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Lucifer Ring (PSone Classics) Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . After 15 years, Lucifer Ring is finally coming to the United States. Unfortunately, this middling action game was not worth the way. With a short campaign, bad graphics and sluggish controls, this PSone Classic is hard to recommend in the day and age of Dragon's Crown and Foul Play. Rating: 30%
Lucifer Ring (PSone Classics)
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Lucifer Ring (PSone Classics) Lucifer Ring (PSone Classics) Lucifer Ring (PSone Classics) Lucifer Ring (PSone Classics)
  • Review Score:

  • D+
If you've been following Defunct Games, then you've probably heard me say that 2013 was a great year for old school beat-em-ups. Between Dragon's Crown, Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara, Charlie Murder and Foul Play, last year had more high-quality brawlers than just about any other time in history. So will 2014 continue this trend of must-own beat-em-ups? Not if Lucifer Ring has anything to say about it.

Originally released in 1998, Lucifer Ring is a Golden Axe-style action game from the developers of Crisis Beat and Boogie Woogie Bowling. Despite America's love for mashing buttons, this 32-bit action game never made its way outside of Japan. Now, thanks to MonkeyPaw Games, curious PlayStation 3, PS Vita and PSP owners will finally get a chance to fight Hell's demons and save the day.

Lucifer Ring (PSone Classics)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Of course, you might not understand what's going on half the time. Much like last week's Double Dragon review, Lucifer Ring is an import title that is almost entirely in Japanese. The good news is that it's easy to learn and all of the options are in English. Things get messy when it comes to deciphering the story and voice over.

From what I've gathered, this is the story of a brave swordsman who fights through the forest, caverns, castles and straight to the gates of Hell to stop Lucifer. He's collecting rings and fighting off demons, ghosts, dragons, goblins and even a giant Minotaur. (Not to be confused with last year's worst brawler, Minotaur.) Can our hero collect all the rings and defeat Lucifer? With unlimited continues, the answer is a resounding yes.

Lucifer Ring (PSone Classics)Click For the Full Picture Archive

This is a classic beat-em-up, complete with button mashing, repetitive enemies and special moves that hurt the player. Unlike Golden Axe, Lucifer Ring uses polygons to tell the story. No matter if they use sprites or polygons, the end result is the same. You meet a group of bad guys, hammer the attack buttons until they're dead and then move on to the next group. Each of the game's five stages offers new bad guys, but that won't stop you from seeing them repeated way too many times.

Lucifer Ring hints that there may be some hidden depth with two attack buttons. Sadly, this is not as exciting as it sounds. Don't think this will open up combos, because this 1998 action game is more interested in the player hammering the same button. It doesn't help that our hero walks with no sense of urgency. Hell's gate has opened and there are demons everywhere, this is no time for a peaceful stroll through the forest. And don't even get me started on the game's lack of analog support.

Lucifer Ring (PSone Classics)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I was also disappointed to see that Lucifer Ring is a single-player game, taking away one of the staples of the beat-em-up genre. A lot of repetition is forgiven when mashing buttons with close friends, so I found my descent into Hell to be a lonely experience. Not just lonely, but boring. There isn't enough technique to the gameplay and the stages aren't even remotely interesting. Thankfully it's brief, clocking in at under an hour long.

It certainly doesn't help that Lucifer Ring is coming after a year packed with so many amazing beat-em-ups. But even if Dragon's Crown and Foul Play didn't exist, this would still be a mediocre action game that does very little to advance the genre. Sometimes it takes an old school brawler to remind us how good we have it in 2014.
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