|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
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|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 splattered.
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.
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
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.