Review by Bentone

"Another fun RPG-platformer!"

Games like this are rare. It sure isn't much to look at, and the gravity physics are questionable. But it still ends up being great fun.

Faxanadu starts you off in a decidedly brown town - understandable, since you are inside a tree. But even the main character is brown. Like I said earlier, it -really- isn't much to look at. Later areas do make up for the general lack of color in others. The graphics are detailed and nice, and some of the bigger enemies truly look intimidating.

The music is very catchy, some tracks being bouncy NES-RPG style and others having more of an abstract, quiet yet memorable feel to them. The sound effects, on the other hand, are kinda....odd, at the very least. Not really bad or great, they just do their job with a certain degree of quirkiness.

The gameplay is where this game rocks. Gravity in the World Tree is pretty harsh, so jumps aren't that high and you fall like a rock. Needless to say, platforming takes a little to get used to. Fighting each enemy requires a different technique depending on your equipment (at first you can't attack the spikey-slimes with anything other than magic). Buying stuff can be a chore, since you have to scroll through lots of unnecessary text before and after purchasing each item. Also, buying keys is very important, and very irritating. As if you don't have a small enough inventory, in order to enter most doors you need space-consuming keys.

Exploration is the main draw for Faxanadu, so be prepared to go everywhere and map everything out as you move. You do get to level up (and not with numbers, you actually change titles, like Paladin and Superhero), but they're there to determine how much money you start off with. And speaking of resuming the adventure, the password system is atrocious. Be extra careful when writing down your mantra!!!

Other little irritants are super fast, powerful enemies (dwarves attack so fast you can't see their sword moving!) and trying to decipher the somewhat-translated text. Some of the script is well done, but other times you have to wonder what the hell just happened/what did he just say? And the classic blinking bug is always good for a laugh (when talking to merchants, their eyes blink faster than their mouths move).

Final Verdict? A great game with decent length and difficulty. The fun that can be had from Faxanadu outshines its faults in the end.

Fun: 8.5
Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 8.0
Replay: 6.5
Not having the right key to enter the next dungeon, creating ANOTHER trip back to town
Great Moment: Killing big bad beasties, wielding a gigantic fork of a sword, or earning cool titles!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/05/01, Updated 10/05/01

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