Maten Densetsu: Senritsu no Ooparts (魔天伝説 戦慄のオーパーツ), released 10/27/1995, by Takara
I’ve chewed through my buffer and am not done with this game yet so this will be a 2 part (hopefully) game. The game seems to have only been a minor release; there’s almost nothing available on it in Japanese. The subtitle means “terror of the ooparts” (an oopart, or Out Of Place Artifact, is a real term in pseudo-history/science referring to things like the Baghdad Battery or other things that supposedly support ancient alien or “lost civilization” theories.
The game begins abruptly — you choose one of five main characters (I don’t know how they are different, I chose Rai), and immediately start in a ruined Tokyo with this strange mask staring at you. Rai manages to somehow manifest a gun out of nowhere and tries to fight the mask. He can’t really do much but then he wakes up with a woman’s voice in his head telling him to come to Shinjuku, and he has the gun.
Rai wakes up in the house of someone named Akihiko. Because Rai was able to manifest this gun, Akihiko thinks he should have an invention that works on satellite data to find living things, automap, and do other things. It turns out that Japan is now floating in the air, and monsters are all over the country. Rai also has gotten a ball that can revive allies.
Everything in the game works off of Energy, which you get either from beating monsters, or finding certain places in dungeons or on the world map that grant you energy. You can do three basic things with the energy:
Raise your stats. I’m not clear on what the exact effect of each stat is, but it seems to be Physical Strength, Physical Endurance, Physical sPeed(?), Mental Strength, Mental Energy, IQ, and Defense. The amount it costs to raise each stat is shown at the right.
Upgrade your weapon. You need to raise your IMG stat (which goes up from Mental stat points) to at least the level of energy it costs to do the upgrade. There is a limit to how much you can upgrade, and some weapons can’t be upgraded. For the woman companion that you get later, you can learn new “spells” by raising her “psychic circle” level, which runs off the same IMG idea.
Make items. Any time you find a consumable item it goes in your item matrix, and then you can use energy to make more of the items. This is your main way to heal and recover (there are very few places in the game where you can rest to restore PSY/MP), and it’s important to find the items like the Coffee (which restore PSY).
On the overworld you move around like this (with the blue triangle representing your position). Pressing Y will show pink diamonds in areas where you can find things. They might be enemy encounters you can’t run from, or places you can go in, abandoned JDF cars you can search for items, people to talk to, and such. There are random encounters as well.
The dungeons are first-person with an automap. By looking at the top right of the view you can see black crosses where there are places of interest, so you do not have to enter every square. I think the dungeons are a bit too large, but maybe they had to do that because they can’t expect you to spend time exploring every square.
The combat system is the same-old same-old. Nothing to say.
I wandered around as Rai for a while, and picked up two monsters to join my team. You can get more of these throughout the game and use the revive orb to “store” the monsters you are not currently using.
Rai encounters a number of survivors hiding from the disaster, including one named Ryuji who is also able to manifest weapons (though he doesn’t join). Rai learns that reaching Shinjuku to find the mysterious woman’s voice will require going through subway tunnels. After finding some bombs in a JDF installation, Rai removes the rubble and then goes through the tunnels to Shinjuku.
In a park there he finds Chisato, the woman whose voice he heard. She joins the party as the “spellcaster” of the group. Chisato claims that Rai is the only one who can gather the 5 powers necessary to fight and defeat the root of this cause, and that by gathering the right energy she can teleport to various places.
We head for an underground area that has Fujin and Raijin monsters in it — defeating them both gives Rai a new weapon, and gives Chisato enough energy to teleport, but only once. We go to Hiroshima.
This is where I currently am, so I will update next week. So far the game is OK; I’ll have to wait until the end to see if it gets more tedious than I enjoy.
Light Fantasy II (ライトファンタジーII), released 10/27/1995, developed by Tonkin House
I’ve been dreading this since I played the original Light Fantasy years ago as one of the first games I did on the blog. The original game was horrendously bad; one of the worst designed games I’ve ever played and a good contender for the single worst RPGs on the system and one of the worst RPGs ever made. It’s virtually unplayable — the only reason it’s not is that you can exploit a glitch to turn random encounters on and off, and there’s a trick you can use with a gambling game to make as much money as you need. Using both of those you can get through the game fairly quickly.
This game improves on the original to the point where it’s playable, but it’s much longer. Basically it went from a short, unplayably bad game, to a long, still very bad game.
The battle system is the same as the first one, with the grid SRPG-style. The annoying movement ranges that the original game had are made somewhat better, and you don’t miss as often as you did in the first game. But the pots the enemies leave still block your movement, and the whole system is still very slow.
The status effects are still a huge problem with the game. There are a bunch of them (even more than the first game) and most do not go away at the end of a battle or sleeping at an inn. So you have to carry around a lot of status heal items or have the status heal spells — the inventory is much larger this time and you can stack items, which helps a bit. But so many enemies have spells that target everyone on the board and cause devastating status effects.
Basically you want to do the same thing as in Light Fantasy 1 — avoid the majority of the game’s encounters (since any random encounter can provide a game over), and only fight at certain points with fairly easy monsters to level up. The balance is all over the place, with one dungeon having enemies that aren’t very hard and give good XP, and the next dungeon having enemies that can give you a game over before you get a turn, but give almost no XP.
I used a no-encounter cheat code for most of the game. I also used a cheat code that makes the fast walking spell permanent (it’s annoying to see a late 1995 game require you to use items or spells to temporarily walk fast). I also used a money cheat to buy things. There’s probably a discussion to be had whether I should simply skip the game rather than use all these cheats to win, but I’m still following the old rules I set down for myself although I’ve rarely wanted to break them as much as I did for this game.
The interface is annoying. As you might expect, you cannot see stats of weapons or armor in shops or in the menu. There’s no way in-game to fight out what a spell does, and they have names like “gongon” and “yura”. At least the spells do not take as much MP as they did in the first game, so you’re freer to use them (and a level up restores all MP and HP).
As in the first game, you can form your party by inviting a lot of random people in towns — dogs, mermaids, demons, people — and you can also invite monsters from battle. As with the first game, this would be a neat feature if the battle system were actually fun.
