Imagine the Muppets acting out A Clockwork Orange - Review By Subskin
Silver also features an intriguing gameplay system. Combat is especially unusual: you hold down the R trigger to prepare for combat, then move the analog stick in the direction you want to swing your weapon. For instance, pressing left swipes the sword horizontally, while forward executes a lunging stab. While holding the R trigger, pressing the B button blocks with your shield. Each move has advantages and disadvantages and is more or less effective depending on how your enemy is standing. This is confusing at first, but quickly grows on you. Instead of repeatedly pressing the attack button, you must guard and counter like in a fighting game. I find myself hoping for more games to pick up this technique. Fighting is even more exciting when you command a party of three adventurers. By switching between them using the D-pad, you can quickly jump from a seven-foot-tall swordsman to a magic-using monk. Like most of Silver, it takes a while to get the hang of fighting with three guys at the same time, but it's still another innovative and interesting feature.
The Final Attacks are usually very entertaining, if not graphically impressive. They're also a good way to make your friends hate you.
In a word: boring.
Silver is more like a novel than a role playing game -- it is the most linear game I've ever played. You have to go to each place in order, and with little in the way of clues to guide you. While the load times aren't horrendous, they are long enough to make you watch a black screen for three or four seconds every time you enter a new room. Each room is so small - at most two full screens - that you end up staring at that blank loading screen far too often.
Once you get into a room, you really have nothing to do but fight. Even though the doors remain wide open, you cannot exit a room until you've killed everything in it. There's no stealth involved; the enemies just rush into weapon-range and open fire. The enemies are so easily dispatched that dying happens about as often as Freddie Prinze, Jr. makes a decent movie -- never. Most of the bosses are equally pathetic, following such rigid patterns that you should have no problem wiping them out the first time you play. All you have to do is try random actions until you figure out which one hurts them and kept doing it. In other words, you have no choices about how to fight the bosses, either.
Even the versus screens look great. I could get used to this.
About the only thing you can choose in Silver is which characters to take with you. There is a nice variety of characters, but two factors destroy even this bit of variety. First, the computer controls the two characters that you aren't. This would be all fine and dandy, except that the computer allies don't DO anything except defend themselves. They will sit there and watch you get beaten like Ricky Martin at a biker bar, only swinging if an enemy happens to directly attack them. Second, when you run out of health you simply fall down and take over another character. If you can clear out the room with the remaining two characters, the fallen one gets back up with 1 hit point. Eat some of the food that is conveniently stashed everywhere in Silver, and you've got your party back in tip-top shape before you even leave the room. The only way to lose is to have your entire party wiped out in a single room, which is less likely than seeing Tekken 4 on the Dreamcast. This complete lack of challenge served to kill any interest I might have had in the proceedings.
In any event, once you kill all the enemies in a room, you're free to explore. Here, again, Silver fails as an RPG. By holding down the L trigger, you can cycle through all available actions in the room -- pull switch, pick up object, exit. All you have to do is cycle through them all before you leave the room, and you'll never miss a thing. Puzzles, I'm afraid, do not exist in Silver.
Lastly, Silver camera angles get extremely annoying at times. When your character is the size of an ant in the middle of five or six of Silver's army, you can't see a damned thing that is happening. All you end up doing is swinging the sword or casting spells as fast as possible, and hope everything that dies is an enemy.
The Final Word
Silver tells a wonderful story with striking graphics and sound. It also boasts an innovative and enjoyable combat system. However, the completely linear structure, frequent loading pauses, and absentee AI prevented it from engaging me. As much as I want to like this beautiful game, I can't help but file it under "could've been."
Developer: Spiral House
Highs: Striking visuals, innovative combat, and splendid dialogue.
Lows: Boring to play, linear plot, frequent loading pauses.
Other: 1 Player, VMU compatible (15 blocks), Jump Pack Compatible.
Intro (MPEG) - The second (and more interesting) half of the game's long intro. [Big (19.4M)] - [Med (10.4M)] - [Small (2.2M)]
Gameplay 1 (MPEG) - The first action sequence. The characters are tiny. [Big (17.9M)] - [Med (9.6M)] - [Small (2.1M)]
(out of a possible 10)
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