Title: Rastan Saga
Rom Player: MAME
Reviewer: Shane Skekel

Synopsis: If there is one game series that deserves its own collection even though it was somewhat overshadowed by Double Dragon & R-Type in 1987, then Rastan (Saga) would be it. I remember first playing this when I was nine and back then, I sucked at it. This was made to compete with SNK's Athena and its sequel Psycho Soldier, but this game is far better than those games that weren't that popular in the first place. This game used the clichéd "guy rescues girl" routine, but you get to play as a badass barbarian instead of a plumber(if you hate Mario, which I don't; you should still play this). Sure there's the SMS and Commodore 64 versions, but they aren't as good as this classic.

Game Play: Unlike Namco's Rolling Thunder that I used to own for my Amiga; Rastan is easier to control, has far more platforming elements, and isn't as difficult. You have four weapons: The sword(default), The Axe, The Mace, and Fire Sword(Limited ammo, but has longest range). There are seven levels with three parts each: Outside, Inner sanctum, and boss quarters.

Graphics: This aspect is only rivaled by R-Type; the enviroments are diverse, the sprites are well animated, and the detail is magnificent. The only version that can compare with this is the Apple II GS port, which I've heard is the best unemulated version to date.

Music & Sound: The music is catchy, well-planed, and there isn't anything else to say. The sound effects aren't bad either.

Originality: The game's only real problem. The aforementioned plot is cliche, but it is outweighed by its good points.

Bottom Line: If you find this game for sale, get it and you'll have a great time slaughtering Lizard men, Harpies, and other mythological beasts. The only other version I have played is the SMS version which isn't good as its coin-op and Apple II GS counterparts.

Best Cheats: Try not to lose all your lives on the last level because you can't continue from there a la Darius.

Game Play: 10
Graphics: 9
Music/Sound: 10
Originality: 6
Overall Rating: 10

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