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Lagoon (SNES) artwork

Lagoon (SNES) review


"And my goodness, how Lagoon PLAYS. The 'sword' that you wield is little more than a potato peeler. Its range is excruciatingly limited, and that coupled with inane collision detection makes for horrible battles. The fact that EXCESSIVE level building is necessary to advance pass the difficult bosses, simply exacerbates an already frustrating fighting experience."



An exercise in tedium

I warn you -- this story does not have a happy ending. Lagoon is the single worst game I have ever played to completion. (I'm obsessive compulsive, and a perfectionist, those are my excuses.) If being a horrid game was a crime, all Lagoon's defense could do would be to plead insanity on behalf of Kemco/Seika, the game's creators.

But surely the story should be half decent at least, should it not? Lagoon is an action-RPG after all! Well, you are Nasir, Child of Light, and you must restore peace and prosperity to Lakeland by cleansing the contaminated waters. That bad you say? Let us count the ways.

Lagoon looks bad. The colours are dismal and the drawings much, much too simple. There have been many superior 8-bit offerings. The animation is also poor; several frames appear to be missing from each character's movements. The only positives are the decent size of your character and some of the enemies, and the boss designs. The last boss, the phoenix-like creature, is especially exciting -- though in appearance only.

The music is far from memorable, and is sometimes downright depressing. Sound effects in this game can best be described as 'dinky'. The combined look and sound of the game's dungeons will beckon you to the bright outdoors, and away from your SNES and the oppressive tedium that the game shackles you with. Never mind that it's ten at night and raining.

And my goodness, how Lagoon plays. The 'sword' that you wield is little more than a potato peeler. Its range is excruciatingly limited, and that coupled with inane collision detection makes for horrible battles. The fact that excessive level building is necessary to advance pass the difficult bosses, simply exacerbates an already frustrating fighting experience. The bosses have very simple patterns, yet take ages to dispatch if you're not leveled up (and you won't be!). In fact, the game moves so slowly on the whole, that you might well mistake the next action-RPG you play for Sonic the Hedgehog.

Does Lagoon have any redeeming qualities? If you have to play every action-RPG to come down the pike -- like me -- then I suppose it has one: it's an action-RPG. Otherwise, as a SNES player, play anything else. Zelda III, Soulblazer, Illusion of Gaia, Brandish, Brain Lord and even Terranigma are far superior examples of the sub-genre for this system.

I take back what I said to begin. There is a happy ending. If this review dissuades you at all from playing Lagoon, feel happy, and above all, grateful. And about my imaginary court proceedings? Kemco would have settled. Make sure you don't.

Rating: 2/10

Masters's avatar
Staff review by Marc Golding (January 13, 2004)

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