Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Virtual Hydlide - Virtua Vomit!

Ah, yon traveler! Far have you journeyed in your quest to find the princess who was changed into the three fairies by the dragon! Long have you fought the trees and the bees and faced off against the long, twisting and turning halls of the cave! Your journey has come this far, but hark unto me! You forgot to look in the 4th room of the 2nd cave and you forgot an item! Good luck back tracking!

Who can forget the wondrous feel of those awesome fantasy games of old? Those classic knights and dragon games where you had to use a lot of imagination while you played were a staple of old RPG's. That awesome feeling of destroying your enemy and gaining those sweet levels on your way to destroy the master of evil. Toss all of that aside for the one known as Jim! That’s right, you are now Jim and you’re rummaging through random crap to face the evil overlord.

The first thing you may notice, when you pop this into your Saturn for some ungodly reason, is that the character looks extremely plain and very bland. Sure, starting with a blank slate is a good thing, but this? He doesn’t even look like a product of the middle ages, he looks far too much like every single white guy with dark hair ever! He is so generic that putting armor on him makes him look like a guy with an armor overlayer. It’s like they found the perfect mismatch character and they were none the wiser.

Then there's the item system. Using items in any capacity is a hassle no matter how you slice it. Bringing up the interface for any reason forces you to stop what you're doing and concentrate on it. This was fine back in the 8-bit era when we were first working out the mechanics of a game, but now? They should know better. There are so many items you have to dig through, it slows the game's pace which didn't need any more hindering to begin with.

Add that to some of the worst landscapes brought to 32-bits and you have a craptacular journey ahead of you. You travel around forests and caves with a straight back point of view, this makes hit detection almost impossible because the vantage has no depth perception. You could be swinging your club at a monster from two feet away instead of two inches and you wouldn’t be able to tell.

The quests you go on can all equate to “Go to this place and get this thing.” Fetch quests are aplenty and they’re only made harder through their monotony. If you are not lulled into a passive sense of blandness, then you are frustrated that every single enemy you face can kill you in just one or two hits. The abrupt and tedious deaths are common place here. You could finally feel like you’re getting somewhere, but then you run into a tree that contains a patch of bees and it’s over. They kill you almost instantly and don’t apologize. They don’t even buy you a drink!

After you die, the load times become ridiculous! Between levels and continue screens, the load times are around 50% of the game! It gets so boring! The worst thing you could do to a game is make it boring and unplayable. This game is playable, but just barely.

The castle setting is probably the best you’ll find in this game, as they do look quite nice and actually reflect well with the game’s “tone.” The caves, however, are just black walls, black floor and some dark gray bones. You will run into the wall constantly if you do not keep a close eye on the map. They become a problem, especially when you’re forced to platform! Yes! Platforming from a back point of view in a game where you did not have to platform anywhere else. Well, there’s a platforming cave and good luck getting everything you need out of it!

While this is popularly known as the worst game on the Saturn, it’s honestly playable enough to stay away from the top of the list. However, it has made so many worst game lists, it’s comical at this point. If you don’t suffer from motion sickness as the POV and the framerate, it may be worth your time to try. Some people actually like it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you troll someone into buying it, lying to their faces, we shall fire our Virtua Beam Cannons into your face! Virtua DIE!!!!

1 comment:

Peter said...

Now I am even more compelled to try this game out, LOL. Excellent article.