Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Tehra: Dark Warrior

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            Developed by the European StormBASIC, a team specialising in small budget portable titles, Tehra: Dark Warrior is available now on the PlayStation Store as a PSP Mini title for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable (PSP). A reasonably priced game that is concerned with nothing more than action, Tehra: Dark Warrior likes everything to be big; big weapons, big enemies and big appendages on its female characters. Tehra: Dark Warrior is a hark back to the teenage-orientated action games of the early 90’s, delivered within a very modern package.

            Set in the fantasy world of Sistar, players fight as Tehra, a hybrid creature that’s part human, part devil. Waging war against monstrous creatures, Orcs, the undead, and a horde of beasts, players must Electronic Theatre Imageconfront Bacdar, the King of demons. The storyline – which is basic at best – is largely superfluous to the in-game action, delivered through static images and scrolling text. Setting the scene for the action and little more, the plot does little to endear the player to Tehra: Dark Warrior.

            Thankfully, in-game Tehra: Dark Warrior performs better, with a simplistic yet rewarding combat system. Basic attack combinations are present with simple consecutive presses of the Square Button, and timing the series of blows so that the last will land on a number of enemies simultaneously allows for a tactical edge resulting in great amounts of damage. A jump attack and dodge manoeuvre are also available, though are rarely called upon until later stages of the game. A finishing blow can be performed on downed enemies – some specifically requiring it to be felled – but the detection of your intentions is unfortunately so poor that players will often find themselves simply launching another combo, and ending up in trouble somewhere which they never intended to be.

            Spell casting abilities exist alongside the basic combat, dependant on the mana collected by finishing enemies. Stronger spells can be unlocked by collecting treasure dotted around the areas, and existing ones Electronic Theatre Imagecan be powered-up along with combat manoeuvres. The final leg of the action is that of the Demon Mode. Upon filling your mana bar, the player can press the L Button to initiate Demon Mode, become more aggressive, faster and more resilient.

            The game plays a series of combat arenas, short levels with their layout ranging in complexity, typically with one of three mission directives. First is the simple kill everything to continue arrangement, secondly is the collection/destruction of specific environmental objects and third are boss fights. The only cerebral challenges Tehra: Dark Warrior provides are those of locating specific items and learning attack patterns, the latter of which is undoubtedly the game’s strongest aspect. Boss fights are typically well though-out affairs, screen-filling an often featuring entirely unique level design, those who find themselves endeared by Tehra: Dark Warrior are more than likely to find their addiction spurred-on by the wish to reach the next truly imposing foe. In addition to the main game, five challenges are unlocked with progress, extending the game’s life beyond the relatively short campaign.

            Tehra: Dark Warrior is less than striking visually. Obviously a port from less powerful hardware, however much it may have been improved with respects to gameplay, the graphics have not received the same Electronic Theatre Imageoverhaul. Using a further exaggerated vision of the all ready infeasible big swords and bigger breasts of traditional barbarian fantasy, Tehra: Dark Warrior is clearly not concerned with being viewed as realistic.

            Tehra: Dark Warrior isn’t going to become a famous game, and certainly isn’t going to take the shine of any of either the PlayStation 3 or PSP’s big hitters, however it does present a perfectly rounded compliment to such titles, as is the intention of the PSP Minis service. Despite it’s simplicity and clearly low budget development, Tehra: Dark Warrior manages to outdo SEGA’s own efforts to modernise the fabled Golden Axe series, far surpassing Secret Level’s effort with 2008’s Golden Axe: Beast Rider, and for that it’s certain to find a keen audience in those mid-20’s gamers wishing to relive those halcyon Mega-Drive days.Electronic Theatre Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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