Is Tenchu not enough like Syphon Filter or vice-versa for your liking? Do your shooting games feel like they are missing something like a demon-killing sword? Are you tired of slicing and dicing and just want to blow someone away? Well then get ready for the crossing of genres in the crazy goofy action game from Uep systems. Rising Zan combines swordplay and target shooting in order to really give you what you want--the chance to be a Super Sexy Hero.
In Zan you play the part of Zan, a man on a mission. There is a evil group of nasties taking over what was once a peaceful town and Zan is the only law enforcement around. Armed with a mighty gun that his father gave him, a sword and the teachings of how to use it form his father's friend, Zan sets out to kill the bad guys and reclaim his town. However, he does also have his own selfish aspirations. He wants to be seen as a super sexy hero, and will stop at nothing to gain that kind of valiant status. This whole cheesy spaghetti western meets Kurosawa plot line makes for some really funny jokes and humorous situations. In fact it is the humor of the game that sets apart from other duller games of this nature.
The gameplay itself can get repetitive at times, but the game throws in enough diversity to make it fun throughout. It is true that the novelty of having a gun and a sword can get old pretty quickly. I mean after the 2nd or 3rd level you are basically justhitting and shooting, hitting and shooting. However, the little mini-games and tasks that you must accomplish make the game itself interesting even when the fighting gets repetitive. One fun feature that runs throughout is the concept of the hero points. These points are ones that you must acquire to get the chicks at the end of the levels to want you. They make you more of a super sexy hero. (The reason this term has a running theme in the review is due to the fact that the theme song is titled "Super Sexy Hero" and it is so catchy I can't get it out of my head.)
Like many games of this nature the camera will give you constant problems. There are some nice features like the ability to target enemies you want to shoot and slicing in any direction no matter which way Zan is facing. However, the camera does not always stay behind the character and very often in enclosed rooms, the camera will be at an angle that is completely useless. What's more is that there will be no way to change it without moving into a position that will leave you susceptible to attack. This is especially frustrating because most of the bosses are in these kinds of rooms.
In the end this will mainly be seen by critics and players as a concept game, one that is more fun to laugh about than to actually play. However, in my opinion, this game is a perfect addition into its genre (or both of its genres). Competing against games like Fighting Force, Ninja, and Tai-Fu I would say that this outshines them all in concept as well as play. Though it does not live up to the shining styles and play of Syphon Filter and Tenchu, it is by far a lot funnier than either one.
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