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Reply to topic GDR Forum Index -> Game Developer's Refuge -> ROTM Episode 1: Ninjutsu Art of Trilby
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Joined: 24 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:43 pm    Post subject: ROTM Episode 1: Ninjutsu Art of Trilby Reply with quote

Games to be reviewed: Revenge of Shinobi (Genesis), Trilby: Art of Theft (PC)

This is it, the first in what may or may not be a common once a month segment on GDR. As promised, there are gonna be thieves and ninjas (or better yet, one game for each side). So, why don't I just kick things off with an early Genesis title.

~Revenge of Shinobi~

There are times when I feel that modern gaming is doing too much. Drugging out all too familiar concepts with realism, physics, lenghty dialogue accompanied by an all too familiar plotline, and most importantly, gimmicky game mechanics that ruin the experience. It's times like this that I wish gaming (in general) would just go back to the basics. Great classic games like Revenge of Shinobi didn't have this problem, developers knew that the hardware couldn't support all that stuff, so they put more emphasis on the tight controls, fun and challenging gameplay, nifty looking graphics, catchy audio, and the overall experience that ties it all together.

:What Makes it Great, Even in Today's Time?:

Aside from that last points I just stated, it was one of the very first games to show off the potential of 16-bit gaming, which was considered explored territory at the time. Like many classic games, the controls and mechanics are easily understood within a few seconds. There are 8 rounds divided into three sections (the last section being a pretty challenging boss fight) and for some reason, I never felt like I was going through the same environment twice. The music's also pretty catchy, this being based on the fact that I can't get it out of my system. The basic attack is a shuriken throw (or a melee attack if you have none), and you can through a bunch of them at the same time when undergoing a double jump sequence. A big hook to this game are the ninjutsu powers, consisting of an electrical forcefield, dragon-shaped fire pillars, an agility enhancer, and an explosive kamikazee move that consumes one life. Basically, it's a full package of great stuff

:What Holds it Back, You Wonder?:

Not much. Just the fact that the double jump requires percise button presses, some bosses requiring great maneuvering and percision to hit without getting hit yourself, and the absurd difficulty (even on Easy). A lesser problem is the fact that Sega is constantly forgetting to add this game in their classic games compilations, which is such a big shame.

*The Wrap-Up: One of the many great classic Genesis games that needs to be added in a classic games download service (or better yet, Sega's classic games compilations)
*Progress: Right up to the last boss, then got owned (on Easy difficulty)

That's enough nostalgia. Let's get to a more "modern" game.

~Trilby: Art of Theft~

Everybody knows about Ben Yahtzee. He does his Zero Punctuation review every Wednesday and he's also made some point and click adventure titles. Ben Yahtzee wanted to attempt to go for a more gameplay oriented design than his other games. And that's where Trilby: Art of Theft comes in.

~Fine Points about the game~

Keep in mind that this is a stealth game, which translates to the "avoid combat" style of game. Unlike the commercial stealth titles out there (this may of been intended), there are no terrorist conflicts, maniacs with psychic powers, or anything like what you expect from Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell. It's just sneaking past guards and cameras, stealing loot, picking locks for doors and safes, entering numerical code combinations, and avoiding the lasers. You do get to zap guards and the like, but you can only do it so many times before the mission has to be aborted, mainly because the master thief you play as in this game prefers avoiding violent conflicts. As you complete and re-complete missions, you gain RP (Reputation Points) for which you can spend cool abilities like moving while hiding along the wall and allowing more alarms to be triggered before the mission is aborted. And of this takes place in the gritty year of 1991, where Trilby puts his thieving skills to the test as he steals from the rich and keeps for himself (but it goes into an alternate direction later on). Oh, yeah, and there's six unlockable outfits that grant certain aspects to the game, and the requirements for unlocking them are absurd.

~Grim Parts of the game~

Not much, except for the difficulty, which is especially high when you try to get a perfect completion for a mission.

*Wrap Up: In case Cave Story doesn't please you, this game just might do the trick
*Progress: All 7 missions completed, with a bonus one unlocked

Well, that just about does it for this month. I have no idea what the next episode might be like, but I will be playing some games to find out what to review for next month (I hope).
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