Saint Seiya: Knights Of The Zodiac - The Sanctuary Review

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Lacklustre beat-em-up based on the the anime hit


One of the biggest animes in Japan before Dragonball Z stole its thunder, Seitoushi Seiya (Saint Seiya) has already been the subject of countless console quests in the Far East. But now that a Seiya series – Knights Of The Zodiac – is airing on the Cartoon Network, Western gamers finally have a chance to see what they’re missing. Which ain’t much…

In terms of presentation Saint Seiya is stunning, with sumptuous, dreamlike movies that act as a perfect introduction to the anime’s surreal world, along with the original voice actors and racuous music that helped make the ’toon a huge hit in the ’80s (lots of crunching electric guitars, natch).

The characters in this magical beat ’em up are also beautifully realised, the flat, garish cartoon heroes reinvented as complex three-dimensional bad boys, each draped in flowing capes and outrageous costumes that swish and billow as they sprint around the battle arenas.

But anyone looking for another Tekken or Street Fighter will be sorely disappointed; there’s little depth to the fast-paced fisticuffs (even novice players will soon realise that there’s no point in learning the myriad moves, and that hammering the attack button is the best way to give rivals a bloody nose), and as the seemingly-clairvoyant computer-controlled brawlers can block almost every attack you throw their way, it won’t be long before you’re flogging your copy to a slavering fanboy on eBay.