Reviews Archive
         
  Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel  
   
 
 
 
  Graphics  
         
    SNES Mega Drive  
         
   

 
     
         
     
     
         
   
       
     
     
         
  Detail  
 

SNES - The detail level is pretty good. All the characters and environments are all very well drawn, and the artwork contains a nice amount of charm.

There's a few different effects used throughout the game, such as scrolling transparencies for levels two and five, and a heat effect for the first stage of level three. The effects are all very well put together and work well with the overall stage designs where they are used.

Mega Drive - This version is in a higher resolution than the SNES one, and occasionally has a little bit more detail added to certain areas (look carefully at the trees in the first shot).

However the colour transitions for some of the backgrounds are much more noticeable, and all the transparency effects are missing. The heat effect found in the third level of the SNES version is used more often here as it's not only used in more sections of Cliffs Stage 1, but is also used in Cliffs Stage 2 (which is a little strange as that stage has no lava atmosphere, the addition of the heat effect does however give that stage an underwater style now, though due to the main character still controlling the same you don't really feel underwater).

I considered giving the detail section to the Mega Drive as a win due to its higher resolution and added details, but I feel that the lack of the transparency effects for levels two and five really hurt those stages offsetting the relatively minor (by comparison) improvements, so I'm giving this section to the SNES.

 
   
  Winner is: SNES  
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  Colour  
 

SNES - The colour use here is absolutely phenomenal. Everything is vibrant and well coloured, and the sky backgrounds have very smooth colour transitions.

Mega Drive - I would say that this is actually pretty impressive for the Mega Drive, but realistically its still quite far from the quality of the SNES version.

Whilst some of the levels are quite comparable to the SNES in their excellent use of colour, others such as levels 2 (second screen shot) and 3 (third screen shot) tend to have some less fitting, or just plain odd colour choices in some places (bright blue background in a cave?).

 
   
  Winner is: SNES  
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
  Animation  
 

SNES - Very impressive animation, loads of frames, very smooth, and with loads of different actions for the character.

Mega Drive - The same as in the SNES version.

 
   
  Winner Is: Draw  
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
  Scrolling  
 

SNES - Faultless scrolling with some very good use of parallax.

Mega Drive - Pretty much the same. The jet boat levels possibly have slightly worse scrolling though.

 
   
  Winner Is: Draw  
 
 
  Sound  
     
  Music  
 

SNES - The music quality and compositions here are very impressive, a lot of the songs are very catchy and melodic.

Mega Drive - The music in this version is maybe a little above average, its not really anything special, and certainly isn't a particularly impressive use of the Mega Drive's sound chip.

A few of the tracks here are pretty good but to be honest even those don't really stand up to their SNES counterparts.

 
   
  Winner Is: SNES  
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
  Sound FX  
 

SNES - The sound effects are pretty good, with nice quality, and there's quite a number of them

Mega Drive - I'm pretty sure there's actually more sound effects used in this version, but the general quality of the sound effects is lower than those of the SNES version, and some of them are quite bad.

 
   
  Winner Is: SNES  
     
Gameplay

SNES - Zero is basically a fast action game which has you platform jumping, shooting and dive bombing the enemies through seven levels, each broken into two stages each.

One of its stand-out features is the large numbers of moves it gives you access to, ranging from the offensive moves (such as limited shurikens and nun-chucks), to the more original selection of moves based around flying. One of the more interesting of the airborne moves is the sky diving, which requires you to jump from a height pick up velocity and pull up at the last moment, if done right you can soar back into the air, this move is required for many sections in the game and whilst doing it right can take some practice when learnt it works quite well.

Mega Drive - Plays pretty closely to the SNES version except you get more viewable screen area in this version, and its also at a slower pace. These two elements do make the game a little easier to follow, giving you a lot more reaction time but I feel that its a little bit overkill, just the extra viewing area would've been enough really in my opinion, and the slower pace very slightly lessens the excitement of the game.

Winner Is: SNES
 
Presentation

SNES - There's an intro which sets the scene.

Mega Drive - This version has the intro, as well as another in-game section after the third level boss fight which seems to be absent from the SNES version. This extra section basically explains that Zero's girlfriend was captured whilst trying to rescue her father.

Winner Is: Mega Drive

 

   
  Conclusion  
 

Both versions are excellent and have obviously had at least some level of work to optimise them for their respective systems, but the SNES version has to be the clear winner in this comparison due to its higher quality graphics, and impressive music.

 
  Overall Winner Is: SNES  
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