Review by Besaid22
A fun Multi-player RPG.
Swords and Serpents is a good RPG, with a unique feature (especially for NES) that allows 1, 2, or 4 players to play simultaneously via the NES Satellite. This transforms this from a good RPG, to a great RPG, despite some gameplay flaws. This is a very enjoyable game, especially when battling through dungeons with some friends.
The story is that of a typical RPG, an Evil villain that a small band of Heroes must defeat for the good of all. While not groundbreaking, I found the story enjoyable, and it actually did keep me playing it. I believe they could have done quite a bit more with it though, when you compare it to other RPG's of this era it does pale in comparison. While not the most elaborate of story's, it does manage to keep you interest.
They did quite well coordinating the controls between the first, second, and fourth players. Each player controls the character(s) they created, in battle and outside battle. When you start a game, you pick a player to lead the party when exploring dungeons, this person might not know what they're getting into. I had some trouble turning around on the map, and would often go in the wrong direction, forcing more random battles. There is also the ability to run while exploring the dungeon, a very helpful tool when you need to hurry to your next destination.
As an NES game this game really shines in the Graphics department. The enemy's you face have a lot of animation, they swing their swords and daggers when they attack, and they grimace with pain when you attack them. Each enemy is colorful, each with their own distinct animations, and with many of the monsters, they are shown in gruesome detail. The zombies look like actual zombies would look like. The actual dungeons do not vary much in appearance, other than getting darker and darker the farther underground you go.
The music in this game can be quite repetitive at times, as with any game of this era. For the most part it has a catchy tune that goes along well with the atmosphere of the game. It depends on how much you like simplistic video game music, if you don't you will most likely be muting your TV while you play. As far as that goes, it will not detract from the experience of the game if you listen to a CD while you play. After awhile, even if your a fan of video game music, you will most likely tire of the sound pretty quickly.
The learning curve in this game is well done, as it doesn't challenge you till you have a grasp of what's expected of you. When it does challenge you it can be hard at times, but thats what makes it a fun game. It has a user-friendly interface for equipping items, letting each person equip and arrange their own items and spells. The worst feature in this game is the way that you save, which requires you to write down a password for each character, as well a final game code. You must input all of the codes every time you continue your game, which is very annoying at times. Sometimes I would just leave the system on to avoid writing down all the codes. Just remember to have plenty of paper on hand if you plan on saving a lot.
If you enjoy old fashioned RPG's, you will have a lot of fun with this game. It is a rich and rewarding game to play, and you can probably get it very cheap at a flea market or game store in your area. If you play it with friends, you will definitely have some fun with it and this will be a game you won't soon forget. The only feature that would scare anyone away is the passwords, but with patience this can be overlooked. All in all, a great multi-player RPG, if you buy this game you will have some good times with it for sure.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
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