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 Sega Saturn Review

Sega/Shin Force > Systems > Sega Saturn > Games > Elan Doree

Shin Force ~ Saturn ~
Touryuu Densetsu: Elan Doree | Review
Kamata and Partners
1x CD
Jan. 14, 1999
Side / 3rd Person
vs Fighter
3D Pad
Backup 19
Virtua Stick
     > Elan Doreé is originally a ST-V arcade from the unknown developer Sai-Mate.  Since I never played another Sai-Mate game I wasn't very sure what to expect.  But I was very surprised to see how great this fighter is.  This game adds a lot of new aspects to traditional fighting games, just like the battles with flying dragons and the magic attacks.
     > Unfortunately, this game doesn't have any FMV sequences, so the first thing to really call my attention was how good the polygon engine is.  Everything is amazingly textured and smoothly animated.  However, the graphic effects will close a lot of ignorant people's mouths with a lot of "impossible" effects for a Saturn -- just like transparencies and an extensive 3D engine. 
     > Backgrounds are also worth a special mention; they're beautiful and spectacular, and come complete with scaling effects on the floor.
     > Good control -- simple and tight. Elan Doree allows you to fly free by pressing a button and jump off the dragon as well.
     > Melodies are very good, but they lack in instrumentation.  I really don't know why Sai-Mate didn't make better use of Saturn's sound chip (I've heard Saturn's Yamaha is the best sound engine -- only beaten by the Uberconsole's).
     > On the other hand, we have great sound effects (dragon roars, explosions, clashes...) and plenty of voices.
     > This game is really fun and impressive.  There is also a survival mode where you can try to beat your records.  However as with most vs fighting games, it would be more fun playing with a friend; and the best thing, this game is close to being 100% importable (all menus are in English).
Bottom Line
     > This game is really a pleasant surprise.  Amazing graphics and gameplay make Elan Doreé a great game to import.
Overall: 8.5 | Graphics: 9.5 | Control: 9.0 | Sound: 7.0 | Fun: 8.5
~ Dantares ~
Screenshots / Pix
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     > ST-V: the arcade hardware version of the Saturn.  At this point there haven't been a ton of ST-V games, but at least they've been of good quality.  Remember... Golden Axe the Duel, Die Hard Arcade and Funky Head Boxing?  Yes, all ST-V conversions for Saturn.  The latest ST-V game to be converted to the Dual 32 bit console is known as Elan Doreé (door-ay). 
     > In a simple one sentence description, Elan Doreé is where Panzer Dragoon meets Samurai Shodown in 3D glory.  It's a fighter, but one in which being on the ground is a disadvantage.  You see, each character rides a dragon which means that you're actually supposed to be flying at all times.  Most of the fighting takes place on a 2D plane, but you do have complete freedom of 3D movement.  Which means instead of merely dodging attacks, you can actually fly around and get behind your foe in a whole new way.
     > I rated this game at 100% importability since it's basically English throughout.  All the menus, gameplay screens and even the ending credits are in English.  About the only thing that's Japanese is some of the speech and the ending story text.  This might as well be the American release.
     > The graphics aren't overly ambitious, but they're consistently smooth and glitch free.  The polygon generated 3D arenas have unlimited size which is good since you're flying.  Each character rides a different dragon with unique looks and fighting styles.  For instance, Keyaki is my favorite character and she flies a red dragon which breathes fire -- she's known as a Fire Dragon Master.  Naturally, each character has his/her own backdrop which consists of flat ground and a multi-scrolling background (usually 2 layers). 
     > The view is usually from the side as most of the fighting occurs that way.  However, if you start to fly around or get dismounted, then the view switches to a 3/4 overhead 3rd person view.  All the while everything is constantly zooming in and out to accommodate the proximity of the combatants. 
     > The special effects are cool, but nothing that we haven't already seen.  You'll see flame bursts, explosion halos, transparency, etc...  One cool feature is the large size of the characters mounted on their well animated dragons.
     > The control is relatively basic, but that's good in my opinion.  The buttons are attack1, attack2, jump and free roam.  You can use certain button combinations for the special moves or you can set up the control pad for special 1~3 ala Virtua Fighter.  These special moves are carried out by your dragon via the D-power meter.  This meter is replenished by using non-dragon attacks.  Of course, there are combos and multiple hit attacks to be learned. 
     > One neat thing about the gameplay is that you can actually knock an opponent off their dragon.  Once this happens, they become momentarily stunned and you can pummel them with energy bursts from your dragon!  Finally, the free flight isn't a novelty...  It's a strategic necessity!
     > The standard set of arcade tunes that are included are generic in my opinion.  However, just go into the options menu and select the arranged music and you'll have a much better experience.  The arranged selections consist mainly of orchestral and rock music.  The sound effects include a typical array of hit effects, explosions, (sometimes chincy) character screams/speech and dragon shrieks.
     > Elan Doreé includes three modes of play: Arcade, Vs. and Survival.  You get ten characters to choose from -- five male and five female.  As always, a human opponent is the best way to go.  If that's not possible, the CPU can put up a very good fight.  I think most would agree the more you play this game, the more interesting it becomes.
Bottom Line
     > The free flight makes Elan Doree something other than a "been there done that" rehash.  Aside from the music and sound effects, most everything is done well from the graphics, to control, to options.  I recommend Fighting Fans get it while you can because this one is hard enough to find already.
Overall: 8.8 | Graphics: 9.6 | Control: 9.6 | Sound: 7.5 | Fun: 8.5
~ Shinobi ~
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