SRPG Game 23 – Hiouden: Pact with the Monsters wrap-up

 FACTS

  1. Turn type: Player turn/enemy turn
  2. Maps: Medium to large. There is terrain that gives bonuses.
  3. Character Customization: None.
  4. Character Development: Standard XP level system, with promotion at level 10 with an item.
  5. Party Size: Typically 12-15 units on a map although you get many more.
  6. Equipment: You can equip one weapon at a time, and have 3 in reserve. There is no other equipment.
  7. Game Flow: You play stages 1-20 in sequence, no repeats, and if you fulfill certain conditions you can do the last two stages.
  8. Saving: Between battles.
  9. Death: Permanent.

 IMPRESSIONS

I mentioned in the introduction that I almost missed this game. It was on my RPG list for my other blog with a question mark, and when I went to check it I realized it was actually a SRPG. I’m glad I caught it because it’s pretty good. They did an admirable job of taking the computer game and translating it to the SNES, working within the limitations of the system but still giving a satisfying experience. The music, composed by Sakuraba, is obviously good, and it was fun to see all the things that will appear again a few years later in Tales of Phantasia.
However, there are some flaws that I think prevented the game from crossing from good into great. The game needs a way to slow down the speed, as well as set up a pause during a spellcast. Sometimes the game moves so quickly that you can have a character go from full HP to dead in literally a second or two, and at times I had to basically unpause the game and then immediately click to pause it again. It’s impossible to tell what’s happening in these situations.
Second, it’s too easy for your guys to get stuck when you have all 6 squads (24 units). Especially in narrow areas (but even in wide areas sometimes) your units will get trapped in the middle of other squads and it can be very hard to maneuver them. You also can’t keep them away from the damage floors, and it’s hard to make sure the right people are at the front.
Having said all that, I did enjoy the game for the most part, and it’s well worth a try with the fairly recent translation patch. The story is a little thin but for 1994 it’s not bad.

1 thought on “SRPG Game 23 – Hiouden: Pact with the Monsters wrap-up

  1. Kicksville

    This looks very interesting and I'm happy you covered it, I'll need to check it out sometime. Wolf Team sure did a lot of quirky projects back in the day. Also led to me finding out that jeez, there sure are quite a few Japanese exclusives that use the mouse accessory…

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