The hip bone's connected to the thigh bone. . .
The skeleton in front of you snarls, ready to pounce. As it lunges towards you, you bring your sword down, shattering your foe into a thousand pieces. You walk away, leaving him for dead. Unfortunately, the skeleton reforms and attacks you from behind. Next time, you'll remember to remove its crystal, so that it can't regenerate itself and give such nasty surprises. You are Prince Lightstar, defender of the realm. It is up to you to defend your lands against the infamous Baron Dark and his hordes of skeletons who are wreaking havoc. Only when the Lightstar Crystal has been rejoined can peace once again reign.
If you've ever seen the cartoon of Skeleton Warriors, you're probably ready to be unimpressed with the game. Though the cartoon has a great plot, the animation is horrible. The video game, on the other hand, is surprisingly cool. With rendered graphics, a good soundtrack, and a gothic feel, Skeleton Warriors is a much better as a game than aa a cartoon.
...Now if only they could improve on the gameplay.... . .
The most notable thing about Skeleton Warriors is the impressive graphics. Fully rendered characters move and fight so smoothly that you can't help but be impressed. When the skeletons are destroyed, their bones scatter about the screen, leaving a crystal where the skeleton once was. If you do not get that crystal in time, the skeleton will reform and attack you once again. If you get the crystal, each bone explodes independently wherever it is on the screen. The light cycle sequences are also very well done. Reminiscent of Panzer Dragoon, you are only able to steer the cycle within the confines of a predetermined track. In between certain levels, there are also cinematic sequences so detailed that they are enthralling in and of themselves. The boys at Neversoft did cut a few corners, however, the most notable being that when you turn Prince Lightstar around, the graphics simply reverse. This creates such oddities as the leg guard, having once been on the right leg, is suddenly on the left. Little shortcuts like that don't affect the gameplay, but they are really annoying if you notice them.
After you get used to the graphics, the next thing you notice is the music. Dark and foreboding, the music really pulls you into the game.Skeleton Warriors takes full advantage of the CD sound that the next generation systems have. The sound effects, on the other hand, are in dire need of work. Some sounds seem to be in the wrong place. When you press the block button, a metallic sound is emitted even if you are not blocking anything. Though the fantastic music tends to drown out the poor sound effects, it still is noticeable. Another unfortunate shortcut. . .
However, the gameplay is where Skeleton Warriors really falls apart. Unoriginal and uninspired, the game seems to drag on at points. Before moving on to a new point or saving, each level must be completed in its entirety before you die. When you invariably die several times right at the end, this little feature can get quite annoying. The game itself is nothing new. Walk along, kill enemies, reach boss, kill boss, next level, kill enemies, etc. . . Sometimes this setup, when done well with lots of little saving graces, makes an excellent game, as in the case of Earth Worm Jim. Skeleton Warriors, however, just seems to be a recycled game with new packaging.
With such excellent graphics and music on a mediocre game, one has to wonder what the designers were thinking. If they had spent more time on the gameplay,Skeleton Warriors could have been the best game ever to come out on a Saturn. Instead, it is just a rehash of thousands of games we have seen before, with nothing new.