Black Tiger

David Yun David Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2008-06-26 01:00:48

Black Tiger - Rank B

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ROM Filename: blktiger
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Date: August 1987

Also available in Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 (Xbox, PlayStation 2) and Capcom Classics Collection Remixed (PlayStation Portable)

Black Tiger is something of a forgotten gem. Examination of its design reveals the DNA of another, more well-known Capcom game, Ghosts 'n Goblins. You jump around hurling projectiles at enemies and relying on your armor for protection - it can absorb one hit from an enemy before crumbling.

The primary differences in Black Tiger are a liberal sprinkling of Dungeons & Dragons-style fantasy, and a greater emphasis on platforming. You control a barbarian dungeon crawling for phat lewtz and dragons to vanquish. Black Tiger scrolls in all eight directions, through sprawling levels with tons of nooks and crannies to explore. Once you amass enough coin, you can upgrade your weapons and armor. Upon further reflection, it's actually more like Castlevania than Ghosts 'n Goblins.

The best part of Black Tiger is the art design, which exudes personality and atmosphere. Its dank dungeons are conveyed by moody lighting and shadows. The solid variety of enemies are well animated, with dancing flames and dripping slimes. The controls are something of an issue, however. Iffy jumping renders upward platforming harder than it ought to be. This is further compounded by being limited to attacking horizontally. Nevertheless, Black Tiger is a near-classic that deserves more attention than it has received.

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