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I didn't care much for it, either. Combat is too halting to be enjoyable, and the bosses are a slog. There are good ideas here (I liked looking for clues for the end puzzle), and Cutrus is pretty cool even if a bit fiddly to use, but this game very much falls into the "bad implementation" category.
I wouldn't put it in the tub with other outright broken games, but it definitely slots in as a below average NES game for me.