The game takes place several hundred years after the first one, with another “jiyuu no yuusha” (Hero) who has to power up the Earth Sword to be able to defeat an evil goddess and save the world. What has increased the length so much is the unbelievable amount of backtracking you have to do, and the sheer number of fetch quests. You are constantly being diverted and digressed — you need item X but to get that you need Y, and to get that you need Z, but while getting Z you come across a child who has lost his father so we have to go look for the father and to do that we need item A but to get that B…I’m not even really exaggerating with this description. The majority of the game has no feeling of any kind of forward movement, and the power ups of the Earth Sword are mostly done because we blunder across the spirits in the course of these fetch quests.
If you played this game completely straight with no cheats, I think it would take in the 40-70 hour range, and 20-25 of those hours would be backtracking through places. There is no town warp or dungeon warp spell, and a good number of the towns you need to visit are through dungeons. So any time the game needs you to go to that town you have to go through the whole dungeon again. Sometimes you have to go to the town, and then learn about the fetch quest, walk back through the dungeon to get out, get your item for the fetch quest, then go all the way back through the dungeon to the town again, and out again.
Many of the dungeons are like the above, requiring you to use light spells or torches which only give you a small viewing area. This makes the whole dungeon backtracking part even more annoying.
The story is pretty basic. The hero is the descendant (I think) of the hero from the first game. At the beginning monsters are following him, and three women turn him into a baby and sacrifice themselves to save him. So for the first part you are a baby who can equip armor and weapons; it’s not really explained how you are able to attack.
As the game progresses, Ash (the default name) ages — apparently the baby form is a representation of his weak spirit, and as he gets more heroic he becomes an adult. Early in the game we learn that Lefina, who Ash wants to save, is being held by The Goddess. We need to power up the Earth Sword with all the spirits to be able to enter the towers that will open the way to where the Goddess is. This early plot development is then followed by the 70% of the game or so that is just fetch quest after fetch quest.
Eventually we gain access to the towers and open the way to the floating castle where The Goddess is. Using the help of a scientist we get shot out of a cannon into the castle and then have to beat a number of bosses. The bosses are quite difficult — there is a magic spell that drains all their MP which helps a lot, and if you’re cheating and have 99 elixirs that’s enough healing power to beat it, but even so I got a couple of game overs when I wasn’t quick enough to heal. I cannot imagine how painful this game would be to play with no help at all.
It turns out that Mink, a girl who lost her memory and has been accompanying you, is actually the Darkness Spirit that the Goddess created. But she turns against the Goddess, gives the dark power to the sword, and releases Lefina, who completes the Earth Sword with the light power. Then you fight the final boss.
On my first try, the boss killed the main character in one hit. The second time after I drained its MP there was some kind of glitch and she did not take any turns for the rest of the fight so I was able to just use spells until she died. She apologizes for being jealous of the hero and tells us to tell everyone in the world that she was sorry. The hero uses the sword to repair all the damage, we go back and heal various people that had been sick for the whole game, and then Kurisu goes off on a new adventure.
After the credits you can to go the Development Village where the game designers are. Unfortunately you can’t fight and kill them.
To sum up, this is a truly awful game — surely one of the worst RPGs ever made. The developers should all be ashamed of putting this game on the market and Tonkin House should be ashamed of having published it, especially in 1995 less than a month before Dragon Quest VI. I resent that I had to play it and write about it. There is no way to communicate through text how painful an experience it is to play this. If I had to choose to play Light Fantasy 1 or 2 again I would definitely do 1 — this game took 25 hours, and that was with following a walkthrough, not spending a lot of time talking to random people in towns, and using all the cheats I described earlier.
Tenchi Souzou (天地創造), released 10/20/1995, developed by Quintet, published by Enix
The Japanese title of the game means “The Creation” (capitalized, in the sense of “let there be light” god(s) creating the earth). Strangely it was released only in Europe in English, never stateside, making it one of the four RPGs on my list from 1995-1999 that was released in English (the other ones are Chrono Trigger, Lufia 2, and Super Mario RPG)
I first played it on an emulator about 20 years ago; I went into it knowing only that it was the third game in the loose trilogy including Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia. I honestly think this is the best way to play it. This time knowing how the game proceeded and concluded, a lot of the mystery and wonder of the first play was lost. It’s still a good game but on replaying both of them I think I may like Illusion of Gaia better.
I’m going to describe the gameplay first, and I suggest that if you are interested in playing this that you go into it knowing as little as possible about the game. This sort of mirrors the main character (Ark), who begins in his home village that doesn’t even have an exit — when the exit appears very early in the game, you can see that not only is he surprised to see it but evidently he never considered it unusual that there was no way to leave the village.
The graphics have a nice late-SFC quality, and the music is superb — I assumed it would be the same composer as Gaia, but it’s two new people.
The gameplay continues the action-RPG style of the series, but goes back to a more traditional RPG style than Gaia. You move up levels and equip weapons and armor. Ark can do a variety of moves, including a flurry blow, a dash attack, a jump spin, and a jumping dash attack. He can also block with the R button. All of these are useful from time to time.
The biggest failing in the system is the magic, I think. You collect gems called Prime Blue (“Magirock” in English) that you can use along with money to buy rings and crests at magic shops. When you use the rings in battle for the spell, they disappear but you also get the Prime Blue back so you can use it again to buy more spells. The main issue is how cumbersome it is to actually use the magic. You either have to go into the status screen and use several menus to cast it, or you can equip the box item that will let you press a button in battle to then choose one of the rings or crests. The system is far too awkward and I hardly use magic at all in the game because of it.
There are a few balance issues in the game — for the most part you can get smoothly through the game, and if you die you lose nothing except that you go back to the location you previously saved. Sometimes the difficulty goes up quite a bit, and there’s one infamous boss that is way too hard. However, moving up just one or two levels can make a huge difference in the amount of damage you take and do, so on the whole the game is not impossible.
OK, now let’s move on to the story and world — like I said, if you have a desire to play this I recommend stopping now, or at least after the next paragraph which covers the first part. (However, I’m going to avoid the big spoilers in any case)
The main character, Ark, lives in a town called Crysta. He’s a troublemaker and has a “friend” named Elle. After he opens a forbidden box underneath the chieftan’s house, he meets Yomi, a little ball with wings, and everyone in town turns to ice (or crystal). The Elder tells him the only way to revive them is to go to 5 towers outside in the underworld and pass the tests there.
The first weird surprise of the game is that upon finishing the first tower, you see a map of the world and are told that you’ve revived Eurasia. The other four towers each revive a part of the (real) world. Once the entire Earth is revived, Ark decides to continue to the surface to continue to revive the world.
Here Ark revives the plants, birds, animals, and finally humans. Once you revive humans, Ark falls into a coma and wakes up in human times, having lost the ability to speak to the birds and animals (which he could do before).
