Review by Relle

"Pardon me, I have a Fax...anadu..."

Pardon the terrible play on words. Faxanadu is reminiscent of ye olde Adventures of Link and many other action/adventure games on the NES. While what it offers isn't exceptional in length, the adventure itself is fun, challenging, and quite undeserving of the lack of attention it received.

Graphics

It's an NES game, what do you expect? The game takes place from a 2D side view. At least the environments change rather than simple palette changes, and the enemies certainly won't bore you with their same-ness. There's not much to say with games like this, since the epitome of graphics on the NES came near the end of its life cycle, and ol' Faxy came in around 1987.

Sound

Again, not much to say. Beeps and blips, low-tech sword-thrusting noises, and very...old music. Old, but good. Nothing terribly memorable (or at least nothing I can recall right now) but it's quite enjoyable, and will help you along in your quest to save the world.

Gameplay

The benefit to these old games is they're about as complicated as dirt, and more fun to play with. I know a good mud pie is worthy of a hoot and three-quarters, but stay with me on this. The story for Faxanadu goes as such: you're an elven warrior who's trying to save the world from a diabolical evil. Great stuff, huh? It's actually slightly more complicated, but not by much.

The controls are dead simple: A button jumps, B button attacks. Down+B lets you unleash powerful magical attacks once you learn them. Up+B lets you use items you've selected. Simple, right? Right.

The game plays out in a linear fashion, with you going from one area to another. There's no world map, so you can progress from your starting area to the final battle in one run. Fortunately, there are gurus (yes, gurus) to save your progress in the form of a password. These passwords let you start from that same guru with the same weapons, items and stats you left off with. These gurus will also bestow upon you a title, which controls how much golds (that's not a typo) you start with when you begin the game anew. Your title in turn is controlled by how much experience you've gained, which is in turn garnered by killing enemies.

In terms of the amount of items the game provides, there's not a lot. There's very little in the way of weapons and armor, and you progress from your starting dagger to the dragon slayer deceptively quickly. Most of your golds (still not a typo), then, go toward restoratives like red potions.

Ever heard the saying, ''White Elves Can't Jump?'' It's true. The world's savior jumps up, then practically leaps back down to the ground. Jumping in this game is a challenge in and of itself, which makes it doubly challenging that platform jumping is a fairly big part of the game. It takes some practice, but it's by no means impossible. It will likely frustrate you if you're one of those people (I hesitate to use the word 'gamer') that came into video games with the PS1, but for us who lived with the Atari and NES, it's just a matter of adapting.

Replay Value

Lots, considering it's a fairly tough game by NES standards (which means it's very tough by today's standards). You'll likely spend a lot of time the first time through just dying and restarting, and when it's over, play again with the passwords listed on the codes and secrets page for more fun.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/29/03


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