Legend of Eldean
|Reviewed by BJ Strykes|
Albert Odyssey, an RPG for the Sega Saturn, was the last game I finished. Therefore, I guess it's only suitable I write a review of it before I forget what it was like.
Albert Odyssey was a Super Famicom game that was ported over to the Saturn. Therefore, the graphics look 16-Bit. However, that's not to say they aren't good. They look almost as detailed as Chrono Trigger, with large characters and very detailed interior areas. The battle scenes are typical, Final Fantasy-style side-view battles, but the characters are large and well-animated. There are little details that are very eye-pleasing, and sometimes, even humourous (like when Kia attacks an enemy with her staff, she promptly falls flat on her face!) There's only one major problem I have with this game's graphics: The overworld map looks like crap. I don't know what the hell happened here. It looks like this might have been done in Mode 7, like the Overworld map of Final Fantasy 3 USA, but when ported to the Saturn, it came out all screwed up. This really doesn't detract too much from the game, though. It's the battle scenes and interior areas that really matter, anyway. I also want to point out that this entire game is 2-D, like Chrono Trigger and Secret of Mana, which it most resembles.
Overall, I give the graphics about an 8.0 out of a 10.
HERE'S where this game really shines! This is certainly one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard! The poor graphics of the overworld map are more than made up for with the exquisite music that plays while walking around on it. The game's emotional music really captures you. Some of the town and castle themes are really nice, too, and you have to love Lulu's theme. There's only a few reasons I don't give this game a 10 in Sound. First of all, the battle and boss themes are a little stale. The battle theme is okay, but it would be nice if they changed it every so often. The boss music didn't do anything for me at all. Finally, there's this one part where Eka is supposed to sing, but you hear absolutely nothing. God, when Venus or the Runaway Five performed in Earthbound, you were treated to what sounded almost like real music, but here you got....nothing...pure silence.....I really thought that was stupid, since Eka's voice is supposed to be part of her character. The other major thing is that the voice acting in the beginning of the game really sucks. But I like the voices of the characters and enemies during battles.
Overall, I give the sound an 8.5 out of a 10.
Ummmm...No problems here. Characters are easy to control, just like in any good RPG. Menus are simple to navigate. Walking around on the overworld map can be a pain, though, because of how "weird" it is. I got stuck in trees a few times. Other than that, no real problems in this department.
Overall, I'd give the play control an 8.5 out of 10.
Much like Zelda 64, this is where this game takes a swan dive, only in this case, the pool goes much deeper. This game was much harder in Japan. However, due to horrendous load times before and after battles, they "dumbed it down" for the American audience. What this means is, I hardly had to build up my levels at all. During the first few sequences of the game, where I had only Pike, the main character, I wasn't even getting hit by the enemies at all! The challenge increases a little as the game goes on, but not much. The Dragonman, Gryzz, makes the game too easy. He can heal and use multi-enemy attacks without using any MP! He's also immune to alot of attacks! In fact, I beat the toughest bosses in the game with only him standing in the party! Speaking of bosses, most of them are easy. Krishna is the hardest, so if you can best her, then you're all set. Balan took almost an hour to beat because of his large amount of hit points, but it was no sweat to keep the party going. The final bosses were so easy, I barely remember fighting them. In Zelda 64, the low challenge level didn't detract too much from the game, because of how long it is and how much you have to do. But in this game, the lack of challenge made it go by way too fast.
Overall, I'd give the challenge about a 3.5 out of a 10.
Our story begins when Pike's parents are killed by goblins, and he is rescued by a kind Harpy named Laia. (Although the acting in these scenes is so horrible I found myself laughing more than crying.) Pike wields Cirrus, the Sword of the Eldeans, which is being sought after by Novia, a woman who seeks to resurrect the Black Dragon Vlag in an attempt to take over the world. When Laia is turned to stone, Pike goes on a quest to look for a way to return her to normal, which leads him onto a bigger quest to save the world from Novia and her evil plans. Along the way he meets Eka, a singer turned adventurer, Leos, a female Monk and master of martial arts, Gryzz, a pround Samurai Dragonman, Amon, an outcast of the Birdmen clan, and Kia, a ditzy sorceress in training. Okay, basically, by now you're thinking this is a typical RPG plot...and it is. But what sets this aside from so many others is the humor of the dialogue. There's alot of adult jokes, and cursing in this game. So much so, I can't figure out how in holy hell it got a K-A rating, instead of a Teen or Mature. You probably aren't going to be too "moved" by this game's plot, but you will be laughing quite a bit! Unfortunately, it seems the humor was used to mask what is basically an everyday RPG plot.
Overall, I'd give the story a 7.0 out of a 10.
Overall Game Play and Design:
Overall, this game could have been much better. The load delays before and after the battles practically kill it. Hardcore RPG gamers are going to find this game too easy and with little or nothing new to offer. Casual RPG players probably aren't going to want to suffer the load times to finish it out. Basically, I enjoyed this game, despite it's flaws. The funny story alone, was enough to keep me going. But as a game, itself, it needs work. It may look like Chrono Trigger, but it's nowhere near on par.
Overall, I'd give this game a 6.5 out of a possible 10.
Not too bad. Not too good. It's a little better than average, though.
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