Mace: The Dark Ages
Reviewed by Brendan Lim
Once you turn on Mace, you'll be treated to a nice scene of a book
opening telling the story behind Mace. The intro is very eye-catching,
but entertainingly dull. Reading is something that you have to do in the
intro, and something that you'll have to do in the rest of the game.
The graphics on this game are far more average. Pure polygonal stages
and pure polygonal characters make this game very beautiful; especially
with its great use of textures.
All the characters in Mace are very detailed. All of them have different
characteristics. One for example is Lord Demos. He is very tall, very red,
and has an extremely big sword. This was all so clear (graphically), that
it totally eliminates the N64's famous blurred look.
The backgrounds are lush and colorful enough to make you think you were
playing the arcade version. Everything from barrels, huts, skeletons, and
oasis' are included. Even the famous lens flare is in this game.
The engine that runs this baby is set to run at a smooth 45 fps. Although
there are certain slowdowns. The slowdowns though, really do not affect
gameplay so don't fret. You hardly notice it since it rarely happens.
So what's bad about its graphics? Well, nothing of course. It is pure
eye-candy, and really makes you come back for more if you want some
nice realistic fighting action.
The music is a excellent. Music ranging from techno to music that sounds
like it came from the middle ages is included in this title. The music in
this game adds lots of feel, and depth into where you are.
The sound effects are purely the best I've heard on any N64 game besides
Star Fox 64. There is an estimated total of 600 different samples put
to use. All of them were used perfectly adding a realistic feeling to what
you are doing.
The gameplay is not that perfect. The game is rather sluggish, and
controlling your character is far more than easy, leaving you practically
defenseless is your a first timer. I find gameplay the only flaw in this game.
With it's practice mode, it gives you a chance to master all your moves.
You get a wooden dummy with a "Kick Me" sign on the back, and a yellow
smiley face. He sort of follows you around. Practice mode is really a great
option to take advantage of.
Two player mode is just like any other game, nothing special about except
the fact that you can be any color you want.
Mace offers only a few extras. By entering codes, or beating all the
characters, you are treated to extra players to play as. Even though
there is only a total of two, these two have exceptional powers. Mace
is kind of lacking in Extras, but makes up for it.
Overall 4 out of 5
Overall, this game has beautiful graphics, and wonderful music. It's sound
effects do the job, and it's gameplay isn't that great but rather decent.
With only two 3D fighting games out for the 64, this one is certainly the
better of the two, and defiantly proves it. So, if you're a fighting fan,
get it, but if you're a gamer who is lacking on money and only has enough
for one game, then I suggest that you wait for a better game.