Battle Hunter, known in Japan as Battle Sugoroku: Hunter, and in Europe as The Hunter; this is an anime-styled tactical role-playing game released for the PlayStation in 1999.
Battle Hunter is a weird game. There’s no real premise or story. As soon as you begin, you make your hunter. Customization is limited, but all the sprites are pretty cool and colorful.
Then, you go get a mission. This bozo tells you to go get a piece of metal from the dungeon — big mission, huh — so you go to the dungeon only to find that other hunters are also searching for items.
That’s the game!
I should probably add that the missions do vary a little bit later on...
You run around the dungeon by turn-based rolls of dice, which I found to be uniquely weird, but also kind of cool. You can use cards — you always start with a limited supply — to augment your movement, or set traps, or increase your evasion of already set traps. Oh, and be mindful of your own traps.
The whole goal is to search crates. In them, you can find many kinds of items, but the goal for each mission is a specific relic, which yields the next mission. Furthermore, the other hunters can get your item before you do, or they can battle you after you get it, and they can take it from you.
It’s pretty cool to watch; even when it isn’t your turn, while in the dungeon, the other hunters not only search crates, too, but they attack — they can attack you or each other! You can attack them, too, and if you manage to kill off all the other hunters, you can roam freely, which makes the turn-based dice rolling a right pain in the rear…
Battle Hunter is oddly fun to play. Maybe it’s the anime-style graphics, or maybe it’s the rockin’ tunes, but I find it’s a rather satisfying game in short spurts. Mostly, I enjoy collecting stuff in games anyway, and since this game is all about collecting, it can be quite entertaining.
This game is kind of tedious. All you do is run around and collect items. It’s certainly fun to play through one stage, kill off the other hunters, collect all the items, and return to home base, but after that there’s really nothing else to do except the next dungeon, and the next… and the next.
Fortunately, the dungeons do look different, and there are little additions to the dungeons, things like flags that will have some kind of an effect on the hunters. Farther in, there are even random enemies!
You might be able to tell that what’s bad about the game isn’t really all that detrimental. As a matter of fact, my biggest problem with the game is the white flashes of light that appear. The game is designed with a sort of flashing whitewash when switching screens.
Some games give a black screen for just a second. Other games have a swipe effect, and others still just switch with no effect; the whitewash and the black screen effects give me headaches, so I’ve never played the game for more than about thirty minutes at a time, and that means clearing out one dungeon, and since I get bored by clearing out dungeon after dungeon, I’ve never actually beaten the game.
Since I’ve not beaten the game, I find it difficult to grade it, but I think a flat C is a worthy grade. Battle Hunter is definitely a game worth trying out.