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Submitted by Jonti Davies on October 21 2004 - 12:06

Osamu Tezuka's classic manga series looks to be in very capable hands...

Osamu Tezuka, legend of the Manga world and artistic visionary, created the Dororo series a few decades ago. Now Sega is taking the property and revising it as a videogame of the highest order.

We had chance to play Dororo at the Tokyo Game Show, and we were impressed with its dynamic gameplay design. Our adventure started off with a brief cutscene that shows Hyakkimaru preparing to confront his demons, and rallying Dororo to embark with him on this action adventure set in historical Japan.

Dororo is actually the gameâ??s secondary character; a samurai named Hyakkimaru is the main controllable figure. The two are friends, however, and they explore environments on-screen last year. This engenders a great sense of camaraderie and we like the character-swapping option thatâ??s on offer here.

Whatâ??s more (although we didnâ??t have chance to try this out at TGS), the final game will feature two-player simultaneous action, with one player taking control of Hyakkimaru and the other player controlling Dororo. We look forward to playing through the game in this mode.

The gameâ??s graphics engine is sharp and realistic, but fantastical elements such as special moves are also present. The resultant mix is a feast for the senses. We made our way through a small village, impressively rendered and populated by smoothly animated foes, and up a river to a cascading waterfall. The water effects here are particularly stunning. And more than simply being a cool tech demo, Dororo guides the player along a linear path that generates awesome set-pieces and many engaging passages of play.

We visited Kyotoâ??s Osamu Tezuka museum last week and took the opportunity to read through the original Dororo Manga. Segaâ??s game is faithful to the animeâ??s style; Tezuka-san would have been proud of the conversion.

Dororo is released on the PS2 early next year.

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