In the third chapter Ark travels around the world, helping the cities advance and starting to figure out the mystery of what caused the world to vanish in the first place, and who Ark is. Ark also encounters someone who looks just like Elle from the underworld and even has the same name.
One fun thing in this section is that you can help the cities grow by doing little sidequests; most of this is optional but it’s neat to see the cities develop by your actions.
Finally at the end of Chapter 3 Ark learns who he is and what happened to the world. Chapter 4 provides the conclusion, as Ark goes after the true villain and tries to restore the balance of the world.
The ending is poignant and bittersweet, although once again knowing how the game ended did blunt the emotional effect of it a bit.
In any case, this is still one of my top SFC games and worth a play if you like action RPGs, and especially if you liked Quintet’s earlier games. People have hoped for a remake for a long time; apparently the president of Quintet can no longer be located so perhaps that’s why…but remakes often fail to capture the charm of the original in any case.
Shinseiki Odysselia II (神聖紀オデッセリアII), released 10/16/1995, developed by Vic Tokai
This is the sequel to the original Odysselia, which I played earlier. It is a direct plot sequel as well as essentially the same system as the original. The story has the same time-travel and combining various myths. At the end of the previous game, the goddess Zion flooded the world to destroy the monsters but humanity was saved by a giant ark. As this game starts humanity seems to have recovered back to the original countries (Persia, Greece, etc.)
The game begins in Persia, where the Persian king tries to make peace with Greece, but is killed by one of his generals for being weak. A priest named Lahan seizes power as regent for Darius, and destroys Zion. The queen escapes and sacrifices her own life to save Erg, the prince, who goes to Sparta and is raised there.
The game takes place over 9 chapters. Chapter 1 is the above prologue. In Chapter 2, 14 years have passed and Erg is training under a space bounty hunter trainer named Samus. The final test is to prove your worth in a training cave.
Each character has weapon and magic levels. The magic level for each type of magic determines how powerful the spell is — as in the first game, most elements have an offensive and defensive version. The weapon levels are more mysterious; they may affect hit rate but they don’t seem to affect damage. The battles are typical RPG style.
In addition to innate spells, characters can equip talismans to use magic of that type. I never found these very useful. There’s also a weapon crafting system as in the first game but I also found this mostly useless; the game is pretty easy for the most part and I didn’t have much trouble except in a few places.
After the training ends, Erg uses Athenian allies to defeat the Persian ships, and then goes to Persia and forces Lahan to flee. It turns out that Erg is the son of Loos, one of the characters from the first game and the prince of Persia. But rather than becoming king of Persia himself, Erg leaves Darius in charge and goes after Lahan through a warp circle.
Chapter 3 switches to another character Iria, in South America. She is not human (for now we don’t know exactly what she is). She goes in search of a witch that she hopes can make her human, but they can’t, and then a cyclops drags her through another time portal. That bottom character is a Doppelganger, one of the Familiars (tsukaima) you can get in the game; I didn’t find this a very useful system either but I didn’t explore it a whole lot.
Chapter 4 switches to another character, Talkus. He’s a roman gladiator. The chapter has you go to a training tower, fight a coliseum battle, back to the tower, and repeat until you become the champion. Talkus asks Nero for freedom, but instead Nero frames him for the fire of Rome, supposedly as a secret Christian. Lahan is with Nero as well; the chapter ends with Lahan capturing a girl named Lauren and leaving as Talkus is ready to be executed.
Chapter 5 goes back to Erg, who finds himself in Australia. In the Great Barrier Reef he comes across Iria and the Cyclops; the Cyclops actually joins the party as a familiar. They follow a warp through to Rome, where they save Talkas from execution. They’re apparently 500 years in the future from where they started. They head to the palace to overthrow Nero, who is being controlled by Lahan. Lahan transforms Nero into a monster and then runs through another portal to the future, which is apparently Lahan’s original time.
Chapter 6 switches to Leila and Garuda, two of the earth gods. This takes place before Chapter 1 and Samus is also there as one of the gods, saying that he will train the descendants of the Drakken (this is from the first game; Loos is a reincarnation from a dragon-human people that inhabited the world before humans). They are trying to oppose the 冥界 (Underworld), and seem uncertain that the decision to flood the world was correct.
I found this part of the plot hard to follow — I also had a hard time following Odysselia 1’s plot. I found one review by a Japanese player who said they were confused also so maybe it’s not just me. I believe the situation is this: the gods now believe that the Underworld King tricked them into flooding the world to destroy the beasts, when it was actually the underworld forces controlling them. So now they need to revive the beasts and defeat the underworld king. But the king has the seeds necessary to revive the beasts, and (for some reason) they feel that they need to power of the Drakken descendants to do this. Zion joins Leila and Garuda but eventually goes to the underworld herself, hearing a voice calling for her.
Chapter 7 presents us with yet another character, the knight Meyer. He lives in 12th century Prussia, where an epidemic is devastating the country, and girls are disappearing. A priest from the castle named Bain sends Meyer to defeat a witch who is causing the illness, but it turns out that she has the cure and Bain doesn’t want it to be known. Meanwhile a dude named Gustav is experimenting on the captured girls to discover eternal life. Meyer loses his wife to these experiments; eventually they expose the plot but the Emperor refuses to believe that Bain is responsible. He sends Meyer out to the crusades as punishment, where his two companions are killed — one of the companions is the son of Lord Vandark. Vandark becomes so upset and grief-stricken that he curses God and decides to get revenge on everyone (this is Lahan’s origin).
Chapter 8 finally returns to Erg and companions, who have shown up in 12th century middle east and are the prisoners of Saladin, suspected to be spies from the Crusaders. Saladin eventually uses them to make peace with King Richard, and then they escape back to Prussia where Lahan is still controlling things. The gods Garuda and Leila show up and say that Lahan has gotten his power from the underworld, and is trying to destroy humanity by destroying the “core” (which for some reason is Erg’s dad Loos, I don’t remember if this is something from the first game).
Erg and friends have to defend four seals in the world from Lahan, but of course he manages to break them all, opening the way to the underworld. Lahan hopes to gain power through the blood of Lauren (the girl he captured earlier) but is unwilling to kill her for some reason, showing his remaining humanity — he breaks free of the underworld control but becomes a demon so we have to kill him. Then it’s into the underworld to find a way to sever the underworld from the surface forever.
