you start the game with those.
* Fire: a better weapon throwing out flames. Most enemies die in one or two shots with this one.
* Thunder: the most powerful weapon, destroys 'almost' everything in one shot, but moves slow


Another level: using thunder

To summarize, I think Blue Warrior is a good game and would recommend it for buying. However, its life span might be a little limited with just 5 different levels and it is regretful there are a few little bugs (e.g. when a game ends, the 'Continue' button don't work on my MSX and you have no other choice to exit to DOS and reload the game). I would have appreciated a little better resolution, especially dying when not justified is very frustrating. In play action does not show your score, you have to press F1 to pause the game and make your score appear (a pity, as the blue bar with score, items and lives fits nicely in the screen - as shown on above screenshots).


Pro's:

  • One of the most recent MSX games
  • Great Music, Moonsound MSX Music
  • Great box and manual, very well done.
  • Fun enemies and cool in-play weapons
  • Kind of extension of Knightmare, something new to look for!

Con's:

  • Game idea is not new (but still very entertaining)
  • On MSX2 and some MSX2+ no music unless you have a FM-Pac.
  • Some bugs (especially dying when close to an enemy, but not touching it)
  • Slow delivery (get it on a fair to go fast) and no paypal payment option.


Game Specifications:
MSX2 with FM-Pac or MSX Turbo-R
Moonsound Music

Where to get if from:
Freeware to download since July 2003 from Sunrise


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