There was so much positive response to last weeks Wacky Races Dreamcast review that I decided to go back into the Dreamcast vault for another oddball title Floigan Bros. Episode 1.
Floigan Bros. Episode 1 had the unfortunate fate of being released after Sega had discontinued the system but they were still putting games out that were in the pipeline for the system and also being called episode 1 was unfortunate because there was no episode 2 going to ever happen at that point. The game was released on July 30th 2001 at a bargain price of $19.99. The long gestating title by Visual Concepts is a 3-D platform game that also mixes in puzzles to help the Floigan Bros. advance in the game. Originally billed by Sega as a Mario killer one would have thought that it would be new and inventive. It certainly is neither but it’s quite a fun little game that is pretty short overall.
There is a nice tutorial level that helps you get the hang of the controls for Hoigle and how to interact with Moigle. Once you get through that there are 13 areas in the game and while that sounds like a good amount it’s really just one area with 13 puzzles to figure out. The biggest downfall to the game is that you can pretty much finish it in an hour or two. The one saving grace of it being short is that there is a lot of great humor and dialog in the game. With great voice acting by Frank Welker (Moigle) and Jason Marsden (Hoigle) always have some snappy dialog to keep the game moving along nicely.
The controls are basic and easy to learn the one big drawback it the camera. While you can control the camera with the right and left trigger there are a number of times where the camera got stuck for me and one time playing high-five I couldn’t see them because the camera was behind a tree in the living room area and could not be adjusted during the mini game. This problem is only noticeable in tight spaces but in the wide areas it seemed to work fairly well. There were a few of the puzzles that the controls and camera were a little iffy like in the water machine area that made the challenge a bit too hard.
The graphic are not groundbreaking by any means but if you have your Dreamcast hooked up with VGA this game does support it and is a good improvement over regular video or S-Video picture. The one thing that the game does quite well at is the animation during the game. The brothers have a nice stretch and squish aspect to them that does a great job of bringing the game to life. The visuals are bright and colorful and make for a pleasant but short game. If you have a VMU in the controller it displays characters and other information on it.
The audio is very pleasing with a solid music score along with great sound effects that bring a great cartoony mood and feel to the game. The dialog is nice and clear with some mild stereo separation to the game. The one thing that is built into the game but is no longer functioning is the online ability to trade and download items from other users. I would assume that they are all available on the disc and you would just have to fully unlock them but I am unsure of that.
Overall this is a sweet little game for a Dreamcast library. The good news is that it’s a pretty cheap game to pick up for the system with sealed versions for around the original release price of $20 bucks and a used copy for about $8.00 to $15.00 bucks. While the game is probably not a total must have, it’s a fun but short game. Considering that it can be had for super cheap and supports VGA, it’s worth getting. The humor and the puzzles are solid and while it will only last a couple of hours and the replay is not amazing it’s still not an overall bad deal if you can get it for a good price.