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Category: MAME GAMES (roms) for PC

In the Hunt - MAME

in the hunt
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4.4 / 10
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Description of game

First of all, let me put this straight: I love submarines. I love ships and—in fact—I love everything related to deep sea and marine life as well. So, forgive me if the following review all ends up a bit biased towards the positive side of things, as I have this strange feeling it will.

In the Hunt is a post-apocalyptic science fiction side-scrolling shooter (whoa, easy with those adjectives, man!), where you control a protoype submarine called Granvia, whose sole task is to put the world-reign of the D.A.S—short for Dark Anarchy Society—to an end. Now, it may all feel all too much blend and generic, I give you that, but keep in mind that the guys behind this game are the same people who’d eventually come up with the famous Metal Slug only three years later. And like Metal Slug, In the Hunt is crazy hard and incredibly fun at the same time.

Initially released for SNK’s NeoGeo arcade systems, the game was later ported to both PS1 and Saturn, as well as PC. It supports both singleplayer and two-player co-op mode.

The player controls Granvia by an 8-way joystick (or a d-pad on Saturn and arrow keys on PC) and two buttons, one for launching forward torpedoes and the second for firing ventral guns and dropping depth charges. Both of these attacks can be upgraded by picking up power-ups dropped by certain enemy units once you shoot them down.

The game starts with three available lives. Once all lost, a giant timer pops up on the screen giving the player the chance to buy more lives by inserting more coins. And believe it or not, this will happen quite often. Really, through the second half of the game, bossfights and the majority of all encounters are incredibly tough. And I’d go even further by saying that some of the attacks are plain undodgeable. Like really, a three-headed fire-breathing underwater dragon? The projectile patterns are all way too close together and since there is no ‘clear the screen’ type of attack we know from manic shooters, and since the projectiles fired by some units and some bosses cannot be shot down (unlike mines and enemy torpedoes and bombs) it is a straightforward coin-bait.

In MAME—and PS1, Saturn and PC versions as well—this doesn’t pose too much of a problem, though, and you can freely enjoy all the good stuff In the Hunt has to offer.

The critics of the time (released 1993) praised the game mainly for smooth framerates, given the number of sprites being rendered simultaneously. And really, even though this is more relevant to the actual NeoGeo hardware it was supposed to run on, you can see this even in MAME, where the emulation layer can eat up a significant portion of your computer’s resources, often placing even better-build rigs at par with original arcade boards. The graphics and sounds are excellent for 1993, and it all makes the smooth framerates mentioned before even a greater achievement.

Yes, In the Hunt is hard, it was designed to strip you of your money, and no it’s not very innovative with regards to the genre it comes from. Yet it is fun and enjoyable little game (6 stages in total). And since it is now considered abandonware, you don’t have to pay a thing anymore to play it. So, what’s there to lose, if you give it a shot?