Hidden Gem Review: Einhander
Reviewer: Cliff Davenport
There was a time, in the era of great chaos, when the Earth and the Moon were at war with each other. A daredevil from the moon piloted a bizarre aircraft. It was feared, and because of its shape, called,Einhander.
Remember what I said in my last review about 1998 being such an awesome year for
gamers? Turns out, it was even better than I thought. Not only were a legion of
I recall as a lad, in the summer of 1998, picking up my latest issue of Gamepro (remember
when magazines mattered?), and stumbling across a preview for the North American
release of Einhander, a side-
And its strip clubs. Critical points of interest, those.
One level later, I was hooked. Off to the internet I ran, pleading with my mother
to put aside her distrust of all things e-
“More like ‘death appointment!’ Eh? Ehh?
…Up yours too, buddy.”
I was wrong. Gloriously, beautifully wrong. Einhander was all I wanted it to be
and more. Its art, its music, even its intro cutscene; all were beautifully rendered,
artfully arranged, and refreshingly unique from anything else on the side-
Foremost among these qualities is the game’s soundtrack. Kenichiro Fukui composed
Einhander’s score, largely comprised of techno tracks interlaced with elements of
house, piano, and opera, and it is easily one of the best in the Playstation catalogue.
Every track is different and memorable, and each one elicits a different sort of
emotion appropriate to the environment of its corresponding game stage. From fast-
Quite the opposite, in fact.
Gameplay wise, Einhander delivers fast-
Speaking of explosions, Einhander’s controls handle tightly and smoothly, and thankfully
so, as even on easy difficulty settings, this game will test players’ reflexes. The
various difficulty settings themselves have more to do with how much damage one can
take before dying than any notable A.I. adjustments, so for veterans of the side-
“I’ll be gentle. Don’t I look gentle?”
Enemies are refreshingly varied throughout Einhander, especially compared to other
Boss encounters are likewise diverse and challenging, occasionally requiring a bit
Or just blazing, as the case may be.
Now, all that said, I must address that which my inner child fears to face: Einhander’s
flaws, of which there are a fair number. I’ll start with its most dire offense,
which even as a child, I railed against: its utter lack of multiplayer. There, I
said it. Come on, Squaresoft, Einhander is a side scrolling shooter! They were
made to be arcade-
Oh yeah. I went there.
It’s this well-
Really though, more developers should include touches like this again.
There’s no joke here. I really want to see more art!
As little of it as there is though, I still love Einhander, and as a quality-
Controls & Mechanics: 6
Atmosphere & Experience: 7
Entertainment Value: 6
Consoles: (PS1), PSN
Publisher: Square/ Sony Computer Ent.
Release Date (U.S.): May 5, 1998
Release Date (U.K.): N/A
Release Date (JP): Nov 20, 1997
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