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  1. #1

    Retro|Spective 068: Headhunter

    The second of this weeks double bumper threads see's us take to our bikes as a...





    Mainline Entry 01 - Headhunter
    Formats:
    Dreamcast and Playstation 2
    Taking a tonal lead from 80's Verhoevan movies, particularly Robocop's satirical tone, Headhunter was an attempt to create a new top tier showcase for Sega's final console to woo mass gamers over in the wake of MGS's success. Playing as Jack Wade, the third person cover shooter saw you roam the open city streets following the mission points as Jack attempts to discover his past having woken in a lab at the start of the game. The game was fairly well received but suffered at the same hands as late Saturn releases had, it came out at the end of the Dreamcast's short life and Sega opted to only release it in the EU which heavily restricted its impact. Unlike some past releases, Sega went on to port the game to the PS2 where it finally hit the states and found a niche audience though its shine was lost amid a much more competitive field.



    Mainline Entry 02 - Headhunter: Redemption
    Formats:
    Playstation 2 and Xbox
    Amuze were able to move on from the original game and to have another stab at it with this sequel that jumped events on by 20 years. Jack returned alongside the new lead, the awfully named, Leeza X. The basic mechanics were the same but gone was the free roaming bike sections and satirical edge and in its place was a fairly grungy generic visual air. The game posted reasonable reviews but in an era of many similar shooters the game found itself lost at retail. The game was Amuze's second and final game, the company closing the shutters the very next year.




    Share your thoughts and memories of Headhunter

  2. #2
    I had completely forgotten this game received a sequel. I quite enjoyed the first one. It was no MGS but it was an engaging third person action shooter, and it was streets ahead of broadly similar games from the same period like Tomorrow Never Dies and C12: Final Resistance (although I did quite enjoy the former at the time, I suspect it was abysmal).

  3. #3
    Loved this game despite having never played it.

    The comments section of the USA gaming sites who were producing guides on how US games could import it were just marvellous. The vitriol, the quaking, keyboard-stabbing anger that the US gamers were showing:

    "What do you MEAN it isn't coming out here? Why the **** not??!"
    "Well I'm not importing it. Sega don't care about us! They can go **** themselves!"
    "Why aren't we getting it? I don't understand, don't they WANT my money?"
    "Do videogames get slapped with import tax?"
    "Can someone explain this PAL thing?"
    "Why do we have to import stuff from 3rd world countries?" (this is a quote. Seriously, I remember this one)

    Honestly, the idea that videogames exist which don't reach the US was a new concept to some of these people, who where obviously accustomed to the industry primarily catering to them. As a Euro player who at one point could've rattled off a list of games I wanted but never got to buy, there was a sense of grim satisfaction and empathy with this.

  4. #4
    I have quite the soft spot for the original. There are so many ropey moments in it but sometimes it sang, it's quite a relaxed game and whilst the open world was redundant I found the sensitive bike handling to be like a mini-game in of itself. It's just quite a fun little game to go through. The sequel felt like a miracle that it happened at all but I can't even get my head around how it managed to deliver an experience that was as misjudged, stripping everything that I liked about the first out.

    For this years penultimate entry:
    Clue - Well timed jump scares you can set your watch to

  5. #5
    Didn't really gel with the orig but found myself strangely very much enjoying the sequel on OG Xbox yonks back, it had a certain satisfying clackiness to the gunplay iirc.

  6. #6
    I loved the DC game, it had issues but it was a great game with really nice gfx and brilliant sound and I loved the Robocop feel to the game

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