|Information Page: Jack Sprite Vs The Crimson Ghost|
The Crimson Ghost
The Crimson Ghost is a Sci-Fi film originally released in 1946 as a twelve chapter serial. The twelve chapters were later edited into a hundred minute feature called "Cyclotrode X". It and similarly reedited and retitled serials were part of a package that Republic Pictures sold to TV as a syndicated package in 1966. In the early nineties "The Crimson Ghost" was reedited to fit a two hour block of programming with chapter titles intact, so that it was like a serial, only without the cliffhangers. This version was colourised. The below abstract should give you a general jist of what the film is about.
"Professor Chambers has invented a device called the Cyclotrode, which can short out any electrical device within a certain distance. Unknown to Chambers, one of the scientific associates he has demonstrated the invention to is a masked criminal known as The Crimson Ghost, who kidnaps the scientist to force him into building a larger model that he can sell to a foreign government. Chambers's friend, scientist/criminalogist Duncan Richards, teams up with Chambers's secretary Diana Farnsworth to track down this master criminal and rescue Professor Chambers."
Thanks to Todd Gault's Serial Experience for the above information which also contains a detailed review of The Crimson Ghost serial at the following link. This serial was adapted into the CD-i game "Jack Sprite Vs The Crimson Ghost" by PF Magic. Using voice actor dub overs to spoof various scenes in The Crimson Ghost serial to great affect. The use of film footage alongside gaming platform action is very effective and with about 5 variations on the spoofs for each scene it never seems to get tired or repetitive.
This is the title that PF Magic decided to shift their resources to rather than complete and release "Jack Sprite Vs The Crimson Ghost". Only released on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) and one of the few 3D games enjoyed by the 16 BIT machine. Quoted as "The closest thing to Virtua Fighter you will see on the Mega Drive and a fab, fab game" rated 91% by Angus Swan of Mean Machines Magazine. The games abstract goes as follows:
Power up for a killer 3-D combat game - The ultimate in-yer-face battle of the Ballz. Face upto 8 unique characters and 8 bosses that punch, kick, club, slam, humiliate and fart on their opponents. Check your damage rating on instant reply, or morph into another character to really faze the opposition. Forget the sad, flat 2-D fight scene - this is twisted combat in the 3RD demension.
In this abstract alone you can see the thinking behind the decision to terminate the "Jack Sprite" project. PF Magic were obviously promoting the 3D aspect of the game over the regular 2D fighting games that had become so popular during this time. The game is very original and must have come as quite a surprise to many being a 3D game on the Mega Drive rather than on the next generation 32 BIT consoles. It certainly shows that PF Magic had a rare blend of talent in its development team displayed in this game "Ballz" and of course "Jack Sprite Vs The Crimson Ghost", both very unique experiences to play.
This segment will catalogue any problems experienced by CD-i users with the prototype releases from OlderGames.com. It's not intended to scare people away from experiencing the great software OlderGames.com are providing at a reasonable price. Although we do ask you to bear in mind that these prototype releases have not been through the compatibility testing stage at Philips Interactive Media Centre in Hasselt, Belgium as all eventual CD-i commercial software did. So their may well be some unforeseen problems or on the other hand it may work 100% perfectly, either way any problems will be reported here:
Verdict: A great game but very disappointing due to the crashing and various hang ups that inevitably occur at the same points. When this game was played on the "Portable SONY CD-i Player" that was demonstrating the CD-i software at the Classic Gaming EXPO 2002 their were no problems. Yet when the software was tested on a host of machines including a CD-i 210 and two NTSC/PAL switchable machines including a Portable CD-i 370 and a DVS CD-i Player (Non-Philips Brand) these problems were encountered. These crashes can be avoided to an extent although you will run into them eventually so it does interrupt gameplay a great deal. Their is also no way to save the game in progress by default or possibly due to the game being incomplete, we simply can't tell. Overall it is an amazing game to experience and will put a smile on your face because it is so bizare. In my opinion it's worth $24.99 and gives you an insight into "Jack Sprite" a game that could have given CD-i a firm identity in the gaming scene after all Nintendo has Mario and SEGA has SONIC...what did Philips have?
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