"Donīt judge a book by its cover", do you know this famous expression? It usually means that you should try to find beautiful things behind an ugly appearance, but it can also be used in the opposite situation. I had this "inverse" situation with the PC-ENGINE for the very first time when I got the game Genocide, which has a gorgeous front cover but itīs far from being a decent game. And, now, Iīve got the very same feeling with Black Hole Assault, a game which also has an instigating cover, though not as astonishing as Genocideīs.


BHA plot talks about several missions which had been sent off to outer space, in order to find new places to explore mineral resources. One of those exploratory missions is attacked by the Akinovians, right after theyīve found an area near Saturn with plenty of mineral resources... such incident caused a war between the Akinovians and the Earth. The humans sent off several ship convoys equipped with CAM (Cybernetic Anthropomorphic Machine), modern mechanical armors dressed by the most experienced pilots from the fleet. Those CAM troops are supposed to restore freedom on the planets and moons located between the Earth and Saturn. To accomplish that, they must get into hand-to-hand combats, on the ground, against the invaders.

Hehehe, well, this is definitely quite a plot for a strategy game, maybe a shooter, but BHA is actually a fighting game! The idea itself is not bad at all, and BHA could have become quite a nice game, but... To the positive aspects, first. BHA has English narratives, which helps a lot the plot comprehension for people which donīt understand Japanese. The musics are nice, even though they are quite common as well, and the SFX are astounding. Regarding on graphics, the CAM design is really interesting.


Negative aspects... ahem... Well, the commands are pretty easy to learn in theory (punch on button I, kick on button II and you can also throw your opponent using I and II at the same time), but too damn hard to be used on the game itself. Itīs almost impossible to defend yourself from some dashes and very, very hard to learn the special movements. Without them, the game is almost unendurable on some stages, in which the enemies seem to be doped! But here comes a contradictory aspect: unbearable stages aside, the game itself is so damn easy that itīs quite tedious. As an example, I finished BHA in only 30 minutes, in my very first match!

The graphics are also disappointing. The characters are OK, with good movements and so on, and some background graphics are also interesting, but the cinemas between the stages are awful! The starships look like coffins, and some humans are so ugly that one could easily believe theyīre actually aliens! ^_^


Black Hole Assault is a tremendous letdown from Micronet. You canīt take seriously a game in which the final boss is so dumb that all you need to do is shot him twice and wait until the time counter reaches zero... one extra punch and heīs dead! No comments...


Marcelo Reis







Musics and Sound Effects