Review by sigfig8

"New RPG game that brings old news"

As a huge fan of role playing games, you show me a game where you get a sword and have the opportunity to fight a dragon, and I'm sold. This was the case with Virtual Hydlide. But I must say, I experienced mixed feelings when I opened the case and loaded up the game. Let me clarify...

Graphics: 6
You have to break graphics down into 3 different levels to get a full understanding of how this game looks. The world as a hole is designed rather nicely. You can tell thought was put into map design, since there are rivers, forests, castles, caves, mountains, and other landscapes that make the world look realistic. Within each level, the detail is immense: from mysterious writing on gravestones to furniture in the Vampire's Mansion, this aspect can be easily appreciated. Unfortunately, individual items (including the main character) are very blurry. For example, is there a bat on the other side of the door? Don't just charge in there, wait a few seconds, and you may get to see the bat go "through" the wall. Boundaries are poorly done. In short, macroscopically the game is well done, but microscopically the graphics are disappointing.

Gameplay: 6
The concept is pretty neat. You gather items and use them to slay your foes, including bosses that are usually too easy to defeat. In order to go from level to level you need to explore the "world", and there is some novelty, but it gets old fast. Before too long you are just holding down the run button so you can get to the next level as fast as you can. In short, it's fun for an RPG fan, but it can seem boring to anyone else.

Movement especially gets choppy, and it takes forever for your character to navigate. Good luck making your way through some of the caves...very annoying. One major complaint: when you get poisoned or "horrified" the plague doesn't go away with time. You stay poisoned until you cure it or die. That stinks! Better make sure you have some herbs that will cure those ailments, or else save the game often.

Story: 3
A princess was kidnapped!? Oh no! That never happens! Oh wait, I remember this story line back when the game was called Super Mario Brothers, Donkey Kong, Prince of Persia, Astyanax, Zelda, etc. get the point.

Sound: 8
The music is enjoyable. At least it's different for each level, and quite appropriate as well. Someone actually put some thought into this, unlike the story. Sound FX are pretty acceptable. Nothing flashy, but door openings and closings sound especially nice. The noise of hitting your enemies are pretty sad, to name one of the negatives.

Replayability: 4
There is an attempt to add longevity to the game by allowing maps to be randomly generated. This redistributes the items and dungeon locations throughout the map. Ok, so you have to find the same things all over again. Whoopie. The bosses are the same, the levels look identical besides the fact that it's a different maze, and the gameplay won't change one bit. My advice: it takes a while to beat it the first time, don't bother doing the same thing again.

Overall: 6
It's a fun RPG game, I'll give it that much. I love collecting swords, killing monsters, and rescuing the princess. If you are sick of this genre or don't appreciate it, I wouldn't recommend this game to you. This one is really a personal preference judgement call. The game is enjoyable enough, despite the occasional frustrating gameplay hardships and goofy graphic mishaps.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 08/16/06

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