OK, I've never done this before, so we'll see where it leads Gameplay
Addictive, since there's so much to do in this game; collecting all kinds of items & stuff, rares, legendary equipment for each character, while you'll also want to complete the game, level all your characters up(5 different ones & a few unlockables), raise the monsters you've caught, a ton of VMU mini games, lots of quests to do (I daresay at least 100) and a weird world to explore. Beware, though this game has been promoted & sold as an RPG, it is in fact a dungeon crawler in its purest form. This is not game for the average RPG fan who gets off on words like â€œepicâ€.
The dungeons are generated randomly & here lies the game's strong point imo, I've played the game for well over 60 hours atm & have completed about half of the item list, Â¾ of the monster list, a few rares & a fraction of the legendary items. Inside the dungeons its basic RPG stuff; you enter it with 1 character & a max of 2 of your caught monsters & battles are turnbased (although a bit more tactical then turnbased since you're fighting on a grid).As you level up, you'll learn more spell& skills as in every other RPG. However (and this is the part why most folks will throw this game away after a few hours), when you leave a dungeon, all your characters levels will be reset to 1; your spells, skills & rank however, will be kept. And this is the important part about this game, if a character is say rank 1 (they all have different names for each character, so I'm using numbers), you'll enter a dungeon at level 1 with way 10 health, but if you enter a dungeon with rank 2 at level 1, you'll have 20 health (just using fictive numbers here); this affects all stats, so even if your level drops back to 1 after a quest, you'll still be stronger than when you started it; its just something you'll have to see through.Graphics
The graphics are of high quality for such an early dreamcast title (1999), specially in VGA, it all looks very polished & cartoonesque, with everything in bright colors. The cutscenes are simple FMV, but good enough for its time & they do the job well. The light effects are quite good as well, this mostly shows when using spells or regenerative items, like in any other RPG. As in a lot of the early dreamcast games, the camera seems to live a life of its own at some parts in the game, but again this is a minor flaw that only happens outside of the dungeons (in town) so it isn't a big deal since there are no enemies there. Inside the dungeons, the camera is completely controllable & it does the job fine imo.Sound/Music
Nothing special here; average RPG style music on the worldmap (in town) & dark ambient like stuff inside the dungeons. The good thing is that with every character you play, the music changes its tune (a nice touch imo). Sound is ok too, hits, stabs, shots & spells; nothing special here, but the sounds used are very clear & again they do the jobStory
This is a very short game in terms of story & classic for any RPG oriented game: your underdog hero gets swallowed by a book & teleported to another world thats made up of parts of the world, but all from different areas in time (they are floating islands, connected by bridges) and he has to find his way home, meeting other playable characters as the story continues. Nothing fancy, but it keeps the game going.Replay
And now we get to the part where the game shines. Although its a very short game by RPG standards (you can see the end sequence in 20 to 25 hours if you want), the replay value is immense, for the true dungeon crawler (me
); coz of the many secrets to be unlocked, tons of stuff to be found (items alone, I think over 200), catch monsters & put em to work in your VMU to raise their stats, level up all your characters ranks & skills and their legendary weapons, renovate your house, find & buy rares for your collection room (there's a VMU mini game that lets you draw a picture that you can later hang on your house wall inthe game, etc...). There's a bunny with a leather mask & loincloth where you can get a job (quests), these consist of various things, like catch a monster & raise to level x, find a certain item in a certain dungeon, kill a certain boss, etc... Some of them are found easily, others you'll have to raid the dungeon again & again to find it. At one point I tried to kill 3+ of a certain monster in a certain dungeon & the reward was a skill I wanted really bad; it took me 2 whole weeks to complete that quest, it did it 2 or 3 times a day (they usually take between 30 mins & 1 hour per quest). Overall7/10
Great, but not for everyone; if you love leveling up for the sake of leveling up and if you're the kind of gamer that needs to get every last item & secret out of a game, this is for you. If you expect â€œepicâ€ in terms of the FF games, avoid like the plague. If you liked Azure Dreams on the PSX, you'll love Time Stalkersvid 1vid 2vid 3
We are SEGA generation.