Albert Odyssey is a short game so I will likely be finished with it by Saturday. My copy of Metal Max 2 isn’t going to get here until next week, so I’m going to do a little detour next week into the PC Engine (Turbo Grafx CD) archives and play Tengai Makyo Ziria.
The PCE is a nostalgic console for me and if I had thought of it I would have probably done PCE before Super Famicom, but it’s too late now. Instead I think I will dip into the PCE archives every so often (maybe every 3-4 games). When I play the PCE games I will only play each game for a week unless I want to extend that because I’m enjoying the game (rather than just for completion purposes).
I got a comment (not on this blog) that my blog was too negative, and that I wasn’t understanding enough of the early developers’ time and money limitations. I have wondered whether I’m too negative at times, and I think there’s always a question about whether old games like these should be reviewed how they seem in 2017, or how they would have seemed when they first came out.
So far I would rank the games I’ve played in the following categories:
- Good: Dragon Quest V
- Average: Glory of Heracles III, Benkei Gaiden, Xak
- Bad: GDLeen, Maka maka, Villgust, Hero Senki, Song Master, SD Gundam 2, Elfaria, Romancing Saga
- Terrible: Light Fantasy, Fist of the North Star 5, 3×3 Eyes, Cyber Knight
That’s 1 good, 3 average, 8 bad, and 4 terrible. That’s pretty bad overall, and maybe there is something to the argument that I’m being too harsh (Albert Odyssey is hovering in between Average and Bad for me right now).
However, I’m not sure it’s possible to put myself back in time to 1992. I was playing video games at the time, and I honestly don’t know how I would have reacted to some of these games if they had come out in English. I was pretty starved for RPGs at the time, but I was also a kid who only got a few games a year. So there was a lot more reason to play a bad game, which is a different situation than 2017 where you can play all these games for free (or even if you want to get them for actual consoles they’re pretty cheap).
I know this was early in the SFC lifecycle and developers were still figuring out the new console, but I’m not sure that excuses the quality of the games. Light Fantasy sold for 8900 yen, which at the time was 71$ US. That’s a lot of money to play for a game that’s barely playable. It’s not like the LF designers had no examples of SRPG-type battles to look at — the battle system is worse than Ultima III, which was made 10 years earlier.
Really all I can do is speak to my own enjoyment of each game, as someone playing these games in 2017. I try to give the creators credit where credit is due (I praised LF’s graphics, for instance, and 3×3 Eyes had good music). But the fact that LF may have been rushed for time or money (it clearly was not tested very much) doesn’t make it any more fun to play.
I mentioned this before, but I was very relieved at how much I enjoyed Dragon Quest V. I had started to wonder whether I had just played too many games to go back to these 25-year old RPGs and enjoy them. There may be something to that, but I still think I can find some fun standouts, and I’m expecting the general quality to improve as I get through the library.