"Tail of the Sun is something I've heard about ever since it was released, but never had the chance to play. However, every time I've read up on it in some magazine, the person seemed to have a hard time explaining how the game works. They would basically describe it as a game about nothing. This bugged me for years, so I finally got a used copy of Tail of the Sun to see just what the hell it's about. "
Tail of the Sun is something I've heard about ever since it was released, but never had the chance to play. However, every time I've read up on it in some magazine, the person seemed to have a hard time explaining how the game works. They would basically describe it as a game about nothing. This bugged me for years, so I finally got a used copy of Tail of the Sun to see just what the hell it's about.
It's a game about nothing. Well... no, but it sure feels like one. You start out with a small tribe consisting of two cavemen and one cavewoman, one of which you'll have to choose as your starting character. Once you get that out of the way, you'll get dropped in the middle of a giant continent, where you can travel anywhere you want. There's no in-game map. There's two in the manual, but they aren't 100% accurate, forcing you to guess where you're walking all the time. And just why do you have to walk around this big world on your two feet? Well, believe it or not, this tribe is trying to touch the Sun, and the only way they can do that is by building a tower made out of mammoth tusks.
But, as always, accomplishing this isn't going to be easy. And, since the developers probably