Reviewed by Kris Smith
This game was pretty hyped. "The first RPG for N64!" "Will set the standard for 3d
RPGs!", etc. With all of this hype, wouldn't you expect at least a halfway decent
game? Unfortunately, this is one of those games that does not live up to the hype.
Personally, I don't even understand what the people who wrote that stuff found
good about this game (unless it was the company who made it, which would be
the only ones who could possibly support it). Read on, and you will see what I mean.
Graphics 7 out of 10
Most of the graphics in this game were pretty good, although compared to other
N64 games, nothing particularly ground breaking. A lot of the outside worlds were
pretty ho-hum, basically the same texture over the whole thing, and not much
design. The spell effects were ok, but nothing spectacular (Final Fantasy VII has better
spell effects for example). They probably could have done a little more in this category.
Maybe some cooler looking enemies or spells to spice up the game, but they obviously
didn't spend too much time worrying about that. The scenery does change from day to
night as you are wondering around, but the characters don't seem to look too different.
If you ask me, I think they look too bright, like it's supposed to be daytime. I think they
could have spent a little more time in this area.
Music and Sound 4 out of 10
I really didn't like the music. Most of it was pretty repetitive, and after listening
to it for awhile, it made you want to shut it off. It seemed to be a lot like the
common music you would find in many RPGs. Although this isn't always bad, in this
case, it wasn't catchy enough to stand out over the others. It didn't always fit the
mood of an area either. For example, the outside music was happy and loud, and when
the time changes to night, it's exactly the same. While the music might fit the
daytime (somewhat), it doesn't fit the night at all. As for sound effects, there weren't
too many besides the normal attacking, opening chests, etc. that you would expect from
any RPG. Nothing really great in this category.
Game Challenge 8 out of 10
The game was fairly challenging, although sometimes, a little too challenging. The
best games know where to even out, so the game is not too easy, but also not
impossible either. I think this game leaned more toward the impossible side. It's
not that it was literally "impossible," it just didn't take into account how prepared
you would be to battle certain enemies at the level you would currently be at. Many
enemies are too hard for your current abilities, that you will end up dying many times.
I go into this a little more in the "Frustration" area, because it is very frustrating.
Game Play-Fun 3 out of 10
At some points, I started to enjoy myself in this game, but they were instantly
shattered as soon as I came to yet another of the game's flaws. As I've mentioned
in many of the other areas, this game is lacking a lot of characteristics that make
a game fun. With these gone, it's more frustrating playing it than fun. I had a 5-day
rental of this game (during the summer when I had a lot of free time), and I only
found myself playing for maybe a total of 5 or 6 game hours. That's not a lot. It's
just that every time I tried to pick it up and play it, the game always made me want
to shut it off, simply because the creators didn't take the necessary steps to
making it good. The story was also pretty shallow. It wasn't very interesting, and
it didn't draw you into the game. That's mainly why I didn't find too much
enjoyment for this game.
Extremely high. There were so many things in this game that got me frustrated,
that many times I actually wanted to turn it off. First of all, how you get put
into battles is the WORSE method I've ever seen in any RPG (and I've played
quite a few). You will be running along on the overworld area, and all of a
sudden, the music instantly changes to the boring battle music, and you are
jerked into battle. No warning, you're just thrown in. No special effects, no
sounds to let you know, your just immediately in battle. Many times you will
end up facing the other way, just because you were in the middle of running
that way. Second, and probably even worse, is the camera angles. They're terrible!
I mention more details later on, so you'll see what I mean. These have to be the
worst camera angles of any N64 game! I also wanted to bring up another frustrating
area, especially for people who may be new to the game or even RPGs in general.
At the beginning of the game, you do not start with heal magic. You get a few
pieces of bread to heal you (3: 2 heal 50 HP and one heals 100 HP, but you only
have about 50 HP anyway). Most enemies take off about 20 HP per battle
(approximately, unless you have played this before and know how to avoid some
of the damage), meaning you would have to heal after about 2-3 battles. You can
make it to the first town ok, although you might be low/out of bread. Now, here's
the worst part. There are item shops (sort of anyway) in towns, but you only get
one item! Since there is no money system in this game (a very stupid mistake),
you are given one item if you are not already carrying another of the same item.
So, basically, you use up your bread, you can get ONE (unless you find more in
chests or win them from battles, which very rarely happens). One piece of bread
doesn't cut it. Especially for the area you have to go next. I will tell you, I must
have died 15 times because of this. The only good thing, is that when you die,
you still get to keep any stats and abilities you gained before that, even if you
did not save them. That's the only way to get through some areas. Build up
experience extremely high just to get by some of the enemies. What's frustrating,
is that they didn't take into account your ability level by the time you would
reach these enemies, making them too hard at your current level. Well, I suppose
I'll stop rambling now. I just think they did a lot of things wrong in this game.
Replayability 1 out of 10
This area gets one of the lowest rating. As mentioned earlier, I had it for 5
days in the summer, with a lot of free time, and I couldn't even bring myself to
start playing it. I can't see anyone actually saying they would want to play this
AGAIN, unless they are bored out of their mind, although there's always TV, even
if nothings on (although I'm sure it would still be better than playing this game).
Camera Angles 2 out of 10
I felt the camera angles were so bad, I had to create a whole new section to
complain about them. First off, you can't change them. All of the "C" buttons are
being used for your spells. The closest you have to changing them, is that "sometimes"
you can press the B button to have it face the way the hero is looking, and "sometimes"
(almost never) you can press the L button to zoom out a little (mostly in the overworld
areas). In battles, you can press L to rotate the screen around, as many times you will
start out with a big hill or tree blocking your entire view (esp. in forest areas). In
buildings, you can't do anything. This is bad, since these are probably the worst
areas! Your stuck with a fixed camera for each room, making it very difficult to
move around, let alone actually FIND anything. Then, there's the battles. After you
finish a battle, you get so disorientated, that you end up going BACK THE WAY YOU
CAME!! I swear, in one forest are! a, I must have gone back to the entrance at least
15 times! I'd have to say this was one of the worst parts of this game.
Story 4 out of 10
Since it's an RPG, story "should" be important. I guess the guys who made the
game didn't agree, because it's not very imaginative. Here's how it goes. You are a
magician's apprentice, searching for your father who went out looking for some
magic book, but someone else got it, and it making monsters. That's about it. At one
area of the game, there's some kind of plot where a thief broke into the castle of a
town and stole the earth orb there. Now, the entire town is petrified of this 'one'
thief, and people are even afraid to come out of their houses! Give me a break! Of
course, the king has you go fight him, and by the time I got up enough levels to actually
GET to him, he was easy. Some sections have 'ok' story, but most is pretty lame.
Game Value 1 out of 10
Don't buy it. Period. I've given all of my reasons above. No use in re-stating them.
It's defiantly not worth the $70 it costs, and it's not even worth buying used (and
believe me, people will be selling this game back). Just trust me. If you really want
to play it, rent it first, and then you will see why you shouldn't buy it.
Overall 3 out of 10
As you might have guessed by now, I didn't like this game. It had a dumb plot, no
imagination, terrible camera angles, and just wasn't fun. They tried to use new
methods than other RPGs (no money system, a slightly different battle system, etc.),
but these are parts of RPGs that just shouldn't be messed with. If you take them out,
it just ruins the fun. I really didn't like what they did with this game. You can just tell
from the title how much imagination was put into it. That's why I give this game a
3 out of 10.