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Marionette Handler
Platform:  Dreamcast
# of Players:  1
Developer:  Micronet
Publisher:  Micronet
Features:  VMU
Ratings:  Everyone
Memory Req.:  
Info:  http://
Imagine playing "Carnage Heart" for the PSX with better graphics and more complicated programs. This game's demo introduction reminds me of the 80's Japanese animation "Plawress (Plastic model wrestling) Sanshiro" or Hiyakushiki (model no.100) from Z-Gundam. This is not a robot fighting game like "FRAME GRIDE", but the replay mode makes you feel as if you're playing that particular game. Besides, with all the complicated programming that you have to do, you can play longer than any other robot fighting games. If you can program well, you actually can see your robot move almost the same as the game's demo. Honestly, it takes a lot of time to reach the level of expert programmer. Moreover, the game comes with a very thick instruction book and a program chip catalog, and unless you can read Japanese, you'd better stick to a much easier game.

Okay, while playing, I noticed that a mouse would be more suitable as an input device instead of the DC controller because the game control is very simple. (Using only A/B buttons and analog controller) You can do type select (robot select), weapon select, and part selection on the virtual online shopping with theA button You can buy your favorite robot on the virtual online. The online sells six different types of robots. Every robot has different strengths. For instance, type-1 is good for speed but it's not good for defense. On the other hand, type-5 is a tank robot so it's good for defense but it's slow. You have to figure out which robot is good for you're fighting style. If you don't like it, you can change or up-date your robot. Don't forget all the parts need to be cared and maintained by you. If you go more than two missions, you need to repair, clean or replace least two or three parts. Sometimes parts that you need are sold out on the virtual online so you need to wait for a while. You have to take care of everything in this game. So, you are a kind of a mechanic man in this game.

Once, you are ready to move next step. You have to take a series of trial tests. The game has six classes (E to S) and you start from rank E. The more tests that you pass, the higher your rank. Then, when you are ready to join the tournaments, you need to register on the virtual online. Of course, there are quite a lot of different level tournaments that are going on, so choose wisely. You have to pay a registration fee for all the tournaments that you enter There are two different tournament types to enter- while you're a beginner, it's best to start with the online tournaments, which are fairly easy to challenge. Then, you move to Official Tournament, which you need to follow closely, as there is a due date for registration. The graphics are clean and quite excellent, especially the assorted battlefields, and the music is dynamic, yet sensitive as well.

I have the feeling that this game is not going to be one of the top ten best selling Dreamcast games, thanks to it's extreme difficulty, but this game will catch the hardcore gamer's heart for sure. I wish I could use the game's network service for buying parts instead of playing with the virtual online in the game. If the network system works with this game, it's going to be real next generation game. Remember, it's only the beginning .

Hideaki Jimbo

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