Headhunter for the Dramcast - IMPORT

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jason Handy, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. Jason Handy

    Jason Handy Second Unit

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    Yeah, the Dreamcast is dead...yada yada yada. I know there are not very many (if any) games coming out stateside for the Dreamcast, but I recently launched myself (rather violently, I might add) into the Import market this weekend. To make a long story short, I successfully installed the NCSX mod chip that makes the DC region-free. This gave me access to a number of games that won't make it over here on the DC, though they will appear on some of the latest-gen consoles.

    But back to the point. Headhunter is a game set in the not-so-distant future in L.A. where law enforcement has become privatized and criminals find themselves listed as commodities on an exchange market. Further, criminals that are unable to pay for their crimes in money are forced to donate vital organs. This is where the headhunters come in - they are independent contractors who catch crooks. They use all sorts of non-lethal techniques to catch bad guys so their vital organs are preserved. Kind of hack-neyed, but charming in its own sort of way.

    Enter Jack Wade, the protagonist with a bad case of amnesia and a mystery on his hands. He learns that his amnesia is linked in some ways to the mysterious murder of the head of the privatized law enforcement company.

    The game plays out like a Metal Gear Solid, and I think this was the point. Sneaking around, using tools to solve mini-quests in a warehouse, etc. A neat feature is that the designers decided to weave in a career element to the game where you can upgrade your headhunter license to get better and better weapons and items, as well as access new areas of L.A. And plus you get to ride around on a pretty cool motorbike.

    Many elements of the game have been realistically reproduced. And the attention to detail is astounding. Bullet holes appear in the wall behind you. Skid marks from your motorbike. Traffic in L.A. behaves according to the traffic lights. They carved out a city that is living and breathing.

    Graphics - considering we are talking about the DC, the graphics are superb. Textures are vibrant, and convey a true sense of the environment. There is some draw-in when you are on the motorbike, but it is minimal and certainly did not detract from the experience. There are lots of things to interact with, and the GUI is slick. It is well done in that most of the icons and such are context-sensitive, leaving the majority of your gaming experience full screen. The menus are well designed, and like you would expect from a MGS-genre game, full of copious info on combat equipment, criminal dossiers, and general game info.

    Sound - like the MGS series, sound is a very important element, and designers can weave soundtracks into the background to enhance the mood. This has been done very well, and so far has not become repetitive. The voice acting is over-the-top (of course!), but delivered well and there is a lot of it.

    Gameplay - I have only a couple small issues with the motorbike control, but other than that...the game handles great. The biggest gripe I have is that you are unable to re-load a game from the options menu. You have to either die, or do a warm boot of the console. This has not become a real issue yet, but I am only part of the way through the game and it is worth pointing out.

    Comments - I really like this game, and recommend it to fans of the genre. I do not know if it works with the gameshark CD, or any methods other than the NCSX mod chip. Bottom line - the game has style and you won't regret pickign it up.

    I did not mean for this to becoem a full-fledged review, but I am bored at work and needed a diversion. Please comment if anybody else has played the game!

    Jason
     
  2. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Yup, I've really enjoyed Head Hunter - not played as much of it as I'd like, as I've been too busy & other games have popped up instead. But it's definitely worth a play.

     
  3. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I'm happy with Shenmue 2 personally [​IMG] That's ALL I needed to import. Frankly I think it's one of my top 5 games of all time.
     

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