Zeus Begins – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade
Developer: The Dude Games
Publisher: The Dude Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Zeus Begins – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Short but fun game, Amazingly great music
Bad: Animation lock
User Score
6.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)

You can sometimes hear older gamers say the lines: “back in my days, games were really hard”, and truth be told, they aren’t wrong, arcade games were designed to steal away your money but at the same time give you just enough progress so that you wanted to keep playing. More recently, there has been a movement that started making retro games just like how we remember them. Zeus Begins is no exception. This funny arcade game that combines two styles into one is a title that you want to build into your home arcade.

Story

The story is as the name implies, the beginning of Zeus his adventure. Zeus wants to fight all the monsters that plague the world. He starts by defeating some mythical beasts and ends up fighting his brother Hades, Medusa and ultimately his father. Some of you might yell ‘spoiler alert’ but no, this game has an even shorter lifespan than Double Dragon or Final Fight, so you will blast through this game in only a lunch break. A slideshow of the story and some additional information is shown but only at the end. Although the game’s story is limited, it does flow nicely and concludes at the end.

Graphics

Zeus Begins has this strange combination of graphics, the pixilated characters and scenes seem like they were all handmade in paint. While some models are really nice, others look like your 8-year-old cousin drew them. A nice variety of enemies and sceneries does make up for the fact that one boss looks really horrible. These visuals have their charm and with the gameplay switching from sideways to top-down, it isn’t all too bad.

Sound

The music is best described as your younger sibling on his fifth sugar rush of the day while watching cartoons. It is so hectic and high tempo that it takes you back to the 1980s-1990s. There are some songs that will put a smile on your face across the entire game. Sound effects are also very decent with all the female characters letting out a small shriek when they die.

Gameplay

Zeus Begins is an arcade game that blends the fighter element from Double Dragon and Final Fight with aspects from the top-down shooter 1942. This is perfectly divided with each stage alternating between the two styles. Every stage has a simple buildup to a boss fight and these bosses all have simple learnable move sets. Hence, you will notice that the first boss is very hard but it gets easier in the long run. Simplicity is key in this game as there are only three buttons to use in de 2D mode, a simple punch button that will eventually make Zeus do a three-punch-combo, a backwards kick that can fend off enemies and magic. In the top-down mode, the game is even easier with you only having to fire lightning bolts at the enemies. There is no magic available here, but you get more health potions to keep you going strong.

With the simple controller setup come the first annoyances. As you start laying down the hammer on the enemies, you will notice that there is an animation lock so you can’t suddenly break the combo to dodge an incoming attack. Because Zeus has a small health bar, getting caught in one or two of these counters will mean a quick death and a life lost. Continuing after all your lives are depleted is just like in the arcade: you put in a coin and try again. Coins can be found in-game and when defeating bosses. Another annoyance is the back kick that is used to fend off attackers from the rear. Once Zeus gets hit, he will turn towards the enemy and will render your counter kick ineffective. A great way to improve combat in this game would be the addition of a jump button, but without it, you will just have to get used to the animation locks and try to outrun some opponents. The game isn’t ridiculously hard but does keep you on edge throughout the whole campaign.

The campaign is spread over eight stages alternating between side-scrolling fighting and top-down shooting. You will complete the game in about 45 minutes, which isn’t super long but thanks to the good blend of gameplay it can be replayed a few times without getting boring. Short durations such as this were quite common in the past. This is also the reason many games were harder, to prolong the longevity of the game, without falling through the cracks as a supposedly very short title.

Give yourself new challenges along the way to make it even more interesting. You won’t unlock anything new or special for completing campaigns which is a bit sad considering the many cool things the developers could have put into it.

Conclusion

Zeus Begins is a nice little arcade title that you can use for a cabinet build or just to relax with during a lunch break. You can complete it very quickly and the charismatic graphics have something unique to them. The music is awesome and so energetic that fights become intense and while the gameplay is pretty good, the animation lock can become very frustrating especially when you are in a pinch.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Zeus Begins – Review, 6.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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