Review by CyosisCMR
Has Its Moments
More than likely if you are reading this review you either know about the Anime series Slayers, about Lina Inverse and company, or you are like me and are out there to play just about every JRPG known to man for the Super Famicon/SNES. Or both. Nevertheless, Slayers was a popular Anime series in the 90's that spawned many games, TV series, and Manga. Personally, I have never heard of it until I played this game and did some research on the series. I'm not a huge fan of Anime (though I have an appreciation for it) and was just not aware of how famous the series is. Little do most westerners know that the series did spawn a Super Famicon game in 1994 simply entitled Slayers. From What I can tell is that it is a loose adaptation of the original television series. Most likely not being cannon. What we get is a somewhat generic game in the same fashion of the Dragon Quest series with some mild differences. One of which being a second quest after beating the first one. It's not bad but read on to find out whether it's actually worth playing or not.
Storyline Score (7) Slayers starts out with an unconscious Lina Inverse. When she comes to she discovers that she is in a small village and is immediately put to a test by the villagers to clean out a cavern filled with trolls. What the villagers don't realize is that Lina has lost her memory and as a result has lost her knowledge of almost all of her spells. She is accompanied by a friend and meets Naga the Serpent (a main character in the Slayers universe) in the cavern. Naga joins Lina and decides to help her regain her memory.
This is just a small portion of the story. There is quite a bit of other things that happen in the story as well but with out spoiling anything I can't really comment on the rest. The problem I had initially with the games story was I had to research the series and the characters because I was confused by certain actions of certain characters. If you are not familiar with the series than you will get a totally discombobulated feel when starting up. But that is excusable since the game was only released in Japan and more than likely the people that played this at the time of its release were very familiar with the series. But the storyline is still somewhat weak in places and certain events don't have much logic to them.
Gameplay Score (6) Slayers gameplay is nothing new in the genre. The battles are essentially like the Dragon Quest series and the exploring aspect is in the same vein. The game has two modes of course. One being battles, the other overhead exploring. You explore towns and buy weapons/armor and items from stores. You will talk to townspeople to get clues as to what to do next. You then explore dungeons. Some small, some mindbogglingly large. All the while solving minor puzzles and fighting enemies. The battle sequences are pretty much identical to DQ as it's all first person. You have a list of spells and weapons to choose from in battle. Usually you will resort to using spells over weapons since they are far more effective. I'm sure while reading this you're thinking you've heard all this before. You have, more than likely. Games like this were a dime a dozen 15 to 20 years ago. It doesn't make it bad game or experience but it gets repetitive and can get boring if you are familiar with games like this and grew up with them. Another issue with the battle system was the difficulty level. The game is very easy to play with very little level grinding. You can blow through the game and before you know it the first half of the game is over and the challenge never increased. But one of the things I did like about the battle system was upon winning a battle you only will gain experience points but no money. Money is earned in a few ways. Usually you will perform a good deed for a town in peril and upon completion of the deed they will pay you. Other ways of gaining money are beating up thieves or simply searching dungeons for chests that hold money. I kind of liked this element as it made gaining money a little more satisfying instead of just beating up monsters.
Graphics Score (5) The graphics are basic to say the least. I would compare them to FF4 but that would be kind. They look more like they deserve to be on the NES as they never utilize the 16 bits of the SNES. The overhead graphics are terrible and very boring for a game made in 1994. Towns, for the most part, all look alike. You walk into a house and it looks identical to the last house. You walk into a weapon shop and it looks like the same weapon shop from the last town. It's boring and it makes the game feel a bit tedious. The battle graphics aren't bad though. Although it looks a lot like DQ the battles are very colorful and the enemy drawings are actually very well done. As well, in battle you see pictures of your characters that look like they are right from the TV show. The drawings as a whole are well done and it made that aspect of the experience not so bad.
Music Score (8) The music is, for the most part, quite good. It's not your traditional RPG epic music. It is far more upbeat with a rock n' roll feel to it. Even downright to keyboard sounding guitar solo's playing at times. A lot of towns have there own theme which help to get away from the monotony of the gameplay. Dungeon themes were quite good but could get a little repetitive at times. When the game needed to get serious the music helped a lot. My only complaint was there were a few tunes that sounded disharmonious and when it repeats it gets on your nerves. It wouldn't be so bad but the main battle tune was a perfect example of this and it did get annoying...
Overall score (6) The game isn't perfect. Far from it actually. But if you are a fan of this specific genre you should probably give it a try. Either you'll like it enough to at the least make it through the first part of the game, or you'll play it for 10 minutes and go to the next game.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Product Release: Slayers (JP, 06/24/94)
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