Review by TheSAMMIES
Scheming commie bastards from the future!
Psy-O-Blade is an old Japanese adventure game. Its 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 wouldnt be out of place in a big budget action movie. Its certainly a change of pace if youre under the impression that all visual novels are bishoujo games.
Story- Psy-O-Blades 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-Blades 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 Earths destruction, The Free World sent out an experimental spacecraft to go colonize a new planet that The New Communist Federation cant 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. Its a product of The Cold War and it shows. Earths destruction is seemingly averted only for the arms race to go even farther than nukes. Peace always seems just out of grasp. While there isnt 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. Its a fascinating tale that, at its heart, is a mystery story, but ends up transcending the genre.
Presentation-Psy-O-Blade isnt much to look at. In fact, its not much to listen to either. The fact that its a game on the FM-7 means that its going to have a very limited color pallet. Black splotches are everywhere and on everyone because thats just the way games looked back then. There isnt 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 dont have the same repetitive Look, Talk, Move, etc. that many Japanese adventure games adopt. Its kind of refreshing to play like this.
Psy-O-Blades problems are that its poorly paced and that its a little too easy to screw yourself in some areas. Playing with a guide would help, except to my knowledge, there arent any guides for this game. Thats okay, though. Its not super hard one screw-up and its unwinnable bad. You can probably beat the game if you us your head and actually think about what you should and shouldnt 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 youll 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. Theyre still good games, though and are more than worth a look if youre into old curiosities.
Product Release: Psyoblade (JP, 12/31/88)
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