Jul 1, 2017Flawed but better than critics would have you believe. While there are some obvious problems with the game, this is a big ambitious RPG that actually achieved a lot for its time. There is a ton of content, the main quest took me over 50 hous and the story gets quite complex. It is a bit convoluted but there are quite a few really good ideas and its more original than most rpgs. The worldFlawed but better than critics would have you believe. While there are some obvious problems with the game, this is a big ambitious RPG that actually achieved a lot for its time. There is a ton of content, the main quest took me over 50 hous and the story gets quite complex. It is a bit convoluted but there are quite a few really good ideas and its more original than most rpgs. The world is huge with a ton of secrets to uncover. There are a lot of characters and you need to earn them onto your team overtime. The combat also had quite a few spell options and weapons. I think in a lot of ways this game was ahead of its time. It failed in many of its ambitions but to me it was still better than a lot of the games of its time because it had a lot of depth. I would prefer a game that tries to achieve a lot and falls short than a game that just does the bare minimum with a good presentation.
The gameplay itself was actually pretty good, it was one of the most open RPGs of its time. Unlike most rpgs back then there are no random encounters, you can see and avoid enemies in the field which was super rare back then. This made it way better for traveling around the map. Combat was also a mix of turn based and free movement during your turn. This added a fair amount of strategy to combat because you had to move your characters around the battlefield as you fought. Sometimes you needed to get in range to use your powerful physical attacks while other times you would want to keep your distance and rely on long range spells. Spells also had area effects. As your stats improved you could also increase your area of movement. This system added much more diversity and strategy compared to most rpgs where your characters stand in a line. A characters class has a lot of impact on how they move and what types of situations they are good for. The menu systems were simple but offered a decent number of options. Its not the most polished RPG gameplay but it is unique and offered more meaningful options than most.
The story starts off quite simplistic but as the game progresses it gets gradually more complex. One thing I really like is that each area you visit has different problems, there really is a sense that the world is big and that each race you meet has a unique culture. The Dryad forest for instance was totally different from the city of Gnomes which is built into a mountain. There are also multiple villains with differing motives, it isn't just as simple as their being one basic dark lord. The villains you face also escalate in a natural way making you feel like you are growing in power based on the problems you solve. On the island of chaos you can fight an enemy who is way above your level and it is possible to defeat him there, if you don't though you get to fight him near the end. The idea of the main character having his soul outside of his body is pretty interesting. It could have been handled better but overall I found the story more inventive most other games. It's not on the level of most Final Fantasy games or Bioware games but its still a pretty good story that is definitely unique and ambitious.
The world is huge and unlike most RPGs there is no hub world, each area is fully modeled and the distances between them you travel like normal. A lot of the areas are bland and you could certainly argue that the spaces were too empty but one thing I liked about the big spaces was that it actually made travel feel significant. It actually felt like a real journey traveling from one settlement to the next. While there are a lot of dead ends and empty spaces there are also a lot of secrets and some really satisfying moments come from going back to areas that were inaccessible early in the game to discover things that you missed.
There are a lot of characters in your party and one thing that I really liked is that you have to convince them to join you. This doesn't happen in a linear way, you need to use trial and error to convince your party members to join you. Another thing I like is that you can build the relationship with your party members through conversation and choices in cut scenes that trigger as you journey. One thing that is a bit frustrating is that you can miss some of those interactions. Also the game doesn't hold your hand, you need to determine what conversation choices work by testing them out. It isn't as good as something like Jade Empire or Dragon Age: Origins, but this game came out several years earlier.
Presentation is clearly not this games strong point. The visuals are far from great, even for its time. Character models have little to no appeal and environments are often bland. I do give the game credit for some of its monster designs though. Compared to JRPGs of that era which had spinning wheels and bouncing blobs, this game at least has monsters that seem fairly menacing.
There is a good game beneath its muddled exterior.
I give it 65%… Expand
Jun 20, 2017(tl'dr at the bottom) I give this game a six solely out of objectivity but I absolutely LOVE this game. Is a bit glitchy, blocky, and leaves you wondering what you're actually supposed to be doing? You're darn right it is. However, I believe the various gameplay elements are very enjoyable.
First of all, the battle system is unique-ish as it is similar to quest 64 but, to my knowledge,(tl'dr at the bottom) I give this game a six solely out of objectivity but I absolutely LOVE this game. Is a bit glitchy, blocky, and leaves you wondering what you're actually supposed to be doing? You're darn right it is. However, I believe the various gameplay elements are very enjoyable.
First of all, the battle system is unique-ish as it is similar to quest 64 but, to my knowledge, doesn't get broken with as little as a single spell. Anyway, it's kind of like a non-random battle tactical rpg just without the square blocks.
The skills you can gain are... kind of esoteric; they explain the basics but now how well they do (or don't) work in practice. Nevertheless, I enjoy the mechanic where you can either spend all of your exp/money/points/etc. to upgrade a high level skill/spell or level up multiple lower level skills/spells/attributes. Again, personal opinion.
My biggest issues with the game are "where the hell am I supposed to be going now?" I have wandered off the correct path many a time only to get waylaid by MUCH stronger enemies. Incidentally, be wary of saving in certain areas because you could very well get stuck (another issue). Having said that, though, not knowing where you're going can lead you to some interesting items.
All in all, it's glitchy, has an interesting battle/level up mechanic, is confusing at times, and has an early example of an open world with goodies hidden hither, thither and yon.
Addendum: I would love to see a remake with upgraded polygons and the glitches removed :D (Although a unicorn charging through my front door is just as likely)… Expand
NB.Sep 30, 2008This game really needed to wait for the Gamecube, simple as that. Clunky controls, bad graphics, even the textures, Nintendo's saving grace with their systems, seem low res and chunky. Switching the game to "hi-res" mode with an expansion pack does nothing aside from lowering the already low FPS to levels so low as to be ridiculous. Not to mention that mere months before release they This game really needed to wait for the Gamecube, simple as that. Clunky controls, bad graphics, even the textures, Nintendo's saving grace with their systems, seem low res and chunky. Switching the game to "hi-res" mode with an expansion pack does nothing aside from lowering the already low FPS to levels so low as to be ridiculous. Not to mention that mere months before release they were still talking about features to be in the game, such as a way to keep party members if they die. All and all it's not a bad game persay, but it really needed to wait for the Gamecube. Doesn't help that in the end it actually had load times of up to 10 seconds between load areas, which just makes the point of cartridges moot.… Expand
ReiV.Jun 15, 2001There doesn't seem to be any music or sound in the game. The graphics are not the way N64 games should be.
Awards & Rankings
#4 Most Discussed N64 Game of 2001
#6 Most Shared N64 Game of 2001