Review by ItaliaWasROBBED2002

Reviewed: 12/10/05

Looks absolutely dreadful but there is an enjoyable, if simplistic Action RPG to be found here.

Introduction
Eternal Quest, originally part of the budget "Simple 2000 Series" in Japan, is a primitive yet mildly entertaining Action RPG which is largely unknown in the crowded RPG market. There is no character development, intriguing storyline, towns or cities to visit or world exploration to be found here. Eternal Quest is simply a direct and unsophisticated dungeon crawler in which you descend floor after floor, defeating a variety of enemies and finding various weapons and items to help aid you in your quest. While the whole game looks absolutely terrible, if you focus directly on it's simple yet mostly effective gameplay as well as its generous replay value, it is a relatively enjoyable action RPG.

Graphics - 2.5/10
In a word, awful. In two words, really awful. Really, the graphics in this game are so primitive that the original Playstation would have no trouble in handling this game. Dungeons are compromised of bright highlighted wall textures which just look like they have been thrown together in order to somewhat resemble an area. Both the character and monster sprites look extremely awkward and their animation is laughably bad, with basic movement that rarely looks convincing. Special effects are perhaps the most cringe-worthy, looking extremely poor and tacked on. The dearth of any real cut-scenes is also no reward. Finally, the combat log looks unclean and very dated.

The only benefit of the graphics is the weapon models, which differ depending on the type of weapon you have equipped. They generally look convincing and are fairly well designed, but it really says something when this is the best that can be said about the graphics.

Sound - 6.5/10
Thankfully, a large improvement over the graphics. The music consists of a modest list of techno-ish beats intertwined with some instrumental Oriental effects. While some may say that this kind of music doesn't suit an Action RPG, I would say it fits in very well with this straightforward and direct paced game. While it does get repetitive at times, it is certainly better than a number of other Action RPGs.

The sound effects are basic but inoffensive. There is some variety between the different types of monsters and generally sound convincing, but weapon effects sound reused, particularly when you to utilise a number of weapons which will make you notice how similar they sound. The lack of voice acting also must be counted as a fault in this area..

Control - 6/10
Control in Eternal Quest is acceptable when exploring the dungeon and in mundane combat instances, but can be frustrating when engaged in more difficult battles, particularly with more than one foe. The benefits of the control include a user-friendly camera position which provides the player with a satisfactory view of the action, a simplistic battle system which is easy to learn and a basic but effective menu system.

There are a number of negatives however. The defend command is so slow that it may as well be removed, especially when you consider that you can defend automatically. Moving diagonally can be a real pain, especially when trying to attack an enemy at an awkward angle. Finally, when fighting two or more enemies your character as a bad habit of continually switching targets when you want to focus your assault on an individual enemy.

Gameplay - 6/10
Eternal Quest is an enjoyable Action RPG but becomes largely repetitive. While Action RPGs are (mostly) repetitive in principle, Eternal Quest is even more so with a lack of differing areas to explore and the same enemies appearing again and again only being stronger and having a pallet swap. Combat, while marginally enjoyable, can become tiresome due to a lack of variety of moves you can perform. The lack of alternative areas such as towns, plains and other instances is simply unforgivable. Really, how hard would it be to offer at least SOME differentiation between the levels instead of dungeon floor after dungeon floor with the only difference being the corridor layout, items and messy textures?

Despite all this, Eternal Quest does have some positives. The variety of different weapons, armor and other items you can collect is intriguing and there is a good variety across the different item types. Despite the lack of combat moves, fighting itself is mildly entertaining and becomes second nature when you get used to it. Finally, because the dungeon levels are randomly generated, Eternal Quest provides a continually changing experience each time you play it. While it's certainly disappointing that there is a lack of variety in places to explore, the random dungeons is certainly one of the positives in keeping the game from becoming stale.

Replay Value - 8/10
The strong factor of Eternal Quest, the game can certainly keep you playing for a long time and provide a lasting experience. As previously mentioned, the dungeons are always randomly generated meaning that you will experience different dungeons each time you play. The same can be said with the placement of weapons, armor and items which alternate on multiple playthroughs as well. The game takes 50 levels to complete normally, but upon defeating the final boss there is a rather nice bonus which will extend the life of Eternal Quest even longer. I won't reveal what it is, but needless to say it certainly adds to the replay value. The only complaint is that the lack of variety featured in the gameplay may discourage you from enjoying the replay value which this game offers. While this may be an unfair criticism since it falls under gameplay, it ultimately effects the replay value and this cannot be ignored.

Conclusion
Eternal Quest is certainly a primitive game, but it can be enjoyable if you look past it's various flaws. If you're on a tight budget and require a game that will last you a long time, you can certainly do a lot worse than Eternal Quest, provided you don't mind very poor graphics and basic yet enjoyable gameplay.

Rating: 6

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