Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Savaki on Sega Saturn

Still on a roll, kids. If nothing else, I'd like to catalog these games, especially when we get to the really obscure ones that nobody knows about. Savaki is surely one of those games.

Savaki was released in April of 1998, at the end of Saturn's lifespan. The developer, Cynus, was virtually unknown, and I can't for the life of me find anything about them from Google. Yet here they were with a solid 3D polygon fighter, featuring gouraud shading, realtime lighting, and 60fps. An impressive feat indeed.

This game is a purely realistic fighter, sticking to various martial arts styles in a cage. Karate, Taekwan Do, Jeet Kun Do, Muetai, Dentou Karate and Freestyle. There are 8 fighters, fairly indistinctive apart from size and skin tones. This isn't an anime seizure-fest by any stretch. Kinda reminds me of the original Virtua Fighter.

Savaki is a very solid game, even though the lack of obvious bells and whistles would keep away the attention-deficit crowd. Whatever. I've played a couple matches so far, and I found the game to be tight, tense, and very solid. The moves are all purely martial arts, no crazy flying or stunts, and certainly no damned fireballs.

The only obvious knock is that the game features only one arena, which is a shame, because I think a few more arenas would really clean up the place. But, then, Cynus was going for that underground fighting feel, and one arena looks pretty much the same as the next.

Oh, no! Did I just commit the horrible cliche of putting the criticism in the second-to-last paragraph in a videogame review? Man, I always hated that. What the deal?! You'd think I was in on the take. No wonder I ended up writing for Gamepro. All I need now are some heavy alliteration and witty word play. But I'm not using any stupid cartoon names.

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