Mace: The Dark Age
Reviewed by Scott McCall
Straight from the arcades comes Mace: The Dark Age, which is
only available for the Nintendo 64 (the PlayStation version was
canceled). Unfortunately, that exclusive distinction is nothing
special, as Mace: The Dark Age is spectacularly average.
Like San Francisco Rush, the developers of the home version of
Mace: The Dark Age had to port a 3Dfx Voodoo Graphics chip-enhanced
game to the Nintendo 64 -- and the results are pretty stunning. In fact,
the game graphically looks better than the aforementioned game on
the system. The graphics are quite colorful and show off plenty of
the N64's special graphical features. The game can fill a little sluggish
and drops frames every now and then, though.
Sound didn't fare anywhere near as well. In fact, it seems as if most
of the cartridge space was devoted to the beautiful graphics. While
the developers tried to fit most of the rockin' music and sinister
voice samples onto the cartridge, it just didn't come off very well.
The voice is muffled compared to the arcade version, and the music
comes out in old-fashioned monaural. Ack! So if you play Mace: The
Dark Age on a stereo system, be prepared to cringe once you hear the
tinny soundtrack coming out of the center of your speakers.
The gameplay in Mace: The Dark Age is strikingly average and boring,
even though it's a weapons-based fighting game. The game uses a
four-button controller setup: evade, kick, quick, and strong. Evade is
for moving around the three-dimensional arena, Kick is for kicking an
opponent, Quick is for a quick strike with your weapon, and Strong is
for a strong blow with your weapon. You'll find a straightforward combo
system and difficult-to-execute counterattacks along with a few throws.
Mace: The Dark Age also has gruesome "Executions" that would make any
Mortal Kombat fan proud and a cool feature that lets blood stay on
the ground for the duration of a fight.
The biggest problem with Mace: The Dark Age is that it's just not
any fun. It seems to be more of a graphical showcase for the 3Dfx
Voodoo chip than a game that was designed to be deep, fun, and
challenging. And this is what makes it merely an average fighter
along side with Dark Rift. Even if you're desperate for a fighter,
you're better off saving your money for something else.
Graphics: 4.3 out of 5
Sound: 2.4 out of 5
Control: 3.4 out of 5
Gameplay: 2.6 out of 5
Lastability: 2.0 out of 5
Overall: 2.7 out of 5