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Wolfchild Review

Wolfchild is a strange little title. It has all the makings of a classic platformer but discovers that ‘perfection’ is a little too far out of its’ reach.

The story is simple and familiar. Dr. Kal Morrow is a scientist working on genetic developments to enhance the human body. You can already guess a bit of mutation is going to happen. As a safety precaution, Dr. Morrow and his family are moved to a remote island as Dr. Morrow’s work is of the sensitive nature. Low and behold, a group of terrorists called Chimera want a piece of Morrow’s action so they kidnap him, kill his wife and one of his two sons. You play as Saul; Morrow’s other son. To give him the ability to take on a whole terrorist army and its’ genetic mutations by himself, Saul activates his father’s Wolfchild project to give him the strength, power and agility he’ll need. Did I forget to mention this turns him into a wolf?

When you boot up the game you’re presented with a beautiful, full-screen FMV sequence explaining the back-story. The animation may not be great but what it does do is set the atmosphere for the game and it’s a dark, brooding one at that. Then the title screen appears and you press ‘start’. What sort of game lurks behind the next loading screen?

Well for the most of Wolfchild you’re playing a back-to-basics, platform game with some added run-and-gun elements. The first stage is a great showcase of action and stunning, multi-layered parallax. Then you get that infamous power-up that changes you into a wolf and in true Altered Beast fashion, you howl into the sky and the game just gets a whole lot cooler. A few minutes later you’re greeted by the first boss and it’s a crazy, bird-man thing. Awesome. After you’ve blown it to smithereens, you fall from the battleship you’ve been playing on into what looks like a dense jungle…

Then the game loses itself. All the parallax disappears and all the levels become 2 stages long with a separate boss stage and don’t follow the same action packed explosion that we just witnessed on the first stage. The rest of the game just seems to conform to classic platform tradition which is a shame as the first stage promised something bigger and better than what comes on display after it.

Don’t get me wrong, Wolfchild is a fantastic game. It’s just a bit too much like every other platform game that’s been and gone before it. What it does have going for it is a great CD quality soundtrack and some of the best level structure I’ve seen in a game. It’s almost as if the developers have spent every waking moment of the game’s creation deciding whether that platform or wall or object should ‘really’ go there. It’s a perfect platform experience but it just isn’t anything new and because of that, it’s going to be forgotten and glanced over as another game that came out in the 16 bit era. This is a shame because Wolfchild shows great potential to be an absolute classic.

But the big problem with the game is that it’s over very quickly and it’s not much of a challenge because it’s so generic. Being a Mega CD game the developers could have fit so much more into the game; more FMV sequences, more spontaneity and definitely, more levels.

If you’re looking for a perfectly playable and enjoyable platform experience for your Mega CD then you can’t go very wrong with Wolfchild. But playing it you can’t help but wonder if the developer’s were given a little extra time and a little extra money, that they could have pulled an epic out of their back pocket.


Written by Sonic Yoda on 22/6/07

Front Cover

Back Cover


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