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Yes it's the rock band from the 70's. Must have been pretty popular back then but for the present generation, atleast to me, they are as unknown as the US covert ops. I had to dig into the Internet search pages to get some info about this heavy-metal band. There are exceptions though. I have met a few people who actually know a bit about the band Kiss but then again they got hold of the Todd McFarlane's comic book featuring the band stars. I myself never came across one but after playing this game I'm looking forward to getting one. It'll be a little difficult though, the comic books are really popular in the US but in Bangladesh, I presume they never even set their heroic steps. However I have become a fan of Kiss and their music, and if you push up the volume bar high enough and listen carefully while playing the game you'll be one to.

The game does justice to the Kiss licensing. The game has Kiss written all throughout and it won't let you forget for even a little while that this game is about Kiss. From posters to billboards all literally shout at you with only one-word "KISS". There are jukeboxes, radios and other song- playable stuffs scattered throughout the levels, playing Kiss songs at full volume and that is really cool. The background story is simple, weird and somewhat interesting. There are four elders responsible for the four elements of life. "The Star Bearer" for water, "The Beast King" for Earth, "The Celestial" for Air and lastly "The Demon" for fire. Their usual avatars, members of the Psycho Circus, have given into evil, and its up to the Kiss band members to go out and kick some circus-clown butt and restore Earth's harmony…The same old story. But the storyline is presented to you in the most amazing way. There is a short storytelling at the start of each level. They use the game engine, no fancy FMV, and that's the reason it has the authentic comic book feel. It's like right off the 4 color panel of Todd McFarlane's comic book. There is a problem though, the narrator of the game, Madame Raven, an old Gypsy woman, has a terrible voice-acting problem and you might just want to read the subtitles instead of hearing her talk. I did that. There is no voice acting from the original team members, figures… they must be really old now. They were young back in the 70's and now it's the new millennium.

The game is a FPS at heart. GOD (Gathering of Developers), the game's publisher, announced the game has a DOOM kind of play. They couldn't have been more right. The game is really about killing enemies, killing more enemies, killing more and more enemies and at the same time finding keys and activating switches, and having said that, the switches come in different shapes and sizes. There are antiquated levers, normal modern day switches and high tech futuristic switches. The assortment really gives you a good history lesson on the evolution of switches. The game has a little more than the before-mentioned objective and that is collecting the entire armor shard that the elders have scattered around their respective elemental realms. Once the entire armor is obtained, the avatar becomes a huge thing all geared up to for the costume party. The game features a huge assortment of enemies. From Headless crabs to cannonball-shooting fat guys, you just think of a weird enemy and voila, it will appear in front of you. The smaller enemies don't have a good AI but they make it up by attacking in huge numbers. There are spawners that can produce small headless crabs and a creature, which is a cross between a Raptor, a Dog and a dragon, at an unbelievable speed. If cloth-making machineries in the gaming world had this efficiency, then Lara Croft, Jill Valentine and other female game characters would have more clothes to wear. The game spares the players the decision to choose between the characters. Its decided beforehand that which character will play which realm. But you get to choose your character when you are to fight the Nightmare Child. The best to look at is Gordo. He plays the avatar for The Demon, and boy when all the armor shards are collected he is a sight to see. Even The Demon himself will bow to the beauty (?) of the fully geared Gordo. But I went for The Celestial to kill the final evil. The end game cinematic is cool but has a lot of graphic glitches. The weapons are really a disappointment. It really sucks when all the avatars use the same whip, chain-gun, shotgun and rocket-launcher. The melee weapon and their ultimate weapons are different though. But that's no excuse for the absence of an alternate fire for the weapons. The special pick-ups are pretty good and they maintain the weird theme of the game. A special item named the chaos heart is a heart that has spikes pierced all over it. The funny thing is that the functions of these items are described in pamphlets that you obtain while venturing through the levels. I know someone who found out about the function of Chaos Heart at almost the end of the game. I never found the right pamphlet and the function of Chaos Heart is still an enigma to me.

The levels are very well designed. There are huge areas in the game and they are pretty flawless. The guys at Third Law Interactive (rebels from the Daikatana project, lucky them!!!!!) did a fantastic job with the graphics. The lighting is great giving that creepy touch to the game. The lighting plays an important part, as different realms must have a different and distinct look. Even the enemies change color with the change of realms. The game music and Sound FX are really great. The enemy presence is distinctly recognizable and that's really great. The game has no voiceovers from the band members as I already have mentioned. The secrets are so easy to find. I was amazed to see the message 'You found a secret' when I reached a place which caught my eye without me even trying. They are atleast a little hard to reach.

There are small problems though. Clipping problems mainly. At times characters are trapped in certain places and it's impossible to get out. A reload is required. At certain times the game crashes altogether. There are graphic glitches during the Demon levels, while using the melee weapons. The onscreen displays got distorted as many times as I a swung my battle-axe. The main menu fonts break up once to often and then it's really irritating. The user profile is also a mess. You cannot change users while running up the game. You will have to get out and then start fresh as the other user. There were no bug fixes posted on the GOD website by the time I finished the game. I never checked after that.

The game fails to give player a descent challenge and this will be a real problem for the game to become popular. Besides this there are the bug problems and graphic glitches. The game offers multiplayer play, but I haven't tried it out yet. The game is literally like DOOM. The publisher is telling the truth about their game for a change. It's just a FPS which says kill and advance, and that's that. I recommend you to go ahead and buy the game if you are a Kiss fan or hardcore FPS game "COLLECTOR", not PLAYER, otherwise let it be just another game that never caught your eye. This will be little difficult though. The game has the weirdest of covers and it's really an eye catcher.


Game Info

Game Name: KISS: Psycho Circus.

Genre: FPS
Publisher: Gathering of Developers
Reviewed by:
Mail him.

Game Score: [Five lightning rating]

Story / Plot:
Reviewer's Tilt :

Game Tested on:

- PIII 550 MHz
- 128 MB RAM
- Savage 4 16MB
- Windows 98

The Good: Cool graphics, Lots of enemies, A cool collection for Kiss fans.
The Bad: Easy game, dumb enemy AI, loads of bugs. Easily could have been much better.
The Ugly: - It's like DOOM with clowns