Hexen 64 (N64)
Ahhh, reliving the good ol' days. In the days of Doom and Doom 2, the game engine was becoming an old man, so to speak. Then along comes Hexen, with a modified version of the engine and not 1, not 2, but 3 playable characters in it! It was looking good for Doom and RPG (Sort of) gamers alike. The game boasted the capability of traveling between worlds, and solving puzzles, all while battling a whole new slew of demonic creatures, seemingly offshoots from the other side of Hell's in which Doom's creatures dwelled. Players could wield magical weapons and trinkets, becoming one of the first first person perspective games to use an item system. The sound effects were simply frightening, defiantly a game to play in the dark with the sounds way up. The war against Korax led the 3 warriors through murky swamps, ettin infested churches, ancient castles and dark dungeons on a quest to conquer puzzles, destroy hideous monsters and assemble the pieces of the characters trademark weapon.
This game was good, and it satisfied players for quite some time after. And now the doors have been opened and the old man has one last crack at the world. Hexen 64 comes, boasting its own specialties. 4 player mode, with cooperative and Deathmatch. Anti-aliasing to smooth out the graphics and pixelation when you view textures on screen at short distances, and everything the computer game had to offer, squeezed into a little cartridge that would probably run better than the computer version would have at the time, probably because our computers at the time were those grand ol' 486's. Times do change eh?
Graphics 5 out of 10
The graphics, while being good, were a lot better 4 years ago. The engine is outdated creating a graphic sensation less that sensational. There is simply better options out there. Also, at times the game slows to a crawl, with little explanation. The problem quickly goes away, but often times it happens when you're fighting something powerful and you're trying to maneuver your character at a few frames a second. Not good. The most ironic part is even in a huge battle, such as the room at the start of the last stage, is simply CRAMMED with monsters, and that runs faster than when the speedometer hits the bottom and breaks off. These graphics, while adequate for this game, will not dazzle or amaze anyone used to other polygon powerhouse games. I also noticed that I get a headache sometimes when I play the 2 player mode. Maybe its just me...
Music and Sound 6 out of 10
The sounds have dropped a notch from the computer version, which in my opinion that's a lot because my computer speakers stink and I thought it still sounded good. All of the errie effects seem to be there, but none on the caliber of the original. And you can probably blame the N64's lack of a sound chip for that. The music is the same as the original as well, and while appropriate, falls well short of excellence. At times, the music and sound effects will become extremely choppy, again with no explanation. Overall, the sound does its job, but could have been better.
Game Challenge 10 out of 10
This game is HARD, no matter what you play it on. The puzzles seem quite hard at times, especially when you have to battle 200 beasts and traverse 4 different worlds before you find the next switch or piece. The monsters themselves don't provide too much of a challenge, though the bosses can be a little annoying. With a little practice, the monsters will be the least of your problems here. The puzzles ARE the game more than anything else, and finding the parts in the seemingly never ending maze can put the frustration level over the top. If you like puzzles, and you want a good challenge, then you have a reason to atleast try this game.
Game Play-Fun 7 out of 10
Despite the graphics and sound losses, this game is still fun. The challenge detracts from it a good deal, but not enough to ruin my fun. Having patience is a must, and a good hand eye coordination is too, because the game has a nasty learning curve, going from fighting a few ettins to a gargoyle and a bunch of crushers a few minuets after you start. The game is a good play and fun to play in cooperative, because the puzzles are hard and friends can keep you covered and save you from running along way to find out you hit the wrong switch. Deathmatch is good too, with a monster mode thrown in, despite a loss in framerate, and small screen. This is a definate rental the first time.
Now this is a category the game excels in. You have to struggle with a nasty learning curve, especially the 400th time you fall down the same hole after trying to jump it from different angles, fly over and just plain run at it. And finding out you didn't get the right piece of the puzzle makes you want to tear your hair out. This game LIVES frustration, but some people call this variety. Try it for yourself...
Replayability 8 out of 10
Once you beat the game, you feel so relieved, despite the dumb ending, that you just don't want to fight the dang thing again. Fortunately, multiplayer makes this game worth playing again, and again...
Game Value 6 out of 10
I payed a lot for this game, mainly because its from a 3rd party developer, and I'm a little disappointed because its an N64 for game and I expected more. I don't know what else the programmers could have done, but it needed something new.
Game saves 4 out of 10
This game simply doesn't know what a save is. No function on the pak itself, thus requiring you to have a controller pack. Fortunately this is rarely uncommon any more. Unfortunately, it eats 90 pages of space! Again good news, you can save multiplayer games, even 4 player games, and it still takes 90 pages. Something should have been done about this.
Play Control 7 out of 10
The control is a little sticky at first, and with so many commands in Hexen it must have been nigh impossible to program them all into the game. But they did it, and did it well too. It takes a while to learn it, but Not too hard to accomplish.
Overall 6 out of 10
Despite what the scores here, I enjoyed this game, and I recommend it to people who have some nostalgia of the old Doom days. Give it a shot and don't get too mad at the puzzles or the mazes or anything else. Its a good game, and requires a lot of time and patience.