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Review: Sk8r Boy Demo
I am a boy,
And this is a game,
Can i make it any more obvious?
Yes, that's right, i'm reviewing another game and this one's called Sk8r Boy Demo by Kai Proton. The first thing i noticed whilst reading Kai's description were the ripped character sprite from California Games, one of the many early Mega Drive games i remember enjoying. Suddenly the rose tinted spectacles were out and i was back to my youth....
Unfortunately after re-reading the description of Sk8r Boy Demo i realised this was not the full game and only a demo. Though not good initially (as i tend to only play demos of games that have some hype about them) i soon came to the conclusion that this is a good thing, meaning Kai Proton still has plenty of time to improve upon the demo.
So what about the demo? Well, the first thing that struck me was the "dork bench" intro screen, with its lovely floppy disk again harking me back to the good old days. The main menu though was not so nice, with options being picked by pressing the number displayed next to each choice. I detest these types of menus and ould much rather see something a little more clever, however with the floppy disk i'd already seen i shrugged it off as being another retro-styling from the developer. Though i still don't like it all the same. Worse still, some other parts of the game uses mouse interface for selecting options, making the demo a muddle to navigate.
Once you get to the game the graphics do catch your eye, again taking you back to the magic of the mid-to-late 16 bit era where big sprites were king. "California Games-man" looks well at home in front of the games gorgeous back-drops, and the isometric stylings of the obsticles and street are very much a welcome sight. The colours compliment each other superbly, again doing the retro-stylings mountains of justice. Hell, even "Really tall lady" at the finish line, with her whopping 2 frames of animation, looks great. The game looks so good you'd be forgiven for thinking all the graphics had been ripped from somewhere.
All the work that Kai's put into making the game look pretty gets undone slightly though when you try and listen to your man's face hitting the concrete. The silence disappoints. Although Kai Proton clearly states the sound hasn't been finished for the demo, you cannot help but feel disappointment.
And another disappointment surfaces when you finish the first level and..... oh, that was it! The demo is exceptionally short, being just a level long. 1 stage! However, Kai has very kindly included a useful (and easy to use) level editor, allowing the player to make as many stages as they wish. The trouble is with the limited amount of obsticles you've already seen before on the first stage, as well as the even more limited choice in backdrops, it won't take long for you to see all the demo has to offer. And having to make your on levels is not the best way to show off a game, even if it is in demo form. Still, the level editor is good at what it does all the same, it's just that more variety is definitely required.
Sk8r Boy Demo is a mixed bag then. On one hand the graphics astound, even if they do look as though you've seen them all before in another game somewhere, and the level editor is fairly impressive. However the demo is hampered by near non-existant lastibility and a lack of depth to the game itself. Kai Proton promises more backdrops to use in the level editor and stunts to perform in game; i would recommend more obsticles, some variety in the gameplay (maybe some "collect the gems" missions, for example) and maybe the inclusion of other sk8rs to avoid/attack, just for fun, maybe even as part of a plot to the game. More more more is all i can ask for and ith it i think the game could be something many people will enjoy. For now, "This is called Sk8y Boy, i say see ya later boy!" ...and let's look forward to a more complete build in the future! For now, download and play this, if nothing else just to help Kai make this the game it deserves to be when it's finished!
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