In Chapter 9 we learn that Iria is the daughter of Zion (the god who went to the underworld many years ago) and Deus, the son of the Underworld King, who was bred to be the opposition to the gods. It’s not clear to me why they fell in love instead of Deus killing Zion. They sent Iria to the surface in secret to avoid the king finding out. Loos’ power to keep the core intact is weakening, and Iria has the power to sever the surface and underworld.
The final bosses are a series of demons we’ve never heard of, and then Iria manages to sever the worlds — but she has to stay behind. There’s a tearful ending, but then Iria suddenly reappears with Leila who says there’s actually still a way to travel between the worlds (why??) and the game ends.
So I guess this game is OK; the system is underdeveloped at points and I don’t fully understand the story. But the historical periods are fun and the game plays relatively smoothly.
Seiken Densetsu 3 (聖剣伝説 3), released 9/30/1995, developed and published by Square
Here we are in the last game of the July-September 1995 block, and it’s a big hitter — the sequel to Secret of Mana and the next entry in the Seiken Densetsu series. I was really looking forward to this game. It’s had a good reputation for a long time. Secret of Mana had a number of flaws that I thought resulted from the weirdness in its development process, and I was hoping that Seiken Densetsu 3 would be the game Secret of Mana should have been. I was disappointed in the game, though, and in the end didn’t think it was all that good.
The game’s graphics are quite good, and the music is maybe not exactly the equal of Secret of Mana but it’s close. The game’s best known feature is that you start off by choosing three characters out of six. Although the overall plot is basically the same with all of them, there are some different bosses and events with each of them. Also the combat experience will be different based on who you pick — as well as which class upgrades you select for each person (there are two second level classes and four third level classes for each). This gives the game a high level of replayability.
I went with Duran, Angela, and Riese. Duran and Riese were quite good. The Star Lancer class has very helpful stat boosts and she has a high attack. Duran was fine as well — I made him a Lord and the healing was helpful. Angela was not as good. Magic is worse in this game than it was in SoM and by the end of the game she was basically dead weight, especially in boss battles.
My biggest gripe with the game is how sluggish and unresponsive the system feels to me. It’s supposed to be an action RPG, but you spend a lot of time watching animations and mashing buttons to bring up menus. It can be hard to tell what’s happening as you’re knocked around the screen.
SoM had a big problem where magic was too powerful, and the upper level techs were tough to use. Magic is weaker in this game — late-game Angela is still decent for attacking grunt enemies although you have to sit through the animations to do so. The 2nd and 3rd level techs do not require as much time to build up; you get one bar filled for each successful attack you do and when it fills up you get to use the tech. It’s nice that if the tech misses you don’t lose the bars and can try again.
However, in the latter half of the game, most bosses and some grunt enemies respond to magic or level 2/3 techs by powerful counter attacks. So not only do level 2/3 techs take longer to build up, but they have a good chance of the enemy walloping you in response. Because of this I just kept everyone on level 1 techs later in the game.
Another issue I had with the game is that when you’re going after the 8 mana beasts in the second half of the game, the difficulty seems to ramp up faster than you can keep up just by fighting the monsters as you go. Because of the way the weapon and armor stats work (they interface with your base stats), I had to do a lot of grinding to keep up with the enemies. There were enemies in the later dungeons that could wipe my entire party with one of their special moves, and if I was 4-5 levels behind it was hard to do much damage to them. This is really the part that made me go from not much liking the game to actively disliking it.
One side note on the graphics is that this game uses the Super Famicom’s “high res” mode to render the text, allowing them to fit more text in a box and use sharper, easier to read kanji. The next game I’m playing (Odysselia II) also uses this method, although I wonder how widespread it becomes after this point. It does cause a bit of a graphical glitch or stutter on bsnes as the game switches from the regular resolution to the high-res box (and it messes up bsnes-MT’s pixel perfect scaling mode), but I wonder what this looked like on an actual CRT.
The story is fine. With Duran, it begins with the “Red Magician” attacking the kingdom Duran serves, and he leaves home to defeat the magician. Duran’s father was a famous knight hero. Along the way he is chosen by the mana fairy and has to work first to stop the enemies from reviving the mana beasts and destroying the mana stones. The Mana Tree is dying, and to save it they need to open the way to the mana holy land and recover the Mana Sword (this area is taken straight from Secret of Mana).
Along the way we learn about the stories of the other five characters — because I chose Angela and Riese their stories are more involved (Riese needs to take back her kingdom and Angela has to save her mother), but we get some insight into the other three characters as well.
Of course getting the Mana Sword is not the end of the story. The mana beasts have been revived anyway, and we have to go track down all 8 of them and beat them — the story grinds to a halt here. Once the eight are defeated, the final confrontation occurs in a different dungeon depending on your main character choice. Once those people are dealt with, the final boss is in the Mana Holy Land.
I wonder if I would have liked this game more if I weren’t expecting so much from it. I think I first heard about this game in the late 1990s and tried playing it a bit around then. Sometimes a game can be a victim of high expectations.
So don’t necessarily take my bad experience as how you would feel about the game — it’s highly regarded and has a strong fan base.
That being said, this game was remade in 2020 for next-gen systems, and this version looks more fun to me from what I saw on youtube videos. The battle system is much smoother and faster paced, with far fewer moves that pause the gameplay while you watch an animation. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has played this version.
Hi no Ouji Yamato Takeru (火の皇子 ヤマトタケル), released 9/29/1995, developed by MIT and Aim, published by Toho
Sigh. You would think that by the end of 1995 designers had figured out how to make at least a decent game, but stuff like this keeps appearing. The title would suggest it’s patterned after the famous figure from early Japanese myth-history, Yamato Takeru. It does seem to take place in early Japan (sort of) and some of the events of the story are based on the Yamato Takeru myth, but it’s basically an original story.
The graphics are underwhelming, and the interface is overall bad. The shop interface is strangely modern, allowing you to buy multiple things at once, buy an item and sell your current equipped one at the same time, and you can see the stats of equipment and who can use it. But you walk slow, the menus are annoying to navigate, and you can’t see what any spell or ability does without looking at the instruction manual.
The battles are old DQ style, right down to the “Takeru did 6 damage” message rather than numbers appearing — you will definitely want a speedup button for this. There’s some system based on the movement of the sun through different zodiac signs but it’s hard to tell what effect it has except in a few parts of the game where you the sun has to be in a certain position for an event to occur.
