Title Cowboy Bebop
Developer/Publisher Bandai
Type 3D Shooter
English version None
Reviews #1

Review #1 by Spike

Back in 1998, I bought a game from Bandai called Cowboy Bebop, a mission based combat shooter like Namco's Ace Combat series. It's based on a popular anime series from Bandai. However, at that time, I haven't watched this anime series and the game didn't turn out to be the way that I expected, so I couldn't really got into the game and decided to put it away. Now in 2000, the anime division of Bandai began to release the anime series in the US, and I have fallen in love with this series immediately. From the story to characters, art to music, Cowboy Bebop delivered a solid sci-fi package that are fun to watch. Anyway, after being addicted with the anime series, I decided to revive this old game from my closet, spent some more time to play it, and wrote this review.

Why this game didn't get my attention back in 98? Simple, Cowboy Bebop is a curiously flawed and horribly mishandled. One would think that a game branded with the popular anime license, Cowboy Bebop, would deliver on all counts. But like many Bandai' previous efforts, it messed up again and gave us a sloppy game. First of all, the control is bad, it took me a long while to get used to it. It's often tough to steer the plane in the right direction, not to mention to control your target to shoot enemies. L1 and R1 buttons are provided for rotating the plane left and right, but I didn't find it useful to avoid enemies' attacks or objects like bridges or rocks. Also, there's no accerlation or slow down button, you basically follow the rail and shoot the enemies. On the bright sides, the buttons are responsive with unlimited machine gun bullets, plus it has dual shock ability.

Another disappointing part of the game is the camera angle. It is really hard to get used to and quite hard to explain, it just doesn't use the similar type of camera setting like Namco's Ace Combat series. Instead, the camera angle gives the player a sense of floating, it doesn't track the plane in a fixed position, and it often gives me a feeling of motion sickness.

When it comes to graphics, Cowboy Bebop is okay. It uses 3D real-time polygons, but most of the objects are built with low polygon counts, so they look crappy. Not to mention the polygons have a lot of break-ups throughout the game. The texture maps on the polygons are okay, but it's not so detailed. The level designs are actually fine with me, but they could have do a better job than this. By the way, there're six stages for the game. After watching the original anime series, I recongized the soundtracks are not based on the original, instead, it's all new. I wished I could listen the original tracks composed by Yoko Kanno (she composed many popular anime soundtracks like Macross Plus and Escaflowne). Even though the new tracks are actually not bad, I still wished to listen the ones from the original anime series.

This game might be worth a look for die-hard Cowboy Bebop fans, but most combat shooter fans will want to steer clear and stay away from it.