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Developer: Saffire OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: GT/Midway 1-2 Player
Game Type: Beat-em-up Memory Card
Review Date: September 1998 Standard Joypad

Setting the Scene

Biofreaks was released by Midway on NTSC formats several months ago and 
experienced moderate sales figures across the States.  Of course you 
have to take into account that it was fighting in the same arena as 
the King itself... Tekken 3.

It was originally expected to be launched into the arcades first but 
the decision was taken to thrust it straight onto the home consoles.  
Thus it became a Playstation Exclusive.

Now GT Interactive are about to unleash Biofreaks upon PAL gamers.  
Nothing surprising about that... only a certain beat-em-up was recently 
released on this format a few weeks ago.  Correct...  Tekken 3.  
Seconds out!  Round 2.   


Take any two from ten fighting characters.  Replace several body parts 
with monstrous weapons of mass destruction.  Strap a jetpack onto their 
backs.  Throw them into an enclosed arena.  Toss in enough blood effects 
to satisfy the entire population of Translyvania.  Leave them to boil 
rapidly as they carve each other apart for ninety seconds.  Allow to 
simmer while the arena is hosed down.  Then repeat the above process 
over and over again until your fingers begin to blister.  
In summary - Biofreaks - a gruesome, bloodthirsty beat-em-up.


When Biofreaks loaded up and appeared on the screen for the very 
first time I have to say that I was suitably impressed.  Each of the 
characters have their own unique appearance.  They are a selection of 
both beauties and beasts, however regardless of their attractions 
their skin texture looks as smooth as... dare I say Tekken 3.  
Well... maybe nearer Bloody Roar, but they do look good.

The fully 3D fighters are incredibly well animated and fluid in their 
movements and I could see no sign of clipping or glitching throughout 
the entire series of battles - no matter how frantic the pace became.  
Top of the tree stands Bull's-eye, who I'm sure will become many 
players favorite.  With his stumpy muscular frame, blond hair and two 
massive shooters shooters for arms, this guy just screams out for 
selection.  In fact on looks alone he could easily be related to the 
Duke... not the cowboy, the Nukem!

Of course there are the mandatory selectable female characters who 
simply ooze with sexual chemistry.  Sabotage wears a very thin crop 
top only just covering the upperparts of her breasts, while Delta is 
the chick in the tight fitting swim costume (there's always one) 
whose flesh revealing thighs would distract the devil himself.

There are also a few monsters thrown in for good measure.  Zipperhead 
is an incredible ugly beast that has the size and stoop of the Hulk 
with spikes protruding from his body. Psyclown is a... er, psycho clown.  
Ssado looks like a deformed teenage mutant ninja turtle - if that 
were possible.  There are ten in all, each with their own fighting 
styles and weapons.
The arenas are perhaps a little too dark to be memorable and had I not 
switched the game back on to create comment then I probably wouldn't 
be able to recall their design.  This actually works quite well because 
it allows the excellent lighting effects to shine in all their glory. 

If you are a little queasy by the sight of blood then give this title 
a miss, or go directly to the options and switch these effects off.  
After playing Biofreaks for a few days I must have witnessed more burst 
arteries than a surgeon with the DT's would see in his lifetime.  
It's great!  As each character sustains more damage their limbs 
eventually drop off.  By the end of a particularly hard fought battle 
there is rich red blood squirting everywhere, and I mean everywhere.  
Arms have been sliced off, heads have been decapitated, bodies sliced 
in two and by pulling off certain characters special moves you can 
actually burst your enemy apart... literally.  There is absolutely no 
hiding place once the blood begins to flow... even the screen gets 

Sounds and Effects

I was a little disappointed by the sound effects.  Naturally every 
connection is exaggerated ten-fold, they just lacked that crisp, bone 
crunching clarity.  It will probably sound fine coming from a TV 
speaker but when looped through the amplifier it fails to shine in a 
way that many other PSX titles do.  There is an awful lot of squeals 
and moans as limbs are ripped apart while each character gets the 
chance to taunt their opponent before the fight begins.

The music is actually quite good.  I can't quite find a category to 
put it in.  Perhaps industrial rock..?  Whatever... it's damn good 
music to fight to.   


Game options follow the usual routine where difficulty may be adjusted 
from novice to freaky, continues range from three lives to infinite 
and round time from thirty seconds to forever.  As mentioned the blood 
effects may be switched off before play while there is also an option 
to switch on the game hints feature.  When activated the action will 
occasionally stop and offer various combos to improve your skill factor.

Game variations include a practice mode, survival mode, team battle mode, 
two player mode and an arcade mode.  If you don't know how each of these 
operate then check out any beat-em-up review in the entire galaxy and 
all will be revealed.   

There isn't really a great deal to describe when it comes to the gameplay 
in beat-em-ups.  Usually it works... or it doesn't.  You'll probably be 
none the wiser after this, but unfortunately Biofreaks comes off in 
almost every way... but sadly fails in one or two instances.
I'll explain!  The characters are highly responsive to every press of 
the button on your joypad.  On the face pad there's high kicks, low 
kicks, left and right punches.  The shoulder buttons allow your fighter 
to sidestep, launch into the air on a jet pack (limited time) and shoot 
their trusty weapons.  The D-Pad moves your character around the 
environment and allows them to defend and use a shield.  The game is 
not analog compatible. 
There are 8 initial characters to begin with, while secret characters 
can be revealed later in the game.  Some of the special effects are 
brilliant such as Zipperheads cog projectiles that pierce his 
opponents body and remain there for several minutes, and if given 
time Ssapo will turn his back, bend over and blast a green fart cloud 
towards his enemy.
Where Biofreaks slips up in my book is that I believe fighting games 
are best when they concentrate on one genre.  There are very few that 
succeed when mixing swords and axes (Soul Blade the exception) with 
hand to hand combat.  Biofreaks goes that one step further and 
introduces guns, bombs and rockets into the arena, not forgetting 
flying.  Don't get me wrong... it's all great fun if taken tongue in 
cheek, but for those who take your beat-em-ups seriously (and I know 
there are many) the gameplay can be excruciatingly frustrating.  
Especially when you have almost beaten an enemy to a pulp and they 
suddenly pull out a nuke and bomb the hell out of you.  
Just a warning.

Value for Money

If you can live will the sight of more blood than the Texas Chainsaw 
Massacre, don't take your beat-em-ups too seriously and enjoyed the 
recent Bloody Roar... go for it!  It will certainly be an amusing 
addition to your two player library.
GRAPHICS: 18/20 Biofreaks is for the gamer with a slightly twisted sense of humor. The animations in the game are certainly fluid as the fighters move and fly around very smoothly.

Although there are not dozens of different combos for each character - about twenty - there are enough to keep the game interesting.

Like I said... if you don't take it too seriously the effects will provide a few laughs among your mates after the pub closes.
SOUND: 6/10
VALUE: 15/20


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