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March 8 2007
The Red Star - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
6/4/2007XS GamesXS Games1-2$29.95

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The Red Star.. Resurrected.
The first time we heard about this game was back in June 2003, and we did up our first preview in May 2004 with only months to go before release. Why are we re-previewing the game? Well it never made it to the shelves last time. You see The Red Star was actually being developed by Acclaim Austin, but then Acclaim went bust and this game, like many others, disappeared - until now. Fortunately the title has now been resurrected at XS Games. Essentially the same game it still looks pretty entertaining, but best of all the title is now a budget release for only $29.95 and certainly much more noteworthy because of it.

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Characters are pretty nice.
Based on the comic book the best way to describe the action in this game is a cross between Golden Axe and Contra, two of the best game series' of all time. The Red Star is actually based on a comic book which first appeared in 2000. Never heard of it? To be honest nor have I (you can check out the official web site here), but it is one of the best comics on the market apparently. Indeed the artwork which I have seen from the comic books is of very high quality.

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Ohh look, mission info.
The Red Star takes place in a parallel fantasy universe, in which a mythic empire based on the Soviet Union sets the landscape for an epic battle of militarized sorcery and monolithic technology. Over the course of several generations, the once mighty empire known as The United Republics of The Red Star (U.R.R.S.) slaughtered millions of its own people by the order of a single man. This man was their leader, Imbohl; a mighty sorcerer whose insanity turned his peopleís Utopian dreams into a nightmarish scheme driven by the desire to forge his own immortality. Haunted by the ghosts of their nationís tragic past, the Heroes of the Red Star, at the battle of Kar Dathraís Gate, discover the true nature of their peopleís struggle, abandon their duties as soldiers of the Red Fleet, and embark upon a quest to liberate their people from Imbohlís dark legacy.

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Surrounded by enemies.
Sorceress-Major Maya Antares, her elite bodyguard Kyuzo, and a hardened street fighter named Makita lead a team of outcast soldiers, the crew of a great skybound vessel, the Skyfurnace R.S.S. Konstantinov, who have realized the truth behind their nation's lies. Guided by the ghost of a great fallen hero, a Sorceress-Commander known only as The Red Woman, these once proud soldiers have taken up the cause of their ancestors and become fugitives from their own country. Sentenced to death as traitors, there is no way back for the Heroes of the Red Star. They must find a way to survive against the incredible destructive power of the government they once fought for, until their people are once again free.

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Looking down on the action.
Gameplay in The Red Star blends together both fighting and shooting genre and allows gamers to select from three characters (Kyuzo, Makita and Maya), each of whcih offers different gameplay experiences. During the co-operative gameplay gamers will be able to use their friend to modify and enhance the attacks on enemies. The gameplay is frantic and the visuals quite impressive - even for a title which was developed - for the most part - around 3 years ago now.

While The Red Star was shaping up as a quite exciting title while in Acclaim's lineup and it still looks equally entertaining today. XS Games have polished off the title and prepped it for release. As I mentioned earlier this is no longer a full priced game, but a budget release and with the game likely found for about $AU25 upon release it's hard not to pick this up.