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   PlanetDreamcast | Features | Previews | Record of Lodoss War

Record of Lodoss War
Build up your guy to tear the world apart. - by Tren

Record of Lodoss War Logo

Record of Lodoss War is a new Dreamcast title based on a Japanese anime of the same name. Realizing the potential alienation a title purely aimed at anime fans would cause, the game's developer Neverland have instead created a 3-D Action/RPG title, akin to Sega's Skies of Arcadia and GameArt's Grandia II. However, Neverland isn't intent on merely copying the current Dreamcast RPG crop. Record of Lodoss War promises a number of significant differences to set it apart as a worthy purchase in its own right.

The game's setting, Lodoss, is an island doomed to death and war. A millennium has passed since the Battle of the Gods ended, where evil was locked away and there was much rejoicing as peace returned to their once fraught lives. Unfortunately, an evil sorceress has regained much of her power since, and her wicked ways may soon be unleashed across the land. This storyline is very reminiscent of Grandia II's Battle of Good and Evil scenario, and it's up to you and a band of warriors to put wrong to right.

Timmy just can't get enough of that healing potion, now available in small, medium, and extra medium.

Timmy equips a two-handed sword for some two-handed killing!

The designers have certainly kept "to the book" with this RPG's locations, although this is more an inheritance of the anime series rather than adhering to cliches. Traditional RPG fans can expect familiar looking old-fashioned dungeon to explore replete with ugly monsters to battle, clunky old weapons to wield, and powerful magic to cast. Beginning your quest to save Lodoss from reliving its darkest moments, you take control of a legendary dead warrior, recently resurrected by a powerful wizard. The wizard resurrected you to aid with ridding Lodoss of all evil forces since he is not powerful enough to do so alone. Through a 3-D isometric viewpoint, players can explore the huge game world for offer. During your quest you will travel through many different types of environment beyond the traditional dungeons. Towns, swamps, deserts, forests, and caverns are all lovingly rendered with great attention to detail. Although these may not seem like awe-inspiring locations for an RPG, they certainly look the part.

Unlike other recent RPGs such as Grandia II, Record of Lodoss War uses a real-time battle system. This may sound odd to turn-based aficionados who could initially find a different battle system frustrating, but it can be mastered. Perseverance is the key -- the game looks like it will reward those who practice. Players will receive better weapons and tactics as they progress through the game, no doubt making the huge battles very enjoyable and satisfying. Due to the real-time nature of battles, reflexes are definitely of greater importance here, but that'll certainly keep players on their toes! Magic plays a lesser part in this game than other RPGs at first. Further into the game though, the acquiring of magic spells begins properly. As with the battle scheme, the magic system differs from the usual RPG implementation. Magic must be primed before use which adds an extra dimension to battles (i.e. you've got to make sure you've got the required spell prepared otherwise you'll quickly get defeated by your opponent).

Goblins just love to talk, kind of like that aunt you have to killfile.

Deedlit looks sad. Maybe it has something to do with her superdeformed ears.

Weapons themselves are one of the most complicated yet rewarding elements of Record of Lodoss War. Instead of the usual weapon's upgrade system, whereby the player's weapon either gets better over time/experience or is simply traded in, players must collect a special ore type called milrith. Milrith is found either in chests throughout the game or by having the friendly blacksmith melt down your existing weapons. With milrith and a range of ancient inscriptions also found within the game, you can create bigger and better weapons with the help of the blacksmith. The inscriptions are found simply by reading them off rocks or finding them. Each requires a different amount of milrith to be carved into a weapon, and once a sufficient amount is obtained the inscription can be properly carved into the weapon. The advantages a better weapon brings are increased significantly in this game, due to the importance of reflexes.

Finishing off this promising package is a top-notch front-end. Intuitive menu screens are the order of the day, which are welcome considering the wealth of options on offer within the game. Overall the polish given to the title is clear, especially noticeable in the game's cut-scenes.

The game promises to be another huge Dreamcast RPG crammed onto a GD-ROM. Whilst initially the RPG genre's Dreamcast offerings were only small ten hour length games such as Evolution, recently the platform has seen a spate of quality epic RPGs. Record of Lodoss War will hopefully follow in their footsteps, with a seemingly huge mission to accomplish over many varied locations, taking the user upwards of 50 hours to complete.

Record of Lodoss War promises to be a welcome addition to the Dreamcast's RPGame library. With a few interesting spins on traditional RPG elements, a huge playing world, and a cool weapons system, this is definitely one to look out for.

Next: More screenshots!

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