The sequel to Moebius, Windwalker combines role-playing with side-view beat 'em up gameplay. You are accompanied by Moebius on a quest to master the martial arts.
Hostile persons including thieves, guards and assassins will be encountered; you fight them in real time using moves such as cartwheels and flying kicks. This can be played either as a continuous battle, or with short breaks to catch your composure.
The role-playing elements eschew the Ultima-style plan view in favor of a pseudo-3D system. Deism and Shamanism are just some of the included magic disciplines. Magical vehicles help you get around the 100 landscapes more quickly, although you spend much time on foot. The game takes place in a fully active universe of characters such as villagers and giant beetles, all getting about their business within a day/night cycle and variable weather.
An evil warlord has allied himself with an alchemist by the name of Shen Jang and together they brought turmoil to the once peaceful islands. The Emperor is nowhere to be found and people know that's the work of the warlord, yet they can't do anything about it. Thieves, assassins and merciless guards of the warlord are roaming the land causing havoc and spreading terror among the innocent and helpless people. Even you can not remain unaffected by the evil, for as you practiced your martial arts in front of the giant gilded statue of Buddha it turned into an evil skeleton, because the forces that make and shake the earth have been kicked out of balance. Thus you decide to find Moebius and become his disciple and bring back peace and harmony.
Already the intro sequence of the game surprises you, with the animated character and the statue turning into a skeleton. It's an image that will undoubtedly draw you into the game. After that Moebius appears before you and asks you your name. This time you don't have to practice, but I suggest you do, because the fighting sequences in Windwalker are far more difficult then those in its prequel. Then it's off to the islands.
You land on shore in the middle of the night and your first task is to try and get to the shrine. On the way you can meet people who will try and rob or kill you. Especially be weary of the ninja assassins, who throw shurikans at you from a distance and can do damage to you even before you can engage them in a fight.
The view in the game is very original. It's between a top down and a side view. The background changes as you move and reveals more of what lies beyond the horizon. The characters you meet move around freely and can hide behind houses (especially the thieves). Enter places, talk to people, explore and above all, don't get hurt. In the face to face combat it is sometimes enough to receive one single powerful blow and you'll fall flat on the ground.
Not every defeat meant you'll lose the game. In fact every time you lose your strength death will appear and leave disappointed, because you will return to the shrine and lose one karma point. Once you run out of karma you can really die, so be careful.
Also learn the magic of prayer and use it wisely.
The game also has better sounds then its prequel, but the commands are a bit more confused. Return and space are the only two interaction buttons, while A and S move your character left and right in combat. Q lets you escape from battle (but it's not honorable) and escape brings forth the menu.
Enjoy the marvelous RPG adventure in the far east, that looks and sounds great, but is maybe a bit too hard, because the baddies you need to kick in the behind can be incredibly hard from the very beginning on (which is a turn off to any inexperienced player). Apart from that, the game is a pure gem.
Sequel to the below-average Moebius, this game features vastly improved arcade-style combat and traditional RPG elements, set in the intriguing Chinese lore filled with demons and warlords. You play a lowly fisherman recruited by Moebius the Windwalker from the first game, who must follow his destiny by embarking on a journey into a fascinating world full of ninja assassins and magical creatures. The annoying side-scrolling combat interface of Moebius has been substantially improved in this game, with smooth animations, a wide variety of acrobatic maneuvers you can perform, and excellent digitized sound. The story, however, --or a lack thereof-- is still a weak amalgam of Oriental lore and obscure superstition, and the hundreds of characters you can converse with hardly shed light on anything. Still, it's a fun and different kind of RPG, and the types of character advancement you can gain (with such Oriental overtones as "balance" and "spirit") are a lot of fun to gain and watch how they affect your fighting skills and other characters.
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