Sagaia review - Sega Master System
Darius was once a planet much like Earth... until it suffered a massive laser bombardment from an evil race of destruction hungry aliens! However, some lucky Darians managed to make it to their space ships and escape into the cosmos, rebuilding their lives on new planets. Som of the Darians even returned to reclaimed their home world generations later.
Enter two young Darians, Proco Junior (son of the legendary (?) Gio Proco no less) and Tiat Young. There they were, happily indulging their penchant for certain biological 'experiments' aboard their spaceship, when they heard a distress call from the New Darians. Clambering into their combat suits and blasting off, Proco and Tiat prepare themselves for the worst. That's just as well really, because the aliens have returned to continue their mysterious onslaught on Darius. Our heroes' job is remarkably simple - just travel through the horizontally scrolling levels of the solar system, shooting any evil aliens that cross their path. On the way, they can pick up special power-up pods to aid them on their blasting odyssey. These may provide the ship with a shield, boost score, or add a fine new weapon to the arsenal.
Unfortunately, the aliens haven't left much to chance, calling in massive fleets of battleships and incredibly large end-of-level guardians! Can you guide Proco or Tiat into battle and save Darius from photon-aided slapping at the hands of the mysterious alien menace?
What the Mean Machines staff thought
This packs all the features of the original arcade game, but suffers terribly from flickery sprites and slowdown when things get busy. There's certainly plenty of action and the game is challenging too, but to be honest the very poor graphics and severe flicker put me off after a few sessions. It gets really annoying, especially when you get hit by a bullet or baddie that's been all but invisible due to mega flicker! If you're after a blaster, check out R-Type or Powerstrike before even thinking about buying this - they both offer more challenge and better visuals.
My first reaction to this game was "Urggghhh!". The graphics in this game are atrocious, with small boring sprites, average backgrounds and some of the worst flicker yet seen on a console game. The sound, as you might expect, is of a similar low quality. Luckily, the game itself plays fairly well. The action is plenty fast and there are loads of things to shoot (if you can see them through the unforgivable flicker). As an arcade conversion, Sagaia scores pretty highly too. Just about all of the features from the arcade original have made it into the game, including the many bosses and all the power-up weapons. The game is pretty tough too, making it quite a challenge to get through. The flickering graphics really do take a lot of the enjoyment out of the game, though. Sometimes an enemy collides with you, and since you can't see many of the sprites very well, it seems very unfair. Shoot 'em up fanatics might enjoy this, but R-Type is still miles better than this effort.