Hell Yeah! preview
Ruling Hell must not be easy. We assume that there’s some Satan-like guy who governs over the thing, making sure that souls are being tortured and everything stays hot and flaming to intimidate those who dwell in it. So, of course, when some guy makes a fool of him, he needs to be made an example of.
Take Ash, for instance. He’s the rabbit prince of Hell in Sega’s upcoming platformer Hell Yeah! He’s minding his own business when he suddenly checks his profile on the Hellternet (because even demons need to stay connected with people) and finds that his nemesis Fat Rabbit has posted lewd pictures of him. Frustrated that anyone would ever defy him, Ash uses every resource imaginable as he travels through Hell, battling Fat Rabbit’s minions and making a beeline to chop him to bits.
Yes, it’s silly and hardly realistic, but Hell Yeah! is just the sort of game that easily fits into Sega’s digital game library. It’s an inspired platformer along the same lines of some of their Genesis classics, including Decap Attack. It’s also the “big title” debut for the developers at Arkedo, who previously put together some cute, wondrous affairs for the Xbox Live Indie Games category. And they’ve stepped up big time.
First off, the game has a decadent look to it. The place has a dungy feel, with a darkened magenta sky and plenty of red and green everywhere with vines coming out of the ground. There's all sorts of enemies to take on, including bats that become a nuisance for Ash and bigger enemies that require a more strategic style of pummeling, since they won’t go down easily.
Thankfully, being the rabbit prince of Hell, Ash has plenty of resources in his arsenal. As he proceeds through the first stage of the game, he’ll locate a cool buzzsaw-like outfit, which enables him to cut through smaller enemies like butter as he travels to the next checkpoint. Other weapons open up as well, including a sweet missile gun that helps him to do some major damage from a distance.
Probably the most satisfactory part of the game is the way you dispatch an enemy. Rather than simply chop them to bits without thought, you engage in a quick-time event-style mini-game, such as tapping the A button or hitting random buttons in the right order. Doing this creates a cool sub-animation where the enemy sees what the force of Hell is all about, whether it’s an enormous saw blade slicing them into steaks or a barrage of missiles raining fire down on them. These are probably the most entertaining part of the game, and since there are over 30 available, you can expect plenty of variety.
We only got to play the one stage from Hell Yeah! thus far, and we’re eager to see how the rest of the game holds up. Arkedo has done a good job with the stage design and gameplay, and the humor sprinkled throughout the game is definitely noticeable, especially when you talk to quirky side characters that help you on your mission. We’ll let you know if this hellish affair is worth your hard-earned dollars when it arrives for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network this summer. We wouldn’t be surprised if it lived up to its name, though.