|Time Stalkers - Retroview|
Time Compression Twisted To A New End
| Battle System
| Replay Value
| Time to Complete
When I first started Time Stalkers, I was entranced. Not only were
the graphics stunning (for its time), and the music very atmospheric and
real, but the beginning sequence and intro to the game are more than
enough to suck you in and keep you - for awhile, that is. While many of
the ideas in Time Stalkers were fresh and original, by the time I had
finished I had a feeling of "Yes, it's finally over."
The battle system takes one step back and two steps forward.
First, your party of three (a main character and two captured monsters)
fight on four squares against one to four parties of monsters. You
enter commands for all of your members, and watch it from there,
reminiscent of the very early Final Fantasies. However, while command
entering is done at your own pace, the attacks, magic, and sequencing
that follows is quick, realistic, and nearly flawless.
The mechanics of this game are very simple to understand, as a
lengthy tutorial at the beginning ensures. In this sectioned world,
there are six main characters, although only one can enter a dungeon at
a time. That character can release two previously captured monsters and
use them in their party. A map in the dungeon is available in three
forms: full (at least what you've discovered), small local, and none at
all. Outside of dungeons the world is very easy to get through,
although some load times leave something to be desired (*clock tower*).
Throughout the game, music accompanies you in many different forms.
Every character has there own music, each dungeon has its dark, somber
drone, and small scenes have very effective music. While all the music
is good, however, I can't for the life of me recall a single song - they
just aren't memorable enough or enjoyable enough to. The sound effects,
as well, just don't cut it in my mind (try it - you'll see what I mean).
|Becoming a Stalker...|| |
As the first RPG to be released on the Dreamcast, it certainly
brought about many changes. Wow, it really did. The story itself was
one that caught my eye in the beginning (but started to wear on my
nerves by the end). Questing, while not truly original, was still done
in a fresh new way (and keeps you sane). There's very little in this
game that isn't original in some way.
Now, as I said before, the storyline caught my eye early on in the
game. However, after getting a few of the main characters, it started
to go sour. Not only are the characters very transparent, so to say,
but they are very predictible and often annoying. While getting close
to the end, I had gotten so annoyed at it that I didn't return to the
game for a month, and then I just did questing and minigames.
|Hey you! Wake up!|| |
The many characters that you meet in this odd world are what make
this game more enjoyable. For instance, the local "mafia" is always fun
to poke Lady with. The people in the Japanese suburbs (can you call it
a suburbs anymore?) develop too, becoming more and more dependent on
their TV's and such (which is hilarious). It is these NPC's that get
all the development, which is funny, but in a way, sad. I felt nothing
for the main characters.
This game just looks pretty. Even after seeing some of the movies
in FFX, this game just looks... pretty. The world is very vibrant and
colorful. The only problems with it are these: 1) Sometimes, in battle,
the camera angle will be absolutely disgusting, and finding your enemy
becomes rather difficult, depending only on status information given.
And 2) the dungeon map occasionally matches the dungeon's coloring.
Oops. Did you REALLY want to know where you're going? Oh well. Worse
things in games have happened.
|Lady dispenses some justice.|| |
Difficulty is rather varying. The dungeons are all randomly
produced, but, as common sense would have it, later dungeons ARE a bit
harder than earlier ones. So, the last dungeon could be as easy as two
dungeons before, or it can starve you to death (which it did to me very
often). So, you just have to play it as it lies.
The replay value on this game is phenominal. Absolutely amazing.
Spectacular. Pick a great, positive adjective, and it fits. There are
so many minigames and goals to play around with: capturing every
monster, rare item collecting, questing, you name it. The only reason
that I did not give this a perfect ten was because, personally, I didn't
want to have to sit through the story again and watch the NPC's go
through all the same transformations. Sorry. Other than that, though,
it's extremely addictive. It is also because of these reasons that I
put no upward limit to the time, because this game can last you a good,
long time. I just couldn't stand it for much more than thirty hours,
Overall, this game was a great, original achievement. There are a
plethora (great word, huh?) of different things you can get enraptured
in. However, I gave this game a relatively low score because I just
didn't enjoy it at the end. Somehow, somewhere, the game just lost my
interest and respect. However, you don't have to believe me fully on
this - try it out yourself while the Dreamcast is still out there.