You can get 12 different “juuma” to join your party that you can summon. I never understand why designers go through effort to make systems like these, and then make them virtually unusable by stupid decisions that should be caught during playtesting. You have to summon them using consumable items — you get plenty of them so that’s not an issue, but they don’t stick around for very long before they go back to the mirror and have to rest a while. Also any levels you gained while they were out go away (except for the HP). So each juuma quickly becomes unusable; the only purpose to the system is a few places in the game where you have to summon one to make an event happen.
The story is OK. As in the myth, Takeru is a prince, and is banished to Izumo Province to subdue the “Kumaso Braves”. However, in the myth it was because the Emperor feared his power. Here it’s because the goddess Tsukuyomi has been supplanting the traditional goddess of Yamato (Amaterasu). When Takeru’s brother tries to kill the Tsukuyomi priestess, Takeru intervenes and cuts off his brother’s arm, and thus is banished.
The rest of the game is mostly fighting against the Tsukuyomi takeover, but there are bizzare elements like someone from Greece coming with robots. Then halfway through the game one of the party members who Takeru has fallen in love with dies, and a huge part of the second half of the game is getting to the land of Yomi to recover her, with the help of Susanoo’o. This ends up with you fighting Satan(!?), then going to the moon and then defeating Tsukuyomi and restoring her to normal.
The game balance is a mess. The boss above, Yamata Orochi, is a huge difficulty spike that requires a bunch of grinding, but in the latter half of the game most of the bosses have as much HP as the grunt monsters in the dungeons (up until the final boss). I guess at least we can say the enemies sometimes have some nice graphics.
The ending is dumb too; after restoring Tsukiyomi and bringing Takeru’s girlfriend back to life, they head back across the rainbow bridge, have a short conversation, and then just line up on the bridge and face the player.
There’s no credits, “The end” or anything, the music just loops until you turn the game off.
I’m sorry if this post seemed more annoyed than usual, but I would expect this kind of game in 1992, not 1995. Fortunately Seiken Densetsu 3 is next.
Verne World (ヴェルヌワールド), released 9/25/1995, published by Banpresto
The premise behind Verne World is certainly original. In 2028, to celebrate Jules Verne’s 200th birthday, a large theme park is built. It is manned almost entirely by robots, who will take visitors through several of Verne’s stories, acting out the parts of the heroes, villains, and side characters. The main character’s family is one of a number of people who are given a sneak peek at the park before it opens. But soon after they arrive, there are several earthquakes, and the main character and his little brother get separated from the family. Everyone then seems to have vanished, except for the robots, who are beginning to act under their own power and attack. The setting draws from eight of Verne’s books (I’ll give their common English names):
Dick Sand, a Captain at Fifteen
Five Weeks in a Balloon
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Around the World in 80 Days
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Facing the Flag
Around the Moon
I read Around the World in 80 Days when I was a kid, and I’ve heard of Journey and 20,000 Leagues; the other books I haven’t even heard of. The cover art shows all the characters in a rather unusual style:
The picture shows the 8 party members you can get during the game. From the top left they are Nicolai (a Russian who fights with his fists), Chris (an American nurse who fights with a basketball), David (an Englishman who fights with a rugby ball), Ai (your girlfriend who fights with a baseball), main character (who fights with a sword), Somu (an Indian who uses technology), Emma (a wheelchair-bound woman), Kei (main character’s younger brother), and then Shaolin (Chinese girl) at the very top . Unfortunately I named the main character kurisu as usual so I ended up with two people named Chris in the party (the default name is YOU).
The battle system has two kinds of special attacks. The first kind use something called GP (Guts Points) which is just the usual EP/MP. The second kind are called TW attacks (I never did figure out what that stands for) and use Energy. Energy serves as the currency in the shops, as well as the energy for these TW attacks. You equip them like items, and then “charge” up EP in the status menu. Some TW moves can only be used by certain characters.
With the exception of the very beginning, GP restoring items are so cheap and easily available that you will rarely use regular attacks. However, they miss quite frequently, and against bosses they can be a liability so TW attacks (which do not miss) are better. Most bosses have some kind of elemental weakness that you can exploit if you find it, but I found the most generally useful TW’s to be the various Chainsaws. There were some bosses they did not work on, but for the most part just spamming Chainsaw attacks with healing items was enough.
Sometimes you are also in vehicles, which have the same basic system but no TW attacks and the healing is done through Repair Kits.
First Kurisu and Kei try to contact Kurisu’s girlfriend Ai, but the connection is cut off. At the same time, they hear that someone named Emma is stuck in a ferris wheel and try to save her because at least then they’ll have another human.
Why is King Kong in the game? Anyway, he’s holding Emma, but once we beat him up he gives her back. Emma is in a wheelchair but knows a lot about computers so is a big help in figuring out where everyone is. Anyway I will try to hit the highlights of the story rather than covering everything (as I usually do unless the story is really good).
The basic way the plot moves is that we are trying to open up various areas that have been blocked by either flooding, broken doors, etc. Through a combination of Emma’s computer skills and going to places in person, we manage to continue on into the park. Usually the characters in the books (like Phineas Fogg) are helpful; they are somehow not affected by whatever has caused the majority of the robots to go berserk and fight us.
The game does not have you go literally through the plots of the books, but often you have to make your way through areas from the books that are full of danger — if the park were working correctly you would have “defeat the villains” through some scripted sequence and not be in any real danger, but here you actually have to fight your way through. Fortunately the theme park shops are still running normally so you can buy weapons, armor, and food along the way.
Eventually we learn that all this is happening because of Verne, the central robot that is supposed to be manning the whole thing. But a separate entity called Dark Verne has split off from Verne, and decided that humanity needs to be destroyed. The rest of the park humans (like kurisu’s parents) are in cold sleep for some reason; it was never made clear that I can remember why Dark Verne didn’t just kill them.
We also encounter someone named Gilarman, who has apparently come in from the outside and tries to take control of the situation by ordering us around. We sort of follow his instructions, but not always — eventually it turns out that Gilarman is behind the creation of Dark Verne; he did this to become superhuman and eventually take over the world (mwahaha). But he has lost control of the program, and after he continually tries to betray us and get back control of the island, Dark Verne eventually kills him by blowing up a helicopter he’s in.
Our ultimate goal is to take the Reset Disc to be able to restore the park to “factory settings”, so to speak, eliminating Dark Verne and all of Gilarman’s interference. This eventually requires fighting Dark Verne himself:
He heals himself once, but with chainsaws he was pretty easy. Then the final boss, which is computer-world Dark Verne:
This is a rather unusual final boss. He also heals himself and is a bit more tanky than regular Dark Verne, but at max level (64, which is very easy to attain) he goes down fairly easily.
