Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Rastan provides further proof of the growing library of top-notch arcade conversions now coming on stream for the Sega.
The Taito arcade adventure with a heavy dash of swords and sorcery thrown in was a monster hit in the arcades in '87. The first thing that strikes me about this version is its superiority to the 8-bit home computer versions.
The six levels of Rastan are infested with assorted monsters - harpies, minotaurs, bats, snakes and dragons. These nasties have been unleashed by the evil wizard Karg - who can take on the ugly form of a multi-headed dragon.
Playing the part of the warrior Rastan you must battle your way to the end of the sixth level where you confront Karg himself. To kill him you will have to lop off all of his six heads - no easy task as he makes a tough opponent - hopping around the screen and fighting back fiercely.
The levels scroll in four directions - which means that you have to explore above and below ground as well as making your way from left to right. Ropes, ladders, moving plattorms, and rafts to cross lakes all have to be negotiated to get to the end of levels. A fair degree of plattorm skill, is therefore essential to succceed.
Talking of the plattorm aspect that was one thing I didn't like about Rastan. In some of the leaps - over flames and water - you can fall short and not die. This is a bit easy considering the arcade original left you no such quarter - extracting a life if you were a pixel out with your leap.
One well thought out feature is the continue or start again option. A couple of quick button presses and you are back in the game exactly where you left off. Sensibly, the game only lets you do this four times - to stop you completing it at a sitting, albeit a particularly long one.
Rastan fans will find this a satisfactory conversion of a splendid coin-op game. If you haven't played fhe coin-op it will still appeal as an entertaining hybrid of beat em up, platform, and arcade adventure. A welcome addition to the Sega library.