A few months ago I made the review of Strider 2 which I consider an excellent old school action game, of which I still have pending the review of the first Strider game, which is considered one of the best of its kind. However, today I bring you a video game with mechanics and style very similar to Strider, and that despite not being up to that video game, in the end can be considered a good tribute or at least a pretty good title.
Run Saber places us in a dystopian future in which the world is in total contamination and natural resources are finished, there is so much contamination that part of humanity will live in bases in space, however, a scientist named Bruford has been able to create with chemical compound which he will use to help lower the rates of contamination on planet Earth. But all this was a plan of this scientist, since the purpose of this chemical is to mutate the people who still live on the planet, turning them into soldiers who are completely controlled by Bruford himself, so that now with an army of mutant soldiers he will be able to take over planet Earth. A bit of a useless plan because planet Earth is totally useless due to pollution, but well, it's the typical villain plan of a video game of the 90s. However, another group of scientists who are against Bruford's plans start Project Saber, which consists of creating 3 genetically improved cyborgs, making them high level soldiers. However, one of the 3 cyborgs, Kurtz, escapes and goes to the planet Earth, without having finished all the processes he needed. So the only hope remains in the other two remaining cyborgs: Allen and Sheena, are sent to planet Earth, to stop their evil plan of domination.
Run Saber presents a graphic section to which I could say that it is very good, with a stage design that despite not having a very outstanding design style or with a lot of very high details, are visually solid stages, it looks good even though it does not stand out so much on screen, there are even many stages that, are very basic, since what really stand out in this type of aspects are the characters, even so, despite its simplicity, are quite concise stages.
On the other hand, the character design stands out more and by far, especially some of the final bosses, some of the designs of these final bosses remind me of the style we can see in the Alien movies, since it is a quite characteristic style, that just by watching them we know it is something related to that movie saga. Designs of grotesque and terrifying creatures, but there are also other final bosses and common enemies that logically present much more normal and typical designs of this type of games.
The sprites of the main characters in spite of being quite basic, are very distinguishable, each character has his own design and with his own details, but in itself, they present quite basic sprites and I could say that their designs are quite standard, typical of many games of that time, but they are decent. They also have a set of movements and animations that are not bad either, being an action game in which we will be in constant movement, I think Run Saber has in his characters, a lot of movement and very successful animations, although I would have liked a little more fluidity.
Personally, I consider that the sound aspect of Run Saber, besides having a "short" soundtrack, since it only has a total of 13 tunes, most of them are not at all spectacular, even the main theme is quite simple and clear, it is a theme with rhythms quite typical of action games, however I did not like it so much. Although there is a theme called "Tong City" which makes use of a bass in all the song that is the one that I liked the most, since it gives the game all that style of the 90's, very funky.
In terms of gameplay Run Saber, is a pretty basic game, and you could say that has a gameplay quite similar to the games of the "saga" Strider, but with less action, because if we compare it with the level of action and frenetic that has Strider 2, it shows quite the difference, but we are not here to buy games. Run Saber is an action game of horizontal lateral movement and with platforms, we will be advancing through scenarios defeating enemies until we reach the final boss of each phase.
However, Run Saber also features vertical movements, as our characters can climb the walls and also hold on to them to attack certain enemies. The game has 2 characters at disposal that are controlled practically the same, although each of them has slightly different skills, since Allen's attacks are based on lightning, his sword/saber is composed by this element and Sheena bases her attacks on ice, and in addition each of these characters, has an attack in which, is the typical attack that occupies the whole screen and affects all the enemies that are in that moment in the stage, being the central axis of this attack, the basic skills of each character, that is to say, lightning and ice. But in terms of mechanics these two characters are controlled in the same way, not some different so big between these two characters that is very remarkable. Both of them have very basic mechanics, but they are well implemented.
Run Saber is a game that I think is not very well known and that despite not being up to games like Strider (even though I said I wouldn't make comparisons, I think it's impossible not to mention it because of its similarity), it's a title that entertains and in a few hours we'll have finished it. Besides that it is the perfect game to try to finish it in a short time.