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Dennin Aleste: Nobunaga and his Ninja Force aka Robo Aleste

version: jp - year: 1992 - developer: compile - publisher: compile - format: mega-cd, cdrom - condition: mint - rarity: uncommon

 

As you ascend to the mountains top, the parallax effect is jaw-dropping

 

Text is unintrusive and can be fast-forwarded

 

The distortion effect in this level is simply astounding

 

Some of the more provocative cut-scenes have been apparently left out in the US release of the game

 

Getting close to the final battle

 

The last level features an incredible 3D effect in the background

 

while the soundtrack suddenly switches to some empowering classical-music theme

Review - Two years after Musha Aleste hit the Mega Drive , Compile released Dennin Aleste for the Mega CD trying to take advantage of the specific capabilities of the format.

This in part translated to the addition of lengthy cut-scenes to narrate the historical background of the story. Also, the CD format allowed the inclusion of a noteworthy soundtrack which expertly blends techno beats with other genres.

To be honest, the first impact I had with the graphics hasn't been really positive. Sure, flying over a waterfall which then flows into a canyon is eye-catching, and the sound effects convincingly reinforce the effect but unfortunately soon after that I ended up flying over a plain and obtusely two-dimensional landscape which bored me almost instantly. Being forced to look at it for longer than I wished led me to think that maybe Dennin Aleste had been widely hyped by Sega fans all over the internet. As I was about to lose faith, things dramatically improved!

Flying over a feudal village, tiny peasants in the distance started waving as I flew by them. It was an attaching moment and a nice detail which added a lot to the atmosphere of the game. I just imagine these simple people intent to plow the soil while all of a sudden, they see a huge shadow on the ground. Upon looking up the sky the godly figure they see is…Aleste!

This episode immediately puts things into perspective: you are in control of a futuristic mech-samurai, a fusion of western technology with eastern tradition, and you fly over feudal Japan to kick major ass! This is just one of the many untold stories suggested by some of the more richly detailed levels.

My main complaint is that unfortunately not always the backgrounds stand up to this qualitative standard. Anyways after that, you get to fight the first boss which gratuitously zooms in towards you for no real reason, other than maybe to allow Compile's programmers to use some of the overly hyped built-in Mega CD graphics capabilities.

Level 2 goes by almost uneventfully as you try to get the grip on all the subtleties of the weapon system. Interestingly, Dennin Aleste truly picks up when in one level, you'll fly over hilltops to then reach a valley where several avalanches will threaten to bury you while you'll be intent to follow a zigzaging railway. Next thing you know is that you'll have to demolish to pieces a steam train armed with all kinds of weapons and treacherous mechanical arms.

Compile inspirational moment reaches even higher peaks of excellence in the final levels: amazing background distortions, astounding 3D effects, awesome boss design framed within classic symphonic music will all converge to deliver an astonishing grand final in a rarely seen crescendo of artistic mastery!

In a word, despite its highs and lows Dennin Aleste managed to live up to its reputation and represents another defining chapter in the legendary Aleste saga. It is not only the best shooter on the Mega CD but also one of the best shooters the 16bit era ever witnessed!

Bottom line: the Mega-Cd had just a few lethal arrows in its bow and Dennin Aleste is the deadliest one. The killer application for the system. 9/10

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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