Unfortunately I did not get my Metal Max 2 package yesterday so this will be a PC Engine blog until mid-January. Consider it a holiday special.
This is not really a full post since I’m not playing Death Bringer but I thought it was worth a quick description of the 30 minutes I did play. I’m not a fan of Western style RPGs on consoles; somehow I never think that they work. Even in cases like Might and Magic, where the NES version has better graphics and music, the PC version plays so much faster that I thought it worked better.
Death Bringer: Knight of Darkness is a Western-style first person CRPG that first came out on the various Japanese PCs, and was then ported to the PC Engine. It’s hard to find much information about this game at all, and there’s even less on the PCE port. I did find a 2ch thread; the consensus there was that the PC versions were nostalgic even if the game has flaws, but that the PC Engine port was awful.
Here’s the opening screen when you turn on the game, which doesn’t inspire confidence.
After putting in your name, there’s a short cutscene where the main character saves a woman from an Orc, which puts you in the first battle.
|Main character vs. Orc|
The battle system has you choose a target, then you automatically move to the target and attack. Often nothing happens, which I guess is a miss, but it would be nice to get some message. The Orc couldn’t damage me.
After the fight, you’re suddenly back in a town with no explanation. The stat screen shows a complicated system:
There are no levels. Instead you get HP and MP, I think at pre-determined times within the story. Everything else is based on skills, of which there are a whole bunch and you can buy more. Whether you can equip something or not depends on your skill, and I assume that’s how the magic works too. There’s no automap, so I used some maps I found online. The graphics are a travesty. Compare this:
|The PCE version|
|One of the PC versions|
I’m not sure why they changed the art style so drastically. The PC versions are also much easier to see than the PCE versions when you’re in caves and forests; it’s hard to tell in the PCE version where the gaps are. Also any time you are going to get a message, the main part of the screen goes black even though the message appears in the window at the bottom.
I headed out into the forest to the first location, an Orc cave. Most of the enemies couldn’t hurt me much but I died against the boss, and got this great game over screen:
|Move every ZIG|
The PC version of this might be a decent game, especially if I had an instruction manual, but I don’t think the PCE one is worth playing.