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April 1, 2005
He-Man: Defender of Grayskull - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price

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The effects look pretty nice.
Wow. What memories the upcoming release of He-Man: Defender of Grayskull brings back. During my childhood during the early 1980's (yep folks, I'm starting to get pretty damn old) one of the many staple morning TV shows was Masters of the Universe: He-Man, and to a lesser exted the spin-off show She-ra. In fact, He-man had a pretty long run from 1983 until 1990 with 130 episodes, a movie and TV special during that time. It's pretty surprising then that the TV show hasn't been made into a lot more games. Surely the action, fantasy and interesting world were worthy of video game treatment. Anyway, Midas are putting the finishing touches on this PS2 title, and it looks pretty special.

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Riding the Battle Cat.
This game includes a storyline which fits in perfectly with the game world displayed and encountered in the TV series. The evil Skeletor is (once again) on the brink of conquering Grayskull and with it all of Eternia. Only He-Man can thwart the evil warlord and stop Eternia from being plunged forever into darkness. The journey is long and hazardous taking He-Man under Snake Mountain and through the Evergreen Forest. Along the way lie the evil minions of Skeletor with the final challenge a titanic meeting with Skeletor himself.

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The polygon count could be boosted.
It's pretty clear from these screenshots that this is a third person action title, and while it doesn't look as nice as some of Capcom or EA's premium titles it's not a disaster either. In terms of gameplay you could say that He-man isn't too dissimilar to games such as Golden Axe or, more recently, Maximo Vs Army of Zin. The games 10 levels levels look quite impressive with many locations seemingly taken straight out of the cartoon series. During the levels you will encounter enemies and puzzles to conquer while He-man can call on the Battle Cat who is equipped with Missiles, fearsome claws and the ability to jump large distances.

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He-Man lunges at the enemy.
There are still a couple of unknowns about the game. The first is the inclusion of cut-scenes. Will these be faithful to the TV shows? Are they from the TV shows? Also, have the developers secured the same voice talent as used in the cartoons, given that 15 years has passed it's unlikely, but who knows?

This game is being released in the UK at the discount price of only £19.99 and distributers Ice Storm will be releasing the game here in Australia for $49.95. For fans of the hit TV series (which I believe is coming out on DVD in America soon) Masters of the Universe He-Man: Defender of Grayskull (to give the name it's full title) looks like an essential purchase for fans of the series or gamers looking for a bit of beat 'em up action. Expect an April release here.