2 reviews by Vanderhuge..
A horrid game. Look at that goddamn status bar, it takes up half the screen! Your character fights like a moron, the gameplay is wretched, and the music sounds like a sack of cats being beaten against a Casio. Utter shite.
Ah, the memories. I remember struggling in vain against the floating blue skull of death and getting my ass handed to me by the huge guy with the metal club, not to mention shrieking and running away from the rolling blue pumpkins, the burning wagon-wheel, and the face-humping monkey demons. Come to think of it, this was a pretty weird game.
The plot of the game is, of course, nonexistent. Some evil demons took over Japan one night while everyone else was getting drunk off fermented codfish-tequila or whatever, and the only survivor was your character, Hyato. You have to cross the country and wipe out all the demons. A deeper, more complex plot, I have never seen.
The use of the Japanese setting and mythology was a great idea, and lends a sort of dark atmosphere that few games have. Maybe Metroid and Castlevania are comparable, and maybe this is even better. There are a lot of weird monsters and creatures here, and the bosses are tough. I remember freaking out when the second boss kept clubbing me do death with his mace. I later learned a valuable hint: even fat mutant bastards like him have vulnerable groins. Go for the jewels, and you can't lose.
One interesting feature of the game were the "training rounds", or as I knew them, the "catch these arrows with your face" rounds, where, in theory, you could earn more health and items that would carry from level to level. Not that I ever actually passed them.
The end of the game I wouldn't spoil, but it consists of two bosses- a wizard who looks like Noheart, and a big skull-face thing in fruity-looking red armour. When you beat them, you get a sort of Clint Eastwood lone-gun type of ending; it's pretty cool. And it's Shakespeare compared to the ending of, oh, say, Fantasy Zone.
Kenseiden's sound effects were good, and the music was perfect. Catchy, Japanese-sounding and well-orchestrated. It would lend itself well to remixing, if you wanted to be a l33t underground SMS music guy.
This and Wonderboy 3 are quite possibly the best games that the SMS ever had.