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loogslair.com I feel asleep!


Released: 1988
Company: FCI
Genre: Sports Action

Reputation is an important part of buying a video game. Companies like Capcom and Konami have a reputation of relasing solid titles time and again. However, this time around we're dealing with a company who relased games like Hydlide. Granted, Seicross came out before the H-word, but that doesn't give me any less reason to have been wary about this purchase. After I popped the game into my deck, though, FCI managed to redeem themselves... to a point.

The story is this: The planet Colura and their peaceful inhabitants, the Petras, have been attacked by a much more hostile tribe known as the Basrah. (Hey, I don't make these names up, I just say them.) While most of the Petras have hidden underground, there are still a few of them left out in the open, and it's your job to cruise on a bike through numerous terrains, scooping Petras up to safety. Despite its funky-looking names and terms, I actually like this story. It's actually quite original, and it sorta makes you wonder what will happen if you miss collecting a Petra along the way. (Also, collect too many Petras and your bike is weighed down, eating up fuel.) You have to think about what method of torture those Basrah use on the remaining castaways. Maybe they make them play Hydlide.... (What can I say? I hold grudges.)

Seicross doesn't have much in the way of presentation, though. The graphics are a bit simplistic, but still somewhat pleasing. The straggling Petras are animated quite nicely, flailing their arms around in desperation, and all the Basrah riders have that pale-fleshed, bug-eyed look trademark of aliens. The scenery is actually very colorful, using a lot of reds and greens to create an exotic landscape.The music is also pretty good. The "speed level" music is nicely composed, and has a nice instrumentation to it as well. It sounds a mite triumphant, too. The one problem, though, is that you'll never hear any percussion in the music, because most of the time the noise channel is already being used to accomodate the explosions that occur constantly. When you're trying to concentrate on playing and you keep hearing those incessant "crash" sounds, things can get pretty annoying.

Play Control is a bit flawed. For one thing, it's extremely touchy. Do so much as tap down on the controller and you'll go screaming into a rock. This can be especially frustrating in the obstacle zones (Not a lot of Basrahs but there are walls and cannons all over the place), because moving a tad too far in one direction costs you a life and any Petras you've collected to that point. Also, there's no autofire unless you can find the power-up that allows it. With all of the things that you have shoot (and in some cases, shoot numerous times), this can prove to be a disadvantage. Needless to say, Turbo is a worthwhile accessory in this game.

One thing I really don't like about this game is its challenge. This thing is just way too hard. You only get 3 bikes for the game, and one or two of them will evaporate on cheesy circumstances. Especially in the obstacle zones, where you often have a choice of being shot by a cannon or riding into a hill. Also, when you die, you get sent quite far back in the level, forcing you to perform the miracle of getting back to where you were. They don't even provide the obligatory invincibility when your new bike comes out; you're immediately thrown into the fray after starting.

Because of that, the game is both boring and frustrating at the same time. Boring because of the fact that it's the same thing over and over, frustrating due to the amount of deaths your character will suffer. Not even a Game Genie can fully cure this game's ills: Even with infitie lives, the game gives little incentive to keep playing, with the lack of a real ending and the humdrum of each level, it can be trying on your patience to play the game all the way through. Seicross doesn't really stand the test of time, either; It's the kind of game you might play once in a great while, but not for any particular reason. The only reason why I even replayed it last night was because I had to rewrite this review. : )

If you're going by comparison, Seicross is much better than Hydlide. However, that isn't saying much. It still fails to provide long-lasting gameplay.

Overall Ratings:

Play Control:
Technical Score: 11
Challenge: (Hard)
Thrill: (Boring)
Aesthetic Score: 15
Overall Score: 62%