System: Nintendo 64
Capabilities: Controller Pak Compatible
The first and so far only, true RPG for the N64 as of this writing(6/14/2000) but Ogre Battle 64 will be the 2nd one later this year. Any ways THQ and developer, Imagineer, team up to deliver N64 gamers a game in a genre theyve been waiting two years to play. Yes, the N64 was released in 1996 and its first true RPG didnt even come out until 1998, what a pity. Will THQ satisfy our needs, our leave us hungry for more? Lets get onto the review and find out.
Youre this little kid, I believe his name is Bryan, and you gotta beat about several bosses, each one containing a sacred stone you gotta get from them. You keep on running into this one women along the way and she helps you out a lot by giving you tips and advice, but in the end she turns on you. Any ways thats it for the story, pretty simple.
The graphics are just beautiful in the game. All the characters are big and huge, and detailed down to every little point and just look fantastic. Even the scenery looks great. The mountains, valley, and towns look marvelous too, so good that youll just have to stop and gaze over how cool it looks. Unlike most other RPGs instead of having a map during game play, you must pause the game, and take a look at a map which has a marker where you are at, its like a set of sub screens in the Zelda games, the map looks cool and all, but Id prefer a map on screen instead. The only problems I had with the graphics department was there were some odd camera problems, like if Id get in a battle, an object like a tree or something might be blocking the view. Also after battles occur in the woods and all, I would usually tend to get loss, and I would be wondering around in the woods for about an hour before I got out, and thats a reason where Id prefer having a map on screen.
The sound is another thing that was done pretty good, the background music is another thing thats done great. It sounds great and fits perfectly for any RPG game. I still got memories of it and it sounds a lot like the background music in Zelda 64. The sound effects are good for the game, everything sounds the way they should like Brians Staff attacks, walking sounds like walking, and the magic attacks sound like they do in all other games. So just like the graphics, sound is pulled off pretty good.
The controls are easy for this game, so everything is easy to learn. You walk around with free 3-D movement with the control stick. Move the stick slightly up and you walk, but hold it down and you run, just like in Zelda. I love the battle engine in this game, this was the first RPG to have a free 3-D battle system where the area you fight in is outlined in one big octagon, and the area you can move in is outlined in a smaller octagon. You can freely move anywhere within your octagon and if you get right next to your opponent you can use a staff attack. If your octagon overlaps the edge of the battle octagon area, and you move outside, you simply escape, pretty simple. The magic spell are also really convenient to use you can only equip 4 at a time and each one can easily be used by pressing one of the C buttons.
A thing I liked about the game was the magic system, during the course of the game you collect magic stones from treasure chests or after some battles, and you can distribute them among the four elements of life: Wind, Water, Fire, and Earth. Any ways, the more stones you add to each element, you get to upgrade it to another level of attack. Each spell can only be upgraded to level 4 at the most, so theres only a total of 16 spells. And your only weapon at your disposal is the staff, so thats not a whole lot in the game to use. But I guess its alright for just one character. I gotta say though, the game is rather easy to beat, and for a beginner or people not good at RPGs like me, it only takes about 20 hours or less to beat the game. The game also doesnt really have all that much depth either, I mean theres barely any subplots in the game like in other RPGs and I really hate it how theres only 1 character in your party throughout the entire game. And the lack of spells and weapons completely kills the game too.
Well, the game only takes about 20 hours max to beat the game your fist time through, and youll really feel no need to go through the game again because of its easy difficulty, the only need to go through it again is if you missed any of the secrets in the game, and there really isnt many of those. So unlike most RPGs youll most likely be done with this one after your 1st or 2nd time through.
+: A great, innovative, battle system, superb graphics and sound
-: Only takes a little while to beat, Big lack of Spells and Weapons, Rather easy on difficulty
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 6.3
Replay Value: 3.1
Rounded to fit GameFAQs score: 6
Well, just consider this the Mystic Quest of the Nintendo 64, because just like Mystic Quest this game is great for beginners and people who arent the greatest at RPGs like me, but for RPG experts this game is nowhere near there expectations, so I suggest just rent this game a couple of times so you can beat it, and dont even bother buying it unless you can brag about how you got the only true RPG on the N64. I suggest waiting until Ogre Battle 64 comes out, because should be pretty good, or get Zelda 64 if youre looking for a good adventure experience.