The Legend of Oasis (Saturn) review
"A long time ago, on the island of Oasis, two men were at war with each other, Reharl and Agito, with the help of armlets. Agito had the Silver Armlet, and used it to do very, very bad things, while Reharl had the Golden Armlet, which had the ability to summon different spirits, and used his to stop Agito from doing any more very, very bad things. In the end, Reharl defeated Agito, and the inhabitants of Oasis lived happily ever after. The En..... that is, until now. Ordan, a badass-looking old d..."
A long time ago, on the island of Oasis, two men were at war with each other, Reharl and Agito, with the help of armlets. Agito had the Silver Armlet, and used it to do very, very bad things, while Reharl had the Golden Armlet, which had the ability to summon different spirits, and used his to stop Agito from doing any more very, very bad things. In the end, Reharl defeated Agito, and the inhabitants of Oasis lived happily ever after. The En..... that is, until now. Ordan, a badass-looking old dude, stumbled upon the Golden Armlet, and being the wise man that he is, figured that if the Golden Armlet was found, that the other one was also discovered. Fearing that a new war would come upon the island, Ordan gave the Golden Armlet to his son, Leon, forced him to search for and use the Elemental Spirits, and go up against the one with the Silver Armlet.
This was also the plot for Beyond Oasis.
So, armed with the Golden Armlet and a short sword, you travel into the wilderness of Oasis in this overhead action-RPG, fighting armored soldiers, giant rats, zombies, and other devious foes waiting to kill you. Slashing and kicking your way through these enemies will usually get the job done, but when things get heavy, you can use special moves by inputting fighting game-esque commands on the d-pad. You won't know what these special moves are right away, however, and you have to end up looking for Obelisks (tall, black stones) to discover the moves written on them. One certain special move that'll become effective for most of your journey is the backflip slash. Its name says it all, where you perform a backflip and do a slash in the process (you can do it up to three times in a row), that'll end up severely draining a lot out of an opponent.
You can also do this in Beyond Oasis.
For the majority of The Legend of Oasis, you'll be venturing from one maze-like ruin to another, doing simple stuff like kicking ass and "puzzle solving" (if you consider flipping switches and rolling balls on floor switches puzzles). And of course, like most games, you'll have to fight a menacing (it better be) boss at the end of each one. In TLoO's case, you'll be battling such "things" as a giant, green sea creature that uses various types of water attacks, and a sand monster that'll use such moves as a sand twister and "sand mummies" on you. Once you defeat these nuisances, you'll be rewarded with an Elemental Spirit. There are six in all, and each posses a unique ability. Efreet, for example, is a fire spirit that can use such powers like a flame breath and a fire storm to burn up enemies and destroy certain tree barks. Also, with Bawu, the earth spirit, you can command it to eat certain objects or creatures (like rats), or make it unleash a large amount of spores that home in on nearby enemies.
These, too, are featured in Beyond Oasis.
That's a good thing, right? I mean, Beyond Oasis was a pretty cool Genesis game, so this is guaranteed to be a good game, too. Unfortunately, and surprisingly, this is more of a downgrade when compared to its predecessor. You'd think that being on a more powerful console, that Ancient (the developers) would take advantage of the Saturn's capabilities. In terms of graphics, they kinda do: the animation looks smoother here than in BO, but not by a giant leap, it's more like a hop. Also, the music isn't as exciting, and at times, very low key. Now, I know it's because Yuzo Koshiro had to deal with the limits of the sound memory of the system when trying to create orchestral-style music, but he could've at least tried something different.
Beyond Oasis is the better game.
Another sad sight is the dummied-down enemies. There were many moments in BO where you'll be overwhelmed, and while that may sound bad, it was fun taking on all the baddies at once with a dagger. Here, you'll be lucky to get two strong opponents to attack you at once. However, Ancient seemed to rectify this problem by simplifying your move set, and removed the more useful and cooler moves from BO in the process. Now most of the fights resort to using two special moves and constant jabbing, over and over again. Ironically, the one feature that was left unbruised, the Elemental Spirits system, could've used some improvements. These spirits act the same way and have the same move sets from BO. Ancient added two new spirits to the existing four, which is nice, but it would've been cool if they had given the original four some new moves, too.
Play Beyond Oasis.
Now, The Legend of Oasis is a pretty decent action-RPG game on its own, and you might just enjoy it if you've never played the first title. However, TLoO is such a disappointing sequel that could've went the distance to improve on many things, but it didn't. Instead, it just makes you appreciate just how cool Beyond Oasis was. (insert joke sentence here that ends the review)
Community review by dementedhut (February 11, 2006)
Odd timing: my gut was telling me to release the Double Dragon Advance review on the 9th, but I put it up earlier. After submission, I then remembered the Lunar animal was the dragon... Intuition is a helluva thing.
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