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El Viento Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Rating: 78%
El Viento
El Viento El Viento El Viento El Viento
  • Review Score:

  • B+
By the late 1920s, American women were finally starting to be recognized as full citizens. Thanks to the suffrage movement and generations of strong activist women that came before, the United States was about to enter a more enlightened period. Of course, none of that mattered to Annet Myer, the star
of El Viento for the Sega Genesis. Who has time for voting when the fate of the world is resting on your shoulders?

You may not know it by the title, but El Viento is the Genesis follow-up to Earnest Evans. It stars a young Peruvian sorceress on a mission to defeat a mad religious figure who is trying to resurrect the evil god Hastur. Set in 1928, Annet battles a crew of New York City gangsters and a collection of increasingly bizarre mutant monsters in an attempt to save the world.

El Viento (Genesis)

With a powerful boomerang attack and a series of elemental magic spells (fire, water, wind, etc.), our hero rushes through a series of labyrinthine levels in an attempt to stop Hastur. It starts out on the city streets, but soon moves on to the wooded outskirts of town, the sewer, caves, a box factory and even an ocean liner.

Most of the game plays out like a weird Castlevania knock-off. The levels often feel like mazes, forcing the player to find the right exits and stay on the proper path. But there comes a time when all of the seriousness is thrown out the window and our hero uses a fast-moving dolphin as a surf board. That's right, at one point Annet literally rides on the back of a dolphin.

Goofiness aside, El Viento has a lot going for it. The level designs are always interesting and the backgrounds never overstay their welcome. I was also impressed with the game's use of diverse boss fights. One battle has you throwing boomerangs at a gelatinous cube, while another involves a mutant bird hiding in constantly shuffling boxes. And while the game is certainly challenging, it never felt unfair or frustrating.

El Viento (Genesis)

Along with the interesting levels and bosses, El Viento tells an exciting story through detailed cinema scenes. In fact, the whole game is a visual treat. You'll see a few backgrounds and enemies repeat, but the boss effects are some of the best I've seen on the Sega Genesis. The solid 16-bit presentation is complimented by responsive controls and a lengthy quest.

Annet Myer is a strong female figure living in a world that has no interest in that kind of role model. Thankfully she is able to fight through the intolerance and star in this very impressive Genesis sequel. El Viento is so good that it almost makes me want to give Earnest Evans a second look.
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