SFC Game 24 – Dual Orb Review

Story/Characters: The party characters barely exist — they have names but virtually no backstories at all, and basically no dialogue in the game. Even the ones that do have backstories that sound interesting aren’t really used much.

The story is probably the best part of the game, which is saying very very little. Overall it’s not very good, but the Masho generals have little storylines surrounding them which involve the Pange they are keeping (e.g. jealousy, vanity). For 1993 it’s an average RPG story, which means by overall standards it’s not very good.

World: The world has an overworld, which is generic fantasy, and an underworld, with more steampunk style trappings. It’s OK.

Game Flow: This is what sinks the game from “below average” to “terrible.” Almost every decision they made in game balance was bad. There are way too many random encounters. The grunt enemies are too difficult and give too little XP and gold. Healing magic and items are limited. The dungeons are long. Your spellcasters have too few HP. The lack of strategic options means that your strategies are very limited, and mostly involve grinding or avoiding encounters.

 
System: This is the usual A-M-I-D. If you’ve played any RPG from this era you know what to expect.

Side Quests/Optional Content: None.

Interface: There’s a unified use button, but the buying interface is annoying because they separated the pay counter from the shop itself, which serves no purpose. The battle interface is interesting — you set your commands for everyone and then pick “attack”; you can just change the ones you want to change so it’s a bit faster. There’s also an autobattle, but getting out of the autobattle was not clear to me. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

Graphics/Sound: As people pointed out in the threads, the graphics look like RPG Maker — that’s fine for this era, but nothing special. The music is OK.

All in all, this ranks down in the worst games I’ve played so far, along with Cyber Knight, Fist of the North Star 5, and Light Fantasy.

Next up is Elnard, better known to English players as The 7th Saga. Because some changes were made in the English version I had once thought to play this to see the difference, but another blogger has already done this, so please go read their post — it’s quite interesting. That means the next game up is Dragon Squad Danzarb, although first I’ll be playing the PCE classic Tengai Makyo II, often considered one of the PCE’s best games.

3 thoughts on “SFC Game 24 – Dual Orb Review

  1. Nicholas

    Hey Kurisu, thanks a lot for the mention in your post!! If you do try Elnard, I think you'll be pretty surprised, especially if you already played The 7th Saga!

    I've always heard about the Dual Orb series, but never really looked into it. I think you might have saved me from sinking time into this one!

    Reply
  2. Kurisu

    I think I rented the 7th saga for a weekend but didn't like it even as a teenager. In theory I'd like to play all the SFC games but I'm happy to skip some of them like this to shorten the overall project.

    Reply
  3. NeaGix

    I cannot read Japanese and was curious about the first Dual Orb, enjoyed reading your posts, many thanks.

    I am about to start playing Dual Orb II

    Reply

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