Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Things aren’t going well for Saul Morrow. His father’s been kidnapped and the rest of his family slaughtered (Poll Tax collectors having their revenge, I see! —Ade). Saul’s dad is a genetic scientist and in his latest venture, Project Wolfchild, he’s combined genes from intellectuals and various savage animals to produce creatures with incredible strength and amazing psychic abilities.
A terrorist organisation has twigged on to the project and plan to take over the world using a new superhuman race. The organisation’s leader, Karl Draxx, sent an assault squad to the scientist’s lab to steal his plans and kidnap him.
On his return home from a short vacation, Saul finds the trail of destruction. Vowing revenge, the young whipper-snapper makes the brave decision to step into the transmutation chamber. His only chance of defeating Draxx and his henchmen is to transform into one of his father’s genetically-engineered creations — a Wolfchild.
You start play on the Wolf Ship as Saul. The playing area scrolls horizontally and vertically as you leap from platform to platform, shooting bad guys and collecting power-ups.
In human form, Saul can only punch adversaries. These take the form of huge spitting plants and numerous guards. If Saul collects the Wolf icon, he transforms into the man-monster and can shoot fireballs.
Eventually you come face to face with Draxx himself. Triumph in this showdown and dad can ensure Project Wolfchild’s a howling success!
The wee GG never ceases to amaze me. Mega-CD Wolfchild was a pretty poor affair but the small screen version’s a damn good blast. It suits the handheld and is a good conversion of the CD game.
Graphics aren’t mind-blowing — a bit samey in places and colour’s sparse — but they’re atmospheric, well detailed and move well. Talking of animation, the main sprite has his fair share: he runs, leaps, crouches and thumps like a good un’ and the transformation from man to wolf is pretty nifty.
There don’t appear to be as many power-ups in this version, particularly on earlier levels. I only located extra energy and points icons, plus a smart bomb or two. That said, it’s a heck of a lot tougher than the Mega-CD version. One of our bods finished the CD game in half a day; it’ll take a lot longer than that to conquer the handheld version.
The sound’s okay but nothing memorable — a reasonable title tune, spot FX and racey themes add lo the tension.
Wolfchild’s a good platform shooter. Some may find it samey and monotonous, but I reckon it’s worth a try.
I used to be a werewolf but I’m all right nooooooooow! Wolfchild doesn’t hang about when it comes to fast and furious shoot-’em-up action: from the very first ship-bound level there are plenty of enemies to take a pop at and power-ups galore... you find yourself in the thick of the action from the bleep ‘go’!
Presentation is excellent, with a thankfully fuss-free password system and choice of difficulty settings, while the graphics are nothing short of impressive, too. Gameplay follows the tried and tested ‘explore everywhere while killing everything’ style, and only the — anorak warning! — collision detection is slightly suspect (punching enemies can be awkward as you appear to deliver a satisfactory upper-cut without actually landing one on the chin).
Despite this minor niggle — you’ll soon work out the optimum striking distance — Game Gear Wolfchild is an engaging blast, with plenty of neat touches and loads to see. End-of-level guardians don’t always appear as deadly as they really are (wolves in sheep’s clothing, perhaps?), but the password system keeps frustration to a minimum. Worth checking out...
Better than the Mega-CD version. A good platform shoot-’em-up