After this everyone is restored from cold sleep with no memory of what happens, and the park is back to normal.
This isn’t a bad game, but it’s not one of the greats either. I will give it a lot of credit for the unique setting, and I think if you like Jules Verne and know more about the books than I do you may enjoy it more. I will also credit them for including a bunch of different characters from different countries and skin tones and not being super stereotypical about them (the African American Chris does play basketball which is a bit cliche but she’s also a social worker nurse.)
The battle system has enough variety that you cannot just hold down a turbo button in battles. The interface, for the most part, is very clean. Definitely a respectable mid-late SFC game.
Metal Max Returns (メタルマックスリターンズ), released 9/29/1995, developed by Data East
This is a remake of the long-running Metal Max series. Metal Max 2 was an early game I played for this blog, and in that post I mentioned that the newest game would be coming out that year — that was Metal Max Xeno (2018). Since then there has been an enhanced version of Xeno as well as a new game, Metal Dogs, that came out last year.
The remake completely redid the graphics, and they look better than Metal Max 2. The rest of the system and gameplay is essentially the same as Metal Max 2, which I don’t believe was all that different from the original Famicom game. From what I can see, the non-graphical changes to the game are mostly minor balance adjustments and things of that nature — with one exception, which I’ll mention later.
As with Metal Max 2, this is a non-linear, open-world-ish game. We’ve seen a number of these on the blog, and they’ve all used various methods to accomplish the non-linear gameplay. What Metal Max Returns does is essentially to separate the world into four or five regions. You have to accomplish something to get to the next region, and then there is a final boss. But the number of things you actually are required to do to win the game is very small, and most of the content is not required. However, you will not be able to beat the final boss (or the Big Cannons at the end of the second area) if you try to only do strictly what is required. So the rest of the content in the game is just there to give you interesting things to do while you build up your tanks and strength. The main change in Returns is that original had (I think) five bosses that blocked your way to new areas, where as Returns has only two (including the final boss series).
Just as in MM2, MMR has sixteen wanted monsters that you can beat to get XP and money. All of them are optional. There are also eight tanks you can acquire. I managed to get all the tanks and fifteen of the sixteen wanted monsters (two of them are very rare encounters). Some of them randomly appear in certain areas of the world map or in dungeons, others are found as specific encounters. You can run away from them in general so if you encounter them when you don’t want to fight them you can get away.
The game does not really have a story. The main character is the son of a mechanic, who kicks him out of the house when he decides to become a Hunter. Beyond that, there’s no real overall story development until the final boss. You can end the game at any time by returning to your dad and saying you want to quit being a Hunter. You have to confirm it four times and the last time he says “Are you serious? I’m going to save over your file now.” If you do that after you have beaten the final boss, you see the credits and ending sequence.
The tank system is the same as MM2. You have various types of weapons you can put on (if you have the right attachments on your tank), special weapons, and items. Everything has a weight, and the tank can only support a certain amount of weight determined by the chassis. Any leftover weight allowance will be “armor tiles”, which are essentially the tank’s HP. Once a tank’s armor tiles run out, further attacks will start destroying parts of the tank until it can no longer move. Parts can also be destroyed by certain attacks. This game also has the bird shit and mushrooms that take up space and have to get cleaned. You can tow one tank if it’s inoperable.
There is no game over; if you die your dad pulls you back to the first town and Dr. Minch (who was also in MM2) revives you. However, your companions are not there and I never figured out how to get them back, so I always reset when I got a game over.
Getting out of the first area just requires finding the first tank in the nearby cave. You can also clear the first wanted group here, the Salmonella Gang.
Getting out of the second area requires defeating two Mega Cannons. It would be basically impossible to go straight there and do it, but there are quite a few different places you can go in the second area first. My general method on gaining access to a new area was first to explore the whole land area to get it in my map, and to visit all the towns to see what kind of wanted monsters I could learn about and what new equipment I could buy. In the second area the main places are the factories at the shore, and some wanted monsters that can be picked up here.
Eventually after buying armor piercing shells, recruiting the second character (a mechanic) and getting a Buggy for him, and upgrading everyone, I was ready for the big cannons…more or less.
I had to use my full complement of armor piercing shells and most of my other resources. You have to beat two but can do them one at a time, which helps. After this, we open the third area.
Here you can pick up the third character, a soldier. Some players seem to have had a lot of difficulty activating the event that lets you recruit her but for me it just happened without issue. But it was a long time before I could get a third tank to give her one. This is also where you can now upgrade tanks by modifying their chassis to give them more weight allowance, and other such things.
From here to the end, the only required boss is the final sequence of boss battles at the end of the game. So by selective running from fights and such, you could now go all the way to the final area — getting out of the 3rd area is just talking to some people and going through a dungeon, and getting to the final area involves talking to some people in a tower. I did not go this quickly, though. A third tank is available by beating Mad Muscle but I found him very difficult and was not able to do it until I came back much later.
At this point I’m not sure I want to give a detailed recounting of everything I did; there’s no real story and I basically followed the outline I said above. Explore a whole region, buy new things, then start going in the dungeons in the area to see what I can find. Beat any wanted monsters I am able to, and go back to previous areas to sop up the wanted monsters I skipped.
Getting to one of the area involves toppling a tower to cover the water.
Anyway, eventually I had all 8 tanks and had beaten 14 of the 16 wanted monsters. The 15th one I was going to deal with, Bad Valdez, was quite challenging. However, raising your level helps quite a bit. I think I was at level 27 or so when I finally took him down.
The final dungeon is the Global Relief Center. At various points in the game you can hear some rumors about Noah, the computer system here. It turns out that Noah was created by scientists to fix the environmental problems in the world, and decided that the best way to fix them was to wipe out humanity. So Noah was the cause of the world apocalypse, and is also responsible for all the robots and such that are afflicting the world.
Noah has several forms, but I found him much easier than the final bosses of Metal Max 2. He hits just as hard but has fairly low HP.
Afterwards, I returned to my dad and told him I was ready to be a mechanic.
Then the credits roll and we get our stats and the level each wanted monster was beaten at. Afterwards it seems that Kurisu gets bored being a mechanic and goes off to be a Hunter again.
In the end I liked this game a lot more than Metal Max 2. I found the less restrictive nature of MMR was more fun. I still wish there were more complexity to the non-tank battle system since you have to use it so much. Has anyone played any more recent Metal Max series games?
