Usually I send role-playing games to Kamikaze Andy in his Dungeon to review, but I liked this one so much I decided to review it myself (sorry Andy!). So, if you are an adventurer looking for something different, or a role-player looking for something good, then take a look at this soon-to-be classic from France.
A small novel included in the package sets the scene for this adventure. It has something to do with a horrible spell uttered by the last dragon at death's door, and the consequences of this spell on the world as we know it. Somewhere, on a mysterious island inhabited by Drakkhens (fantastic dragon-like creatures), a priest holds the key to breaking this misery which has fallen upon us. The emperor has sent his best priestess, warrior, scout and magician to the island, with promises of wealth if they succeed, and of course, the 'don't bother coming home if you fair farewell.
You control all four characters in this very graphical, very atmospheric, and very exciting game. The graphics are mindblowing. Set on a 3D scrolling terrain, with the most detail you'll every get to see in an RPG. The creatures you meet just about jump out of the screen at you. You get to cross rivers, deserts, fields, while the sky changes colour as the hours pass. In fact, you could swear you were watching a movie taking place before your eyes.
Your four characters appear on the left hand side of the screen, as well as on the 3D screen. You can tell at a glance what they are wearing and carrying. A quick push on a mouse button gives you all the information you'll need to know about a character. You can switch between the characters so easily that you could operate them as a team. Like in most role-playing games, each character has his/her own strengths and weaknesses.
The bottom of the screen is made up of a weapon/spell indicator in the left hand corner. Any text is displayed in the centre, while on the right hand side you have action icons.
There are numerous weapons, as well as over 20 different spells. The playing area is vast and seemingly endless. Just watch out for the cross-shaped grave stones. If your disk drive starts whizzing as you approach one you know you are about to meet a mean beastie that is probably about five times the size of all you four characters stuck together. If fighting doesn't seem to work, try using your charms. Not all the characters are evil, and the old chin-wag doesn't go astray.
This is a totally interactive game, with excellent playability. I cannot praise the graphics highly enough. The degree of detail and colour is mindblowing, from the perfectly scrolling terrain through to the finely drawn interiors of the castles. The animation scenes are breathtaking. This together with a totally superb ever-changing soundtrack makes the game a real winner.
Don't play the game without reading the manual, as it is bursting with features a review could not do justice to. Ask for a demonstration. You'll soon realise why it is sweeping up awards all over Europe. I'm sure Kamikaze Andy will admit that this is one game that has to be played whether you are into adventure games, role-playing games, even action games!
A lot of you are probably saying Mike's gone totally whacko over a game again. Well you're all right! The French can't stop bringing out the classics. I'm sure you'll all agree ... this time.
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