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Updated November 20, 2004

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Hangman Ultra
(Hard Rock)

"The World's Most Famous Word-Guesser Becomes a Hero"

Steve Stick is known for being able to crack clues and get to the bottom of the Evil Stickman's crazy schemes. But when a letter and a strange voice tells him that the world is coming to an end, it's going to be the most difficult mystery he's yet to solve! 

In Hangman Ultra you can either play the role of Steve Stick or you can play Hangman through various one-or-two player game modes! Can you train hard and outwit the Evil Stickman or a friend in two-player competition! It's the battle to get the last word in!

Game Review
Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
The game's low point. No matter how detailed, there's no way that stick graphics can muster more than one point if there wasn't at least some attempt to produce a lot of flickerless animation or some other fancy technique, at least in the same manner that Parappa the Rappa, Jet Grind Radio, or Zelda GCN surprised the videogame industry.
Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
Hangman Ultra relies on the PC speaker to transmit it's assortment of arcade-style sound effects. The choice of sounds create an environment similar to a Game and Watch situation, which is ideal for a Hangman game because it keeps your mind in check while the events in the game happen.
Gameplay (n.)
The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
If you've never played Hangman (!) then Hangman Ultra is best described as the ultimate word-guessing game. Basically you're given the number of spaces for a word you need to guess. Guess some letters right and they'll be revealed to you. Guess the letters wrong and you'll start to form a "Hangman". You lose the game when you form an entire Hangman before guessing the word, but fortunately Hangman Ultra comes with unlimited continues.

For Hangman enthusiasts, Hangman Ultra also comes with a fairly convincing training mode (where beating the phrase in the fastest time will get you the highest score), as well as a two-player mode where users enter phrases and the other person has to guess them.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
(Very Good)
I know what you're thinking. How the hell does a Hangman game get a near-perfect Story score? Has V Planet finally gone soft? Before you pack your bags, give me a chance to explain just what Hard Rock accomplished in this category.

While the graphics or plot never quite get there (and the storyline is as cheesy as the script for a bad Wesley Snipes movie), Hangman Ultra goes to almost modern-Squaresoft lengths to portray the story of Steve Stick and the maniacal Evil Stickman. Between each game level in the story mode, you're treated to demo sequences which concisely explain what Steve Stick discovered from the clues you've collected, as well as why he's going to the next area to gather the next clue. It's this process of demo sequences that tie the entire story mode of Hangman Ultra; for a game of this time, that's especially difficult to do.

Prior to Hangman Ultra, if you told us that there was a game that existed that attempted to tell a full-length story involving the classic Hangman game, we would laugh out loud and claim that such a task would be impossible. But Hangman Ultra did just that, all without taking away from the meticulously placed gameplay. And that's why Hangman Ultra deserves the four-star score in the Story category.

Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
With several one and two-player variations, Hangman Ultra is one of those games you'll stop playing only when you're sick of playing Hangman for the day. Another factor could be using up all the words and phrases programmed into the Hangman game's one-player mode. When this happens, you have to rely on the two-player mode to get the most out of Hangman Ultra, and by then you should already have your fill of this game anyway.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
Challenge varies in Hangman Ultra depending on what game mode you use and what difficulty setting you choose. Ironically, the easier levels of difficulty (which involve smaller words or phrases) are generally more difficult than the harder levels, because it's more likely that common consonants or vowels won't be available for you to guess.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
With sixteen points, Hangman Ultra is the equivalent of a sleeper hit when it comes to puzzle games that come with an old-style look. The lackluster graphics are compensated by the game modes underneath this game's cover. The story mode is a joy to try out, and the training mode gives you just enough practice before you try to challenge a buddy in two-player mode. If you're looking for a game that you haven't played for a while and you don't mind the stick graphics, honestly give Hangman Ultra a try. If you can get over Evil Stickman's crazy haircut, then you've got a winner in your hands.

Hangman Ultra Reviewed by Vance Velez

Players 1-2 players
Genre: Puzzle Game
Rating To solve: 15 min Final Rating: 16/35

To download Hangman Ultra (84.5KB), click here.
wTo play Hangman Ultra, unzip the file and run "HANGMANU.EXE".

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Game Summary
Coding Group
Hard Rock
Puzzle Game
Homepage URL
1-2 players Alternating
Final Rating
16 out of 35 points

The Highs: Multiple game modes make this the most versatile Hangman game we've ever played.
The Lows: Stick drawing graphics stay a little too true to the Hangman we know and love.

V Planet! Archive
This is an archive of V Planet, circa November 2004, when the site was last active. This is read-only, and preserved here as part of the QB Zines Archive at Pete's QB Site.

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