Review by TheSAMMIES

Reviewed: 05/30/14

Scheming commie bastards from the future!

Psy-O-Blade is an old Japanese adventure game. It’s unusual for the genre, as instead of relying on good graphics and pornographic content, it has a dramatic sci-fi plot and a scenario that wouldn’t be out of place in a big budget action movie. It’s certainly a change of pace if you’re under the impression that all visual novels are bishoujo games.

Story- Psy-O-Blade’s story is a pretty complex one that involves a lot of politics in the background, so bear with me if you get confused. It takes place in the future where there are only three nations ruling the world, The Free World, The Old Communist Block, and The New Communist Federation. The Free World consists of democratic nations and are all about freedom and money. The Old Communist Block consists of traditionally communist nations and they have very “Marxist” ideals. The New Communist Federation seeks to be a military power and wants to spread communist ideals all across the world with military force.

Psy-O-Blade’s main plot concerns The Free World and The Old Communist Block making a mandate that bans all nuclear weapons with hopes of a peaceful future where democratic and communist nations can coexist. The New Communist Federation is upset by this and begins developing a killer satellite that could be potentially used to threaten the whole world. Ignoring diplomatic talks and pleas from The Free World and The Old Communist Block, The New Communist Federation set out to send their satellite into space with intent to use them.

With The New Communist Federation hell bent on Earth’s destruction, The Free World sent out an experimental spacecraft to go colonize a new planet that The New Communist Federation can’t threaten. Their spacecraft disappeared however. You play as Kieth McDonnell, a man on a mission to go investigate the disappearance of the space ship and possibly unravel what kind of tricks your commie enemies may be up to.

Psy-O-Blade was written in the 1980s. It’s a product of The Cold War and it shows. Earth’s destruction is seemingly averted only for the arms race to go even farther than nukes. Peace always seems just out of grasp. While there isn’t always violence, there is always the looming danger of an apocalypse. The fact that things only get more complicated as the story goes shows just how hard it truly is to understand everything that was going on during The Cold War. It’s a fascinating tale that, at its heart, is a mystery story, but ends up transcending the genre.

Presentation-Psy-O-Blade isn’t much to look at. In fact, it’s not much to listen to either. The fact that it’s a game on the FM-7 means that it’s going to have a very limited color pallet. Black splotches are everywhere and on everyone because that’s just the way games looked back then. There isn’t much animation or detail to anything. The sound is either low pitched or too high and screechy. Just take the hardware into consideration and thank your ears and eyes because it could have looked much worse.

Gameplay- Psy-O-Blade is an adventure game. You always have a menu of things you can do such as talk, inspect items, move, and other things. Menus are different for each area, you don’t have the same repetitive “Look, Talk, Move, etc.” that many Japanese adventure games adopt. It’s kind of refreshing to play like this.

Psy-O-Blade’s problems are that it’s poorly paced and that it’s a little too easy to screw yourself in some areas. Playing with a guide would help, except to my knowledge, there aren’t any guides for this game. That’s okay, though. It’s not super hard “one screw-up and it’s unwinnable” bad. You can probably beat the game if you us your head and actually think about what you should and shouldn’t do.

On the pacing end, Psy-O-Blade certainly takes its time before getting to the good stuff. There are heated fights, dramatic speeches, and bent loyalties, but you’ll have to read a lot of buildup to get there. Good luck. Psy-O-Blade is a fun story, but just be sure to bring your patience along for the ride.

Cool Fact- The space ship that you fly in, The Septemius 2, is named after the Roman emperor Septemius Severus.

Also Try- T&E Soft also made Daiva Story, a series of complex strategy games that tell a really confusing story. A lot of the Daiva Story games were developed on different platforms so that no one could possibly comprehend the whole mess. They’re still good games, though and are more than worth a look if you’re into old curiosities.

Rating: 7

Product Release: Psyoblade (JP, 12/31/88)

Would you recommend this Review? Yes No

Got Your Own Opinion?

Submit a review and let your voice be heard.