In this Fantasy Realm I cover Tecmo Secret of the Stars and King Arthur and the Knights of Justice.
The word from Enix is that their Dragon Quest game is nearly finished, however it will be close to 6 months before it reaches US shores.
The sequel to Ogre Battle is in the process of being converted for the US. This sequel is called Tactics Ogre, and is supposedly much better than its predecessor.
Also 7th Saga II: Mystic Arc is being worked on by Enix, and should be here sometime in 1996. It is similar to the first in many respects but it has more of a problem solving aspect to it, similar to Brainlord.
Capcom has announced that they are converting Breath of Fire 2 for the SNES. This features a lot more characters to join your party, than in the original. There will be characters from Breath of Fire and some of their descendants along with some all together new allies.
So far Taito has not chosen a system to show off their newest game Lufia 2.
Tecmo Secret of the Stars (Tecmo)
This is Tecmo's first attempt at an RPG. This game probably would have been a hit if it had come out about four years ago on the NES. The main reason why this game will probably appeal to younger players is because it is an extremely linear and simplistic game. It is a good thing that great graphics aren't necessary to have a decent RPG. The battle engine is very easy to get used to and the auto-battle mode is a good thing to have when you are raising levels. The music is adequate and the sound-effects are downright annoying.
The story is the heart of an RPG, the more complex and non-linear the better. Well this game's story is as straight as an arrow. When you beat a boss, the people in the village will tell you where to go next, not that you have a choice where you want to go. Mountains and rivers are used to herd you in the right direction.
This game will take an experienced Role-player about four days to complete. Not bad for a first time RPG, but there is a lot to work on if there is going to be anymore.
King Arthur and the Knights of Justice (Enix)
When I think of King Arthur I think of Camelot, magic, epic battles, and a very interesting and gripping legend. However, I do not think of a football team assuming the roles of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I don't see these "knights" running around and shooting fireballs out of their shields at evil warlords in huge war machines. And also, I don't think all of Britain is covered with an interwoven maze of trees.
This game tries hard to be like Secret of Mana, and fails. Graphically this game looks rather dull, most of the scenery consists of identical trees and the rare town. The character animation is well done. The sound effects are pretty good, as is the music. The game is very easy to control, however all you really do is walk around in forests and castles and either swing your sword or shoot fireballs. When you get the warlord armor and wear it, no enemies will attack you in the forests, which makes up 80% of the game.
The storyline is pretty weak, your main goal in the game is to collect 12 shields and 12 keys, a set for each of your knights. You have to take two other knights with you on quests, which is pointless. When you walk around some trees your knights will get stuck behind them every time. What's worse is that these stupid knights of yours will just stand in front of you and block your path for a couple of minutes -- this is an example of very crappy AI. There are very slight deviations from the storyline which basically try to get you lost in the forest so that the game seems to take forever to solve. To tell you the truth, by the time I found the 7th key I was bored to tears.
It's a pity that this game is as lousy as the cartoon it is fashioned after.
Chrono Trigger by Square has been set for a September 1st release. I will be devoting my next feature article to this awesome RPG.