Thursday, 15 November 2012

Record of Lodoss War: Some Nostalgic Fawning

Box Art
After seeing the news over at Siliconera about there being a new, browser-based card game in the world of Record of Lodoss War, it got me thinking about the old Dreamcast action RPG also set in that world. It was a Diablo clone, but it was very well put together, and a ton of fun. Also, did I mention it was set in Record of Lodoss War?

This was one of my favorite anime when I was younger. It was like watching an RPG in anime form! So, having a chance to actually interact in it in some way was a great opportunity. The game took place several years after the anime, but there were still a lot of familiar characters and people in it. The game managed to walk a line between the new and the familiar, which I quite liked, as opposed to outright regurgitating the anime plot.

The world was actually surprisingly big, and felt like it just went on and on, as my character got sent on a seemingly endless string of missions. The blacksmithing system was also pretty neat in how it worked to improve stats.

Looking back at the game now, it hasn't exactly aged well in terms of presentation. The graphics are pretty simplistic, with some very stiff animations. Just watching your character run around, he's stiff as a board, and the enemies movements aren't much better. Even the sound is not great with simple monster-like sounds coming from everything, ho-hum music, and times when things are just a little too quiet.

Nonetheless, the action is still top notch. I think what helps hold my attention is the constant streams of enemies. As you explore new areas, there are quite a lot of baddies that need to be dealt with, so you get that steady stream of stimulus and gratification as you mow down one large group of enemies after another.

If you like anime and Diablo-alike action RPGs, Record of Lodoss War is certainly a game worth spending some time with. You'll pretty much have to go the eBay route in order to find a copy, but from what I've seen prices aren't terrible there (usually between $20-$40). It's still quite a fun game, and a bit of a hidden gem in the Dreamcast library.

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