Magic Knight Rayearth (魔法騎士レイアース), released 9/29/1995, developed by Tomy
This is our second consecutive RPG based on a shojo manga. Magic Knight Rayearth was a series by the famous Clamp group that ran from 1993-1996. It had an anime adaptation, and there were a bunch of video games released in 1994 and 1995 for the Game Boy, Game Gear, Saturn, and this one for Super Famicom.
I never saw or read Rayearth so I do not have the nostalgic connection to the series that I do to Sailor Moon. I thought this game was greatly inferior to Sailor Moon, but some of that is probably that I’m not a fan of this series.
The game involves three 8th grade girls who get transported to a fantasy world and have to become the Magic Knights to save Rayearth. The game is an adaptation of the first half of the manga (the first storyline). It ends very abruptly because of this.
The three girls (from left to right above) are Ryuzaki Umi, Shidou Hikaru, and Hououji Fuu.
Because of the nature of the series, there is no equipment. Instead each girl has a weapon and an armor, that change a couple of times during the game and can be levelled up by fighting battles. Each girl will also gain the ability to use magic during the game; new spells can be gained by levelling up, and there are also a few powerful spells that are granted at certain points in the story. The battle system is normal DQ2 style, and there’s really not much to it — levelling is fairly quick and you can buy MP restoring items so the game goes smoothly. It’s also quite short.
When the story begins, Princess Emeraude has used Cephiro’s Pillar to summon the magic knights from the real world to Rayearth to defeat Zagato, a priest who was supposed to be her second in command but has turned against her and wants to reduce the world to nothing. (NOTE: I am not going to look up the official English romanizations for the names)
This magician Clef tells the three girls why they’ve been summoned, and tells them that the only way they’ll be able to get back to Earth is to defeat Zagato and have Emeraude send them back. First, they need to find the smith Presea so they can get their magic weapons.
At Presea’s, a little magic creature called Mocona joins up. Mocona can become a campsite where you can heal and save on the map, and will also perform various other helpful functions as the story progresses.
The girls need to find some Escudo so that Presea can forge their weapons. Meanwhile they meet a knight named Lafarga who was one of the Princess’ guards and wants to defeat Zagato, but he refuses to join the girls. On the way to find the Escudo, Clef reappears and gives Umi her water magic — unfortunately he doesn’t have time to give the rest of the girls theirs, because Alcione, one of Zagato’s servants, attacks.
Now you do a scenario with each of the three girls where they confront their weaknesses, and after that they gain the Escudo and their new weapons. I’m not entirely sure what the effect of getting these new weapons and levelling them up is, but I assume the attack increases.
The next goal is to revive the three legendary Mashins, which will give them power to defeat Zagato.
You have to go to three areas that represent one of the three Mashins associated with each girl (water, fire, wind). In each one you have to demonstrate your strength to the Mashin; it’s always by dealing with one of Zagato’s underlings and converting them to good by some method. Once all three Mashins give you their power, the girls reach their final upgrade.
Finally, we head to Zagato’s castle. First we have to make it through a mirror maze cave.
We then reach Zagato’s castle. It turns out that Zagato really just wants to break down the world so he can create a new one where Princess Emeraude doesn’t have to be bound to the Cephiro pillar. Once we beat him (and his Mashin form), there’s a final twist — Emeraude is in love with Zagato, and can’t deal with her anger that Zagato has been killed. She actually summoned the Magic Knights to kill her. This is the danger of the Pillar; the person who is chosen to pray for the world may have their thoughts distracted by things like love, causing problems.
Emeraude attacks you with her own Mashin form. Once killed, the girls get transported back to Tokyo Tower. Hikaru says “We have to get back!” and the game ends abruptly.
All in all this game was rather disappointing; it’s very short, with a high random encounter rate, and almost nothing to do other than just go straight through the story. Since it’s only the first part of the story, it has the most abrupt ending I’ve ever seen in an RPG. I suppose at least it plays smoothly (if you have a speedup key for the battles), and if you are a fan of Rayearth it should be worth a play. But it pales in comparison to the care with which Sailor Moon: Another Story was made. If any of the commenters were fans of this series, maybe you can tell me if that makes the game any better.
Sailor Moon Another Story (美少女戦士セーラームーン ANOTHER STORY), released 9/22/1995, developed and published by Angel
I was (am?) a big fan of Sailor Moon. It was the first anime I really got into, back in the mid-90s when the dub was airing on American TV. I’m not sure why I liked it so much; part of it was the online community (in newsgroups and mailing lists) and part of it me wanting to see a cartoon with a developing storyline. I eventually acquired the whole series on VHS tapes (fansubs) and have watched all 200 episodes several times. I no longer own the VHS tapes though.
This means that while I’ve played many games so far based on existing anime, manga, etc, this is the first one that is based on a show I was really into. Probably the one before this that I knew the most about was Ranma 1/2, and that was a pretty crappy game overall. This game, on the other hand, is pretty well done in terms of adapting the original property and making something that will interest fans of the game. It would have been easy to just cram a retelling of the show or lazy product, but the story goes above and beyond that. It involves entirely new villains that do not seem out of place, and examines areas of the original story that were hardly touched on (particularly the future Silver Millennium and the past Moon Kingdom).
The game was developed while the manga was still running. When the development started, the third storyline (S) hadn’t started; when the game was released, the fourth storyline (SuperS) was currently running in both anime and manga form. Because of this, the developers were working off information from Naoko Takeuchi about how the story would develop. The story takes place after the third storyline (S), and mostly seems to follow the manga, although some anime-only things are included (most of the random encounter monsters are from the anime), and there are even references to the R and S movies. I think if you are a fan of Sailor Moon there is a lot to like about the story. If you are not, I think the story may be less interesting/effective.
There is a translation patch which was released a long time ago, but someone updated it with some various fixes and a “no-grind” patch that reduces the random encounter rate and doubles the xp/gold from each encounter.
All ten of the Sailor Senshi introduced so far are in the game, along with all the powers from both the anime and manga. They also have voice clips for all the attacks as well as their transformation lines.
The graphics on the whole are pretty good. I appreciate the face images in the dialogue (why don’t more games do this!) Since they had a large collection of enemies to draw on from the anime, there aren’t a bunch of palette swap monsters and the in-battle graphics are decent as well.
