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Heir of Zendor - Koei - Sega Saturn

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Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 275
Location: Portland (the westardly one)

PostPosted: Jul Sun 17, 2005 7:28 am    Post subject: Heir of Zendor - Koei - Sega Saturn Reply with quote

I've been playing Heir of Zendor on and off for about a year or so. It is the US Localization of the Japanese Saturn game Gotha II. It is a strategy game that takes place on a planet that takes place on an unusual planet where water is like gold.

You can find reviews of the game

My opinion of the game falls squarely between the reader reviews and the editorial reviews. It's not a perfect game but is interesting enough to keep playing. The graphics are truly bad however they look better on a tv than on the crisp monitor I'm using.

You begin each battle by arranging your ships in typical launch area. You can place your ships anywhere within the area and are not limited by a grid of any sort. Movement is free and facing is 360 degrees of free rotation. You soon find this is not Heir's only unique point...

Once you've placed a limited number of ships (8 is typical, plus your flagship) you enter into class turn based combat. Each force moves all (or some) of it's units during its turn. It is in movement that you find another of Heir's uniquenesses.

Movement is done from a "over-the-shoulder" kind of viewpoint (of the sort you find in most 3D action adventure games) with the terrain spread out before you like a big mode 7 field. You move by driving your ship around on the field. I say "driving" because apparently there is no vertical component to this world, you can't go up or down.

Movement can be hellacious if you don't plan your turn carefully, you'll find the "hit" areas of ships are vastly larger than the ships themselves and it is nearly impossible to weave between even a loose group of allied ships. While some would find this frustrating, after a while you get used to it and it actually adds a bit to the tactical element.

Thankfully this is Koei and we're not entirely limited to the battlefield (with it's bland graphics and sometimes challenging gameplay). Between missions we can outfit our ships with different armament. There are (I think) ~48 weapons that can be equipped on ~6 classes of ships. I've not beat the game yet so those figures are estimates.

Speaking of beating the game, there are several branches in the story, all based on what you do in combat or decisions you make at certain story junctures. If you like the gameplay then you'll dig that.

First impressions of the music were 'thrilling' but it soon grew tiresome...alas, most game music is that way for me. The voice acting is bad, bad, bad. NO emotion whatsoever. Text is shoddily translated, story is confusing as hell. I never pay attention to stories in games anyway.

If you can handle the clunkyness of a Saturn game then I'd recommend it.
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