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HotRod FAQ

Rastan - January 5, 2000 by Ice Knight
Game:RastanCompany:Taito
Type:PlatformPlayers:1/2

Rastan is a good fun to play game of the simple two-button side scroller type. You play a barbarian and wield a sword as you slaughter hordes of inhuman enemies. It is easy to learn, but is fairly long and will take you a while to finish.
It is the length combined with the way dying is handled that makes this such a good game to be emulated. The length part is easy to explain. The game runs perfectly under Raine which allows save states. Being able to save and come back should prevent boredom with this game. The game works ok with M.A.M.E but Iíll get to that latter.
The death part brings me to one of my pet peeves of emulation. In many classic side-scroller fighting games (such as Golden Axe) the only penalty for dying is you have to drop in another coin. Great for arcade owners not so great for emulation. What made the game a money maker in itís day makes it all to easy to beat in emulation press a button and another coin is added! No penalty for death. That is unless you are trying for a MARP high-sore but thatís a different story...
Rastan has a perfect death penalty system: you get set back, but you do not have to start the game over. This keeps the challenge alive right from the start. Still not convinced this is important? Look at the ultra-classic game Ghost and Goblins. It used a similar emphasis on player skill overhow many coins you where willing to drop in.
Some might say that this is in contradiction with my comments on the length and using save-state however, keep in mind that with save states you control the save, not the game. If you decide not to use them an play the ďoriginalĒ way, you loose very little in the emulation. If it is to hard for you to play this way, or you just get bored you can use save-state. Also, unless you hit save every two frames chances are load state is going to set you back a ways.
Ok, now that that is established this, what else makes this game worth playing? The game play is a big reason. Your movements are smooth and easy to control. Swinging on ropes and vines at certain points adds a nice break from the slash, jump, slash routine. Power-ups provide another nice bonus. The fire ball shooting sword is probably the best. Watch the colors on those potions blue ones increase your health the others are toxic and reduce health. Every few levels you will run into a boss. The first couple are easy but they do get very hard.
The graphics? Well the graphics are good but nothing special. All characters are well drawn with simple, well drawn backgrounds. Good use of color but with very limited animation. A bit above average considering the year of release (1987).
Sound? Just about the same as the graphics. Nice music that is not annoying. Very simple but well done sound effects. Grunts when the player jumps, sword strike noises that sort of thing.
The emulation of this game is handled fairly well in M.A.M.E but perfectly in RAINE. If you want to play this game do so in RAINE as M.A.M.E tends to slow down dramatically when large numbers of sprites are on screen. The Performance number is based on RAINE emulation. In MAME it would be about a 5 or 6.
Final Verdict: This is not the greatest side-scrolling game ever made. It does have enough elements of a good game to make it worth playing. You probably will not want to beat it more than once, but if you like side-scrolling fighting games you will want to beat it.
Graphics
6
6
Sound
Play Control
7
7
Challenge
Replay Value
5
10
Performance

Screen Shots

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