One of the challenges often faced by developers of games like this is being faithful to the original ideas while still creating RPG-like gameplay. In the manga and anime, they typically only fight one monster at a time, and a single attack by Sailor Moon is the only thing that can kill it (usually one other senshi will use an attack to weaken or stun it). This is a similar problem that was faced by the Fist of the North Star RPG creators — in that anime, the whole point is that people like Kenshiro can only be fairly matched against a small number of others who are trained like them. Kenshiro can take out a normal thug without even breaking a sweat.
So you basically have three choices, I think, in adapting something like this:
Try to create a completely new battle system that allows for more faithfulness to the source. I think Dragon Ball is the main example I can think of of a game that did this; it’s not a common technique probably because it’s not easy to do and takes more time.
Put some explanation in the story for why the characters cannot fight as well as they can in the original source. Slayers did this by having the “memory loss Lina” that couldn’t use most of her spells. This is not an attractive option because it may annoy players who want to play the original characters as they were in the source.
Just use a normal RPG system, and hope that the players will be happy enough to play their favorite characters that they’ll overlook how nonsensical it is (or they will understand that there was no way to adapt the original ideas into a satisfying RPG).
The third option is what most of the series take, and it’s what Sailor Moon Another Story does as well. Here, any move can beat the enemies, and Sailor Moon’s own moves are just damage-dealing moves like any other that she might have to use 2 or 3 times and not even kill the enemy. I think it works, though. An interesting choice they made was to completely restore EP after every battle so that you can make heavy use of the special moves rather than just basic attacks.
The other aspects to the battle system are Link Techs, where two (or three) senshi combine their powers, and Formation Techs (which I never used). There are four formations that increase or decrease the attack/defense of senshi in particular spots — for instance, the “Cluster” formation quadruples the attack of the center senshi but lowers the defense/attack quite a bit of everyone else.
Because of the setting, there are no weapons and armor to equip, just accessories (which are mostly rings, earrings, bracelets, etc).
The game is divided into four chapters. The story beings in the Silver Millennium in the future, where a comet is coming and there is a strange epidemic. Back in the present, old enemies are appearing again in Tokyo.
Fan favorite Hotaru changes from a baby back into Sailor Saturn again. She really shouldn’t have a move that just damages random enemies since she’s supposed to destroy planets, but we’ll allow it.
The first chapter just hints at what’s going on, with a new enemy revealing herself as “Sin”, and various dreams and prophecies. The inner senshi are all captured by Sin, and during the rescue you get various glimpses of their dream “perfect lives” that they’ve abandoned to be warriors (this was in the R Movie also I think). Sin also has 5 underlings headed by Apsu. Their goal is to get the Ginzuishou (silver crystal) from Sailor Moon. The senshi succeed in fighting them off but Mamoru (Tuxedo Kamen) is injured, a common situation for him.
In Chapter 2, the Inner senshi have to go around to different places by themselves to recover four gems based on the four generals of the first series. The game draws from the manga in making the four generals servants of Endymion (Mamoru’s past life); this was never stated in the anime. Each of the four stories involves one of the enemy underlings, and develops their backstories and why they joined Sin. They were all dissatisfied with life in the Silver Millennium in some way.
One big complaint about the game that I think is accurate is that there’s too much grinding; whenever you reach a new area the enemies outclass you by quite a bit and you have to do some levelling. It doesn’t take that long but it’s a bit annoying. The boss of Mercury’s segment here is particularly difficult (the no-grind patch hacked something here to make it a bit easier).
Now that we have the four gems, we still need the Rose Crystal, which is chapter 3 — the Outer senshi and Moon are going after the Rose Crystal while the Inners are gone. Saturn’s Death Reborn Revolution is really good so I usually put her in the middle of the Cluster formation.
This chapter also starts the relationship between Chibi-Usa and an enemy Anshar, a kid with a pet. This seems at least a bit similar to the Chibi-Usa/Helios story from the 4th season, making me wonder if they based this on future ideas for the story.
This chapter has you fighting all the Death Busters, Mistress 9, and Professor Tomoe again from S, followed by Queen Beryl from the original season. I have mixed feelings about the reappearance of all the old enemies from the previous seasons — I feel like they did it just to appeal to fans rather than because it fit organically into the story. They never really fully explain why some of the people came back. I suppose it’s a small complaint but it may lessen the appeal of the game to people who are not fans of Sailor Moon. In any case we fail to gain the Rose Crystal from Anshar, ending chapter 3.
In chapter 4 we find out the enemies are messing around in the past, threatening to change the timeline. So we use the Time Corridor (getting Sailor Pluto on the team) to go back. This is a nice chance to see Beryl and the Generals before they turned to the evil side, and also see original Queen Serenity. We also have to fight the villains from the second season (R) again.
We finally see here more motivation of the enemies — Sin, the leader, is going to die soon. Apsu, the sister of Anshar, was pissed off when the Dark Moon killed her parents, and wondered why the sailor senshi were just protecting Neo Queen Serenity rather than helping her parents.
However, we do manage to recover the Rose Crystal and heal Mamoru. Now it’s time for the final chapter.
At this point you have enough money to have 99 colognes (full MP restore for everyone). With this, you can have Pluto use Time Stop every round, which even freezes bosses (including the final boss). So all you have to do is have three characters use strong attacks (I did a triple tech with Mars-Jupiter-Uranus), then a 4th character use a cologne, and Pluto Time stop every round. If you do this, as long as you are at a high enough level to do reasonable damage and you can make it through the first round of combat without anyone getting confused/entranced/etc, you win every boss fight.
Here we do the final battles against the various underlings who then see the error of their ways. But Sin and Apsu still remain — first we have to defeat Apsu, and then a combination of Apsu and Sin. I thought the final section was a bit less satisfying than the others in terms of the motivation and background of the enemies, but it’s still a decent conclusion to the storyline.
Overall I did enjoy this game quite a bit despite the flaws in the system. Certainly a good part of this was my like for Sailor Moon in general, but I think it shows that this was a good adaptation of the source material, and it gives you a nice chance to see things that were never really touched on much in the original series. It also creates some interesting villains that would fit in the source manga/anime as well as fleshing out the main characters a bit.
I do wonder how people unfamiliar with Sailor Moon would like this game — I have a feeling not all that much since the game system is not necessarily the best in the world, and there is quite a bit of grinding involved. It does make me wonder if I would have had a better opinion of some of the other IP-based games I’ve played in the past if I had played those series.
Actually the next game is also a shojo manga (Magic Knight Rayearth). But first there will be two posts about SRPGs I only played the first few stages of.