Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Games Played 06/07/2009


Stretch Panic (2001)
Developer: Treasure
Platform: PlayStation 2
Purchase Date: 08/31/2001

The way the boss moves at the beginning of this fight is very creepy.

There is no doubt that Treasure is really good at making video games but that doesn't mean that the company is incapable of making mistakes - unless of course, their superstar Hiroshi Iuchi is in the development team. Stretch Panic contains an original premise: You play as Linda who must save her 12 sisters who are kidnapped by vanity demons. The sisters are vain enough to begin with and the demons transform each of them into monstrosities that match their worst possible traits. The final demon is not able to posses Linda but it possesses her scarf instead and Linda uses this to her advantage. The gameplay revolves around the mechanics of stretching. Every single object in the game can be pinched and stretched by the demon scarf. The enemies - bikini-clad women with gigantic, bouncing breasts - and the bosses have weakness areas that need to be exploited using the stretching attack to inflict massive damage upon them. The 12 sisters are some of the best boss fights you will ever encounter - this is a Treasure game after all - and they have a menacing feel to them. Stretch Panic is pretty much a boss battle game and this is where things didn't go so well: you are required to collect points to access the bosses and to do so, you have to visit a number of small stages and destroy the enemies found within. These stages are pretty empty and serve only as places where you go point-hunting. The game would feel better if you could just get from one boss to the next or they could have done something interesting in between like what was done in Shadow of the Colossus. Though the game has a simplistic look to it, Treasure managed to pull off a lot of really impressive special effects that you would never expect to see in a PlayStation 2 game including real-time shadows, bump-mapping, and full 3D reflections. I'm not sure if it's just my copy but at the beginning of each boss fight, you get to see Linda's sister being converted into a demon but the sisters don't match the demons that they are turned into.

LIBRARY STATUS: 3 out of 5

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