- Turn type: Player/enemy turns.
- Maps: Medium. Terrain gives bonuses.
- Character Customization: None, although through the summon monster system each character can have their spells on an ad-hoc basis (see the introduction post)
- Character Development: Standard XP level system.
- Party Size: Max 4 summoners, each with 2 summons (12 total).
- Equipment: None
- Game Flow: 18 stages, no alternate paths, no repeating.
- Saving: You can save between battles, and make one in-battle save.
- Death: If the summoned monsters die, they just leave for that battle. If any of the 4 human characters die, it’s game over.
I feel like this game had interesting ideas, but didn’t quite implement them as well as they could have. I like the idea of the summoned monsters increasing the stats of the summoner and contributing to their magic. But requiring them to be adjacent to the caster limits the use of magic a lot, especially since you can’t move and cast, and most battles have something pushing you forward in the battle. I can understand the designers not wanting you to just sit and cast spells, but the MP are already relatively limited. Perhaps making some of the spells not quite so powerful could have helped there.
It would have also been nice if the monsters themselves had some additional powers or skills; as it is, all the monsters are basically the same except some can attack from two spaces away.
The story is just an underdeveloped tissue of cliches. I know most RPG plots are, but this seemed especially derivative and lazy. There’s supposed to be a whole empire attacking, but the Emperor just appears in a field to fight you for no clear reason. The main characters are way too quick to forgive Alef, who has killed innocent people to the point where everyone knows him as the Bloody Fang.
The game is playable and no aspect of the game (other than the story) is bad, but I just feel like there’s so much more they could have done with the concept. Some of the stages have good ideas, like the dragon charging up his breath, or the octopus with the tentacles. More of those would have been appreciated.
That’s it for 1994! 1995 has a lot of big names — Front Mission, Der Langrisser, Tactics Ogre, Arc the Lad, etc.