Is another Diablo clone.
In the waning years of the American Dreamcast, a company called Neverland released “Record of Lodoss War” an action RPG in the mold of Diablo, based on the hit anime series. One could say it predated the whole Baldur’s Gate: Dark: Alliance. Well received, but sense it was released for the Dreamcast in 2001, in the death throes of the console, it didn’t sell that well.
Now, they have created yet another Diablo clone, this time under Sega’s Shining Force brand. 1up gave it a 9, which is rather high in my opinion. I’ve played about 6 hours of the game, and it isn’t bad. Not worth $50, unless you really like games in the BG:DA, but if it ever makes it down to twenty, it would be a good deal.
First the bad: the plot is generic. Save the world from the evil force that was mysteriously defeated 13 years ago, but has come back, and is trying to destroy the 3 crystals that protect all life from a menace beyond the stars. Oh, and one of them is your older brother, who went EEEEVVILLL. Yawn. The voice acting is mediocre to outright bad, so as a GAF goer said, “Turn that shit off”. Thankfully, each dialog can be skipped by pressing X, and the entire dialog scene can be skipped by pressing start.
The combat is gold though. Enemies appear in high number, generating from Gaunlet style monster generators. Slowdown is only apparent at the most extreme of times, when 25-30 monsters are on screen. There is a large variety of weapons and armor, each with different speeds, damage, and reach. I’ve been using a halbred lately, which pretty much clears the screen.
Advancement is done in several ways. Weapons can be found, and are able to be bought and upgraded at the home base. Same with armor. Skills can be added and updated by picking up crystals that are dropped my enemies and monster generators. And there is the basic xp system.
Graphics are bright and colorful, with a variety of environments beyond the dank caves usually found in games like this. The enemies, the players, and the NPCs are drawn and animated well. Nice little effects like arrows stick in an enemy are found throughout.
Problems with the game part of the game? Linear, repetitive, which are sorta hallmarks of the genre. Steep difficulty curve. Game doesn’t get hard until about five hours in, then suddenly a chance encounter can kill you. NPCs say the same line every 3 seconds, the centaur I have keeps yelling out “Tremble before my mighty footfalls” or something like that. It sounds like “Tremble before my mighty balls”. Juvenile, yes, but more interesting than hearing that over and over.
Overall, 7. 8 if you like the genre. Light fluffy fun to while away the hours.