Hybrid Heaven – Nintendo 64 Review – HD

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“The news first broke that final fantasy. 7. Was being switched from the n64 to to the playstation. It was perhaps the first piece of writing on the wall that n64 was under equipped to deliver the next generation of epic rpgs.

Not the super nintendo is known for sadly not only this was a huge loss for nintendo. It was almost a shot in the face as square walked away from the n64 early on and its wound. That nintendo never really recovered from now don t get me wrong. Other developers tried to hash together role playing games for the console.

But it s fair to say that none ever reached the highs that many of us were expecting or even hoping for one of the developers to try their luck with the game genre was konami who in the summer of 1999 released hybrid heaven across the world after years of development had a huge amount of hype. It s strange to have seen a third party game get as much high possessed. But heck it was an rpg and we were desperate for something special. But before we go into the game is perhaps interesting to consider the mysterious history behind hybrid heaven.

While it s never been officially confirmed or denied. There were strong rumours that hybrid heaven was indeed originally put into development to be the n64 version of metal gear. Solid and the early screenshots and videos of the game only helped to fund. The fire in this sense.

When the game was originally shown off the action side of the game was much more prominent and the early videos had a ton of stealth elements and mechanics shown off there was also a strong rumor that kojima himself single handedly caused the game to change from being a metal gear solid game. As it didn t want there to be confusion between the two games. You see the rumors that the early build and storyline of the game is that solid snake was investigating an underground lab. Where gene soldiers were being made the sad truth is we ll never likely find out the entire truth behind all of these rumors.

But even if the game. Didn t turn out to be a full metal gear game in the series the complex and confusing storyline. Still holds consumers fingerprints all over it. Even if he is not credited as the game s writer hybrid heaven is all about hybrids hence.

The title and these are a genetic human and alien cross hybrid race. Who live and operate from a huge underground base below the earth s crust. Rather than coming to attackers and in all out war. They instead plan to capture political leaders and replicate them with clones to manipulate human history before coming to the earth surface to dominate the game begins in the year 2000 and us.

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President weller is due to arrive in new york to sign an anti nuclear weapons. Agreement with the russian president this is being reported on world news and a secret service agent called johnny slater watches on before he decides to answer the door stark bollock naked to a general who gives you your next mission brief in the next scene. Johnny slater is a subway station and is fatally shot by diaz. Who is one of the hybrids.

He then attempts to escape and sabotage. The base. Which is where the game takes place. However.

This is where things get really confusing you see diaz is actually the real. Johnny slater and when he shot and killed. Johnny slater. It was actually an evil clone of himself johnny had been under the control of the gargantuans who have tasked johnny with rescuing.

The high powered super navigator and taking down the garden. Gantry and traitor who first created the hybrid race. Add to this you have to do all of this by christmas in order to meet your distant girlfriend under the christmas tree in new york as promised if you have a headache right now then you should have i ve played many games in my time. And i can t think of one that confused me as much in its opening seven minutes than this game.

Did thankfully the storyline does become a whole lot less convoluted than this as it continues throughout the game. But you really need to grab the basic storyline right off the bat in order to understand what s happening in the game. And sadly konami didn t do a great job of this in the opening cutscene. The storyline wasn t the only games problem.

Though konami decided to add expansion packs support to offer a high res mode by way of full screen or letterbox. The problem is i almost go as far as to say that the optional high res mode makes the game almost unplayable due to the extremely choppy they delivering the game. Sure things do look a little smoother and sharper. But the expansion pack is such an awful framerate addition to the game and as a surprise.

They didn t drop this all together. If you take my advice. This is a game to play without the expansion pack. So just play it in the standard reservation mode throughout that s not to say the graphics aren t good with the game taking place entirely in the underground alien base and winding corridors in small rooms.

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The console. Doesn t struggle with what are limited and sometimes bland serve textures on the plus side. Though the whole game actually feels like a complete package. Where each of the game stages.

Links together into a complete free flowing experience. The real meeting bones of the game. Though is in this awesome real time battle system for its time. It was certainly unique.

Although it has been copied since and gamers seem to like its more fast paced mechanics when you enter combat you are still free to move around the environment. Although you will have a lock on the enemy that you re up against as you move around your opponent. The power meter will begin to rise naturally the longer you leave this before attacking the greater the power will be you also have a stamina meter. Which wears down the longer the battle goes on and when the starts to run low you beat more restricted as to which moves you can perform here s where the game gets interesting.

Though unlike many traditional rpgs. You don t actually have any weapons or armor to upgrade aside from one or two weapons that you ll pick up as consumables. The entire game revolves around hand to hand combat in theory. When i heard this i didn t think it would work.

But i was very pleased to have been proven wrong as you start the game with a basic set of kicks and punches. You learn new moves as you defeat enemies and gain experience. The more you develop your character. The more powerful and specific moves at your game.

It s possible by the end of the game to have a moussa that allows you to attack almost every specific part of the body also as you progress you ll learn the ability to chain together custom made combos. Which you can make yourself and also unleash some epic holed moves. Which have pretty much all inspired from wwf finishing moves. The time in a lot of rpg games.

It is possible to level up a single aspect of your character and still take down almost all the enemies in the game to get around this method konami implemented a system which upgrades specific parts of your body for example. If you keep kicking your enemies your legs will grow strong. But if you then need to punch an enemy. They will be underdeveloped to have a little damage or impact this results in you varying your moves throughout the game in order to balance out your character now don t get me wrong.

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I still think that kicks in the game are always much more powerful than punches. But this system takes away the battle fatigue. I often find when i play other rpgs. The enemy designs are also really cool if not a little eccentric and unique as you get deep into the base you ll accidentally unlock all the genetic hybrid test monsters that were being worked on so you can expect a lot of diversity and some bizarre looking hybrids to battle against add to this a whole host of human characters throughout.

The base and have a perfect sci fi setting. Which takes inspiration from the entire history of sci fi from it s wacky looking 70s aliens to more modern things from movies like alien aside from the opening cutscene the rest of the game s cinematics are also excellently done. They don t all contain voice acting. But with or without the added effects they drive the story forward at a nice pace and there are some epic twists and turns as you attempt to complete your mission the personal highlight for me was the geiger inspired area.

We have to outrun a giant hybrid which is being created by a sadistic evil scientist who is intent on using you as a test subject the camera moves in some awesome positions and there are some truly genuinely jumpy moments. When the monster smashes through walls out of nowhere whilst. Hunting you down speaking of the camera. Though for the most part the camera.

Does do a good job of keeping itself in the right place at the right time. But there are occasional moments where it will position itself in an awkward position that will make navigating the game a total pain. It s also prone to flipping. Which when combined with the game s awful mini map it can leave you backtracking unintentionally weaving itself throughout the game as some incredible music but coming from konami.

I would have expected anything less the fully stereo set of effects. Music are perfectly fitting to the sci fi inspired themes of the game. There s an ever present low baseline. Which has worked together with orchestral and occasional strings and some almost futuristic chanting noises at times when combined with the game s claustrophobic feel it does help to create a sense of isolation and urgency in the later areas of the game.

When things turn visually darker and more sinister the soundtrack more sin to something more sinister and epic. When battling the sound effects are also superb. And when you smack a hybrid with a ddt you get all kinds of awesome bone crunching. Sounds.

The only disappointment was the diffusor gun sound. And it does sound about as powerful as a pocket fuck. All in all though hybrid heaven is a game. Which is unlikely to grip you at first the confusing storyline can leave you at times.

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Wondering exactly what s going on and the fact that the entire game takes place underground. Doesn t make it one of the more visually appealing titles on the system. But do give us some time the sci fi. Inspired themes are very well.

Delivered by the game s finale. And if you re a fan of kojima style. Character arcs. Then hybrid heaven won t leave you disappointed.

The battle mechanics are also unique and really make you think about how you re fighting. Rather than just churning out the same moves to defeat an enemy and on to the next battle by the time you may really start to enjoy the game. Though it s over far too quickly there are nine areas in the game and from start to finish. You should expect to complete it in around 14 hours or so there are some awesome individual moments in the game.

However and if like me you find that you just don t have enough time to sink 60. Plus hours into a modern rpg game. Then hybrid heaven could just well be the game. That you didn t have on your radar for me.

It s perhaps one of the most underrated and overlooked titles on the system. And so if you haven t played it before give it a few hours. And if you re still enjoying it that it s worth continuing with i picked this up on day. One as a kid and i enjoyed playing it just as much now as i did all those years ago.

Hybrid heaven. Really isn t a game that you hear all that much about these days. And so if you ve played this before i d love to know what your experience of it was like did you find that the storyline as confusing as i did and were you gripped with the frequent plot twists and turns or perhaps you felt it was just a quick cash in on gamers. Who are desperate for good rpg on the n64 as always let me know your thoughts and feelings in the comment section down.

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