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Unbound Saga Preview

Blake_Morse By:
GENRE Beat-Em-Up 
T Contains Blood, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Streets of Final Double Comix.

Back in the days of the early 90s, when MC Hammer ruled the airwaves and 16-bit consoles were the cutting edge in graphics processing, Sega released a little game known as Streets of Rage for its Genesis system. Some of you are too young to remember playing the game, let alone on that console, but for those of you who grew up plunking quarters into Final Fight arcade machines and are still waiting for Sega to rehash the Streets titles into something for the new-gen systems (if they do, i imagine it'll be better than Beast Rider), there is hope.

click to enlargeUnbound Saga looks to be the heir to the throne of side-scrolling beat-'em-up arcade action. In this upcoming downloadable title for the PSP, you take on the role of Ricky Jackson, an old-school retro comic book hero, a kind of a Punisher-style anti-hero dude. After 30 years of saving the world from evil, he's sick and tired of the superhero shtick. So he decides that he's going to rebel against the mysterious Creator and escape from the world of monthly serials.

As you can imagine, the Creator is not too hip to the idea of losing control of his intellectual property and will do his best to stop Rick from reaching his goals. Much like in another classic Sega brawler, Comix Zone, the action takes place in panels. You must defeat enemies as they are drawn on the screen in order to advance to the next segment.

click to enlargeCombat works much like you would expect a classic brawler to. You can kick, punch, throw, and grab objects to beat people with. Along the way you'll earn points that you can use to upgrade and unlock combos. You'll also make a few friends on your journey, like the playable femme fatale, Laurie Machete, a brunette hottie in a miniskirt, fishnets, and tank top. Her moves and abilities vary greatly from Rick's. She can make herself temporarily invisible by hiding in certain areas, and her super moves have more finesse than just adrenaline-fueled smashing, such as her ability to use poisonous gas bombs.
You'll be able to switch between both characters while playing.

Be warned, Unbound Saga does not look to be what one could call “smart gaming”. And I don't mean that as an insult. I mean that it aims to blend the right amount of classic mindless ass-kicking and smashing that was so much fun back in the days of the arcade, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, but with modern DLC game values. After a rough day at the office, zoning out and pretending the thug on the screen is your boss can be a cleansing, zen-like experience.

click to enlargeThere's not a date set yet for the game's release on the PSN, but in June, Dark Horse Comics will be releasing a one-shot Unbound Saga comic that will detail Ricky Jackson's origins through a series of featurettes. The comic was penned by the game's producer, Mike Kennedy, and drawn by artist Cliff Richards. Mike has a history of writing for Dark Horse (Aliens vs. Predator) and making video games. so this looks to be a great blending of both genres. Hopefully. all the bugs will be worked out for a simultaneous launch, but there's no guarantee that's going to happen at this point. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for more information as we get closer to a launch date announcement.

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