Review by Kouga
"Something's just wrong.."
Maximillian, our hero, engages in a cool adventure traveling through time in order to defeat a nefarious enemy known only as Emperor Griffon. In the process, he meets a cast of zany characters to help him on his quest to repair time from the scars Emperor Griffon has rended in the planet. This game has a lot of depth (at least compared to some others), but still, it seems to be a bit lacking.
This game is a little bit odd to me. The fighting itself is merely a Diablo 2-esque hack and slash type RPG, but there are also several other sections that add to it. There's the Georama system, Spheda, Fishing, Fish Breeding, Invention, and Photography system. I believe I'll go over each part individually, since each has reasonable depth.
Main Game/Fighting: Ugh, I can hate this really bad at times. For one, the fighting is kind of lame. You wander around a randomly generated dungeon trying to find the exit. You have to acquire a key by killing one of the enemies, and then exit, though you get more experience from killing all the enemies. You have a very limited selection of what you can do to enemies to defeat them. Pretty much all you can do is hit them, block, dodge, and throw things. Sure you can summon your trusty ridepod or transform into a monster (side things Max and Monica can do, respectively), but that limits what you can do even more. You're just doing it with another character. There is no magic, or anything. You rely on items for things like that, and you can only hold a maximum of 20 of each of the attack items. On top of that, the experience system is a bit flawed. Fighting enemies will give you exp for your weapons, but this does nothing for your defense. Instead, you must wander around the Georama areas and find them, in tiny, hard to see chests (JOY). On top of that, it's very possible to miss them. 4/10
Georama: There is one of these in every chapter. You must build a town, and meet specific requirements on the town to continue on in the game. This is an interesting feature to add, because you can make your town as creative as you want, with whatever colors you want and everything, as long as you stay within the requirements. The more requirements you fill, the more complete the town will be in the future (ex. more shops). If you get 100% you will get a special item. Usually you must get at least a certain percentages to continue on with the game. It's pretty nice, but I just think that there should be lower percentages to continue on since you don't need 100%. 7/10
Fishing/Fish Breeding: This is a large mini-game that is introduced shortly into the game. You use bait and catch fish using your fishing rod, then raise the fish in an aquarium for racing. Definitely one of the better side-quests of any game, and it's not forced on you at all. You have to catch 3 fish the total game, no more no less. What's really neat is how it's integrated into the randomly generated dungeons, allowing you to fish in one after you've finished it but not exited the stage yet. 6/10
Spheda: Think Golf. Then defy all laws of physics. Spheda is essentially that. It was a good concept, I'll admit, but it's just too hard and frustrating to do, especially since there are stages on cliffsides, so you have to hit them from cliff to cliff. It just doesn't give you enough shots. But fortunately, since it's randomly generated, there's always a chance you will get one right next to the hole. 4/10
Invention/Photography: Yep, you have a camera and get to photograph stuff. Anything you want. You can get ideas and scoops from photographing, which adds more to your overall photography score. The higher your photography score, the more prizes. And that's not the only point of photography. The ideas and scoops you get from the photographs can be put together to make an invention. Once you get the invention's idea, you can build it as many times as you want, given you have the correct materials. This is essential for making your ridepod better. 8/10
The story is average to me, and it was a nice try, but it still seems like it's only there to move the game on, instead of standing out. It really wasn't impressive IMO.
Cel shading is very cool, and it works very well in the game to give it its kiddie look. The camera angle is free for you to control (like so many other games should make it since they can't get good angles). There seem to be no camera glitches or anything :)
Replay Ability/Extras: 7/10
This certainly has a lot of replay ability. There are several things to do, an extra chapter, collecting all the medals by playing dungeons again can take a long time, but all in all, it's just the same stuff over and over that's already been discussed. You can start a new game after beating it, but the only benefit is you can pick what you can wear from any items you had in your inventory.
I dunno, it SHOULD be a good game, but it just gets so boring sometimes. I SHOULD like it, but... well, I just don't. It's seems decent, but it just seems like its shortcomings are one too many. I tried to start a new game after I beat it so I could get everything, but I just couldn't do it. You should probably try it yourself, just to see if it is any good.
Rent or Buy?: No opinion
You can rent it if you want, and probably beat it in the rental time if you try hard enough, but you'll have to skip all the extras and the depth. So in order to truly beat it, you'll have to buy it. It is only $40.00 anyway, even when it was just released.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 01/24/04
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