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サーフィン CLASSIC VIDYA REVIEW

Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals
(Completed on 19 Mar 2024)

  • Surely this is the LONGEST game I have played so far? In-game timer said 30-something hours, and I don’t think it was quite that bad, because there were times when I’d leave it on the TV and walk away (just like as a kid!). But it’s a long time for sure.
  • That said, the game doesn’t really drag on. There aren’t any sections that purely feel like padding. It’s just…. an RPG. This is what they do.
  • Having not played the first Lufia game, I thought the storyline was surprisingly coherent (translation errors aside) and even had some surprises
  • Characters, towns, and even dungeon designs are VERY well fleshed out. Dungeon layouts, for example, are very easy to understand and hold in your mind. But, they are not simplistic; some dungeons are very brutal
  • Mercifully, no aspect of the game is so brutal that you ever find yourself grinding for levels
  • I would bucket the soundtrack under “good-not-great.” Nothing about it is overtly bad, but there is very VERY little variety. It is pretty easy to get tired of a lot of these songs.
  • Not really sure this is a bad thing, but if you’re “an RPG person,” be warned: Lufia II is very linear. The game loop is (1) visit new city (2) talk to who’s in charge (3) they send you to nearby dungeon to pick up the mcguffin (4) go get the mcguffin, and after bringing it back, you’re allowed to progress to the next city. Only at the very tail end of the game is there any point in backtracking or revisiting old places you’ve been.
  • Speaking of the game loop, this game contains an area called the Ancient Cave, which drops you into a sort of roguelike game where the dungeons are randomly generated and you always start with none of your equipment. I did not try this out at all (as you can see from the stats screen above) but people seem to like it a lot. Others have even written that it’s almost like getting an entire second game for free, because it’s so deep. Some time when I’m not as RPG’d out, maybe I’ll pick this back up and see if the replay value is really there.
  • There are puzzles in this game which are absolutely diabolical. They do succeed in their mission though, which is that you “feel smart” after solving them.
  • Oh and don’t make my mistake of using the US ROM if you can help it. There’s a dungeon near the end of the game that is totally glitched out and you can’t see a thing. It doesn’t make the game unplayable; it is navigable with a guide. But apparently this is fixed in Euro or JP versions.
  • By and large, I would rate this one a “only give it a try if you’ve burned through all other SNES jarpigs.” You’ll like it if you’re jonesin for a fix, but it’s not a must-play.
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サーフィン CLASSIC VIDYA REVIEW

Spyro the Dragon
(Completed on 6 Mar 2024)

  • Another one to file in “absolutely not gonna 100%+ this.” It is just too boring. I love a collectathon as much as anybody, but Spyro has absolutely no payoff at all for anything you are collecting.
  • The level design is hit or miss. Some areas of some levels are amazing to look at and play through. Other places are expanses of vast emptiness, or baby’s first platforming, or paths that lead nowhere and dead end. By and large, I never really found myself looking forward to the next level. Some time in the middle of the Magic Crafters world, I was ready to just hurry through the rest of the game and be done with it.
  • Like almost everything else on the PSX, this was my first time through this game. It doesn’t hold up very well in Current Year.
  • Credit where due: there are actual reasons why a lot of the people who worked on this game are famous now. The music and voice acting is great. The controls feel awesome; even using the d-pad instead of analog sticks is very fluid.
  • By and large, that is probably the point of the game. The controls feel so good, and Spyro has so much personality, that when you’re a little kid, you can spend hours running around and flying around in these worlds and not really get bored with it.
  • Insomniac probably knew what they had on their hands wrt the controls; the final boss is basically a small scale racing game, it’s not an action sequence at all.
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