Paladin's Quest falls in the middle of the RPG food chain. While the game's overall story is acceptable for this genre, its curious Magic/Hit Points method is frustrating and too easy to exhaust, causing you to frequently start over from your last saved game.
Lennus Under Siege
Like the fine RPG Secret of Mana, Paladin's Quest starts with a young and curious character (Chenzi) causing some big troubles by sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. After class one day in the local magic school, Chenzi's peers dare him to climb to the top of the town's mysterious tower, where Chenzi accidentally awakens the evil monster/machine Dal Gren. Now the bad guy's on the loose and it's up to Chenzi to stop him and restore order.
Trouble In Paradise
Unlike Secret of Mana, however, Paladin feels rather stale. Its dialogue, story, transitions, settings, and even its game play seem to have been done before. From the very start, foes are enormously powerful. Battles occur at random and switch you from a good 3/4-overhead view to a monotonous first-person view. Even worse, each spell you cast eats away at your Hit Points. Most RPG's assign you Hit Points and Magic Points that gauge your life and magic power separately.
- Talk to everyone in the second town to find out that the woman is gone. If you go straight south to where the small house is located, the old man won't appear.
- Before leaving any town, stock up on medicine.
Relying on your weapons is virtually useless, and using spells drains you fast. You can take medicine to recuperate, but you'll run out quickly when you face certain bosses that must be slain in order to move the game forward. So, back and forth you romp to the local inn to recoup and replenish -- provided you've gained enough gold from your battles.
Fortunately, the little Chenzi is not alone in his quest. Other characters lend a sword-wielding hand or wand now and then, which makes for fairer combat.
- To beat the Dragon Boss at the top of the mountain, you must use your Fire Spell -- it's futile to waste physical attacks trying to wipe him out. As you attack with Fire, let the other two members of your party heal you and them.
- Save often, especially when your hero picks up an important person or item, or when he advances a level.
Paladin's graphics are colorful but uninspired. Its sound, as in many RPGs, is mostly dire and repetitive. Fortunately, a straightforward menu system makes controlling Chenzi, brandishing spells and weapons, and checking his status and inventory easy.
Not the Paladin's Best
Despite many hits against Paladin, fans who enjoy lots of slow-going combat and character-building in their RPG's will appreciate the game for its enormous challenge and lengthy crusade. The rest of us, though, will do better keeping with the Zeldas, Manas, and Final Fantasies already out there, and those on the horizon.
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Yet another RPG from Enix! For fans of Soul Blazer, this borrows the perspective, but it isn't as direct. Fans of these kinds of RPG Games will probably be more than satisfied.
EGM was also the first to break the news about Asmik's super RPG, Lennus, back in the April issue. Although this cart was previously shown in the Next Wave section, many changes have been made and we feel that another look at this game is necessary.
12 Meg may not seem like much in the present days of CD-ROM and 16 Meg games, but Asmik has crammed a lot of game into this cart. The overworlds haven't changed much but they are still done with pastel colors for a different feel.
You can still have three other characters in your party as you travel the countryside in search of riches and fame. The landscapes take place on two planes with lands that seem to hover above the planet!
Combat takes place in a first person perspective where the mutated beasts strike with magic and physical attacks. You and your party can fight back with swords, arrows and magical techniques that will entice all players.
Fantasy RPG players take note! Asmic has a new FRPG coming that could very well, outdo the legendary Phantasy Star series on the Genesis! Featuring an unbelievably huge quest which gets larger and larger as you progress; enemy which are fully animated; and new powers and magics!