Review by skunknuts
Unique aspects set it apart from others of its kind...and its got cool music
SUPER HYDLIDE for Sega Genesis
Fairyland is in trouble...again...in this sequel to the NES stinker. Monsters have descended upon the paradise pixie-world, the earth itself has split wide open, and flames have belched into the sky. The citizens are understandably upset by these property-value-destroying events, and it's up to you...yes YOU the hero, to put an end to it. Select from one of four character classes - warrior, thief, priest, or monk, and get busy. As the main man, you'll need to make sure you eat plenty of food, get a good night's sleep, and have enough strength to haul around all that loot you're going to be amassing. Final Fantasy this is NOT. Since you can't just stock up on 99 cure potions and hit the road, you'll need to learn to manage your character's unique set of problems and plan ahead.
Graphics - 5
Underwhelming. Other Genesis games of the time offered much more in this department. The action takes place from a top-down perspective, and always open to the right is a window displaying health, magic, time of day, etc. Sprites are small and lacking in detail, but that's not a crime in itself - everything just seems to lack definition. Many creatures/objects in the game look like indistinct collections of pixels. There are some pluses, however. The graphics are undeniably colorful, there are a nice variety of distinct environments to visit, and in a nice little surprise, you'll discover that the armor and helmet you equip will appear on your in-game character sprite. Neato!
Music & Sound - 9
Yes, a NINE. No kidding. This game has got quite a catchy soundtrack. The jazzy town tune is a toe tapper. The dungeon songs range from funeral dirge to POWER ROCK! There are a host of other great numbers, too ( I'll avoid attaching them to any particular situations to avoid spoilers ). Songs seem to be a bit longer than your typical video game fare, so you won't be listening to the same 25 second loop over and over into insanity. The game offers very little in the sound effects category, but you probably won't care. Your ears will be happy.
Playability - 8
This is where Super Hydlide differentiates itself from the other console RPGs of the day. Much of your time will be spent taking care of your character's daily needs. Most mornings require a trip to the shop to buy food, and every nightfall will necessitate the abandoning of your current project to make a trip back to the inn for sleep. If your character doesn't get his zzz's, he'll slowly lose strength until he's too weak to swat a mosquito. Starve him, and his life energy saps away until a condition known as "death" sets in. Thusly, most tasks will be accomplished on short expeditions resembling "leave the inn, stock up, handle business, head back home". The other factor that noticeably affects many of your decisions will be your character's strength score. Everything in the game a weight ( even food and money ), and you'll be forced to make some unhappy decisions at certain points in the game. Exceeding your weight capacity slows your movement to a crawl, so do you hoof it back to town at .07 mph to sell off that shiny new set of silver armor you just uncovered, or just say the heck with it and toss it out. Should you decide to make the trip, you mercifully have the option to speed up the game's run time to make it more bearable. If you're not careful though, you could quickly starve to death during the accelerated time without realizing it. Caution must be exercised. Fast time or no, your character handles responsively, and leveling isn't quite the lengthy chore it is in RPGs with turn based combat (all the fighting happens real time). With increased levels comes extra health, magic, strength, etc. - pretty standard. There are some annoying bits, too. The fact that you have to access a menu to check important information ( how much weight you're carrying, how much money you have ) sucks, and you'll constantly be checking this. The game can also be very sparse when it comes to information about what to do next, and some of the dungeons have tricks that I consider to be a bit harsh. These things shouldn't detract from your enjoyment of the game too much, however.
This is old school RPG with a twist. Working around your character's eat/sleep/weight-carried issues is an unusual challenge for a Genesis game from such an era. Mix this with traditional leveling and loot collecting, some cool dungeons, great music, and a plot that DOES eventually get interesting, and you've got yourself a noteworthy little RPG. The multiple character classes should offer some replay value, too. It's not complex or epic in length, but if you're a fan of the genre, you could do much worse.
Overall - 7 out of 10
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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