Last Battle (Mega Drive) | Retro Review

Factfile
Developed by:Sega
Published by:Sega
Released:1990
Format played:Mega Drive


Not to be confused with Last Duel, or indeed anything approaching competent gaming, Last Battle: Legend of the Final Hero is actually a follow up to our old mate, Black Belt. What’s that? You don’t remember this slice of gaming history? Go ahead, have a read of the review. We’ll wait.

All done? Good. Much like Cack Belt, Last Battle is a side scrolling beat ’em-up, pitching you as the last snooze, drone, blah blah who cares. Honestly right, you boot this thing up and the first thing you are hit with is a diatribe of the most dull, generic plot, setting out the whos and the whys of an evil this and a heroic that. At least I think it is. It’s hard to tell because the ridiculous amount of verbiage scrolls up the screen quicker than you can read. Trust me though, you won’t miss much.

Plot shmot though, right? Who cares what the backstory is if the action gets the blood pumping. And what action it is! Behold as a trail of identikit goons come at you from either side of the screen. What punishing assault might they attack me with? What clever riposte might I have within my arsenal to repel these would-be assailants? Well fear not, as you unleash your devastating punch and…well, that’s it. They scuttle off. Just from one single punch, to be replaced by another goon. But watch out! This guy has a spear! Or at least I think it’s a spear. To be honest he kinda looks like some underwater merman holding a toilet plunger. Anyway, best adjust my tactics, maybe duck down out of range or…no, I’ll just punch him in the face, same as the last guy.

Uh oh, now the stakes are being raised. Quite literally. They’re throwing knives at me! What to do now? Surely I can’t…yes! I’ll just punch it out of the air! Flying axe? Punch? Flying boulder? Punch? Rolling piece of what looks like tumbleweed? Erm, well I’ll actually have to crouch kick this time.

Surely there must be more to it than this, you think. Add oh boy, there sure is. After the mercifully short first level ends, you get to the only good bit of the entire game, a map that lets you choose which path to take. Do you go left to face a side scrolling level of identikit bad guys to punch? Or right to face a side scrolling level of identikit bad guys to punch? Wow, so much choice.

I go left and get stuck in some stupid maze like level where I keep falling down holes, then backtracking to climb out, then falling down another one. Meantime I fend off another horde of goons with my one-punch arsenal, all the while punching or dodging a flurry of axes that seem to fly on to the screen from an incorporeal hurler and then magically turn in the air at the edge of the screen, drop down a level and then come back at you the other way.

Finally though I stumble across what must be a mid-level boss, on account of the fact that he’s green and stands still. He starts lobbing some green dust at me and oh, I’m dead. What, no continues?

Alright, I’m not being beaten by this drivel. Let’s try again. This time though I have a new trick up my sleeve. These goons can’t deal with my punch power but maybe even they might get wise to it eventually. It’s time to bring out the big guns. Come get some, dog breath and have – HI YA! – this embarrassing looking kick to the face. I almost feel like apologising to the guy for having to be felled by such a move. It’s less a kick than it is a ballet move. What’s his finisher, a plie?

This is muck. Just real dross. It looks terrible, it plays worse and it’s also really hard and annoying. Rank and file enemies might be easy enough to dispatch, and your fists of steel protect you from various projectiles, but it is hard to avoid everything when you have to manoeuvre between platforms or when enemies stack up on either side of you. Disappointingly you don’t even get to pick up any of these weapons after besting one of the enemies, meaning your entire in-game repertoire consists of your deadly ballet moves. With just one life, only the very hardiest of players are going to make it to the end, that is if they can survive the utterly cringe writing.

Bottom Line
Avoid. If you have it in your collection, bin it. Better yet, bin it, then burn it. In fact to be on the safe side, just move out, although good luck selling your house on Right Move or Zoopla; ” 3 bed, semi-detatched house, south facing garden, close to local amenities, previous owner had a copy of Last Battle that several local cleaning companies still haven’t been able to clear the stench of.

Rating:

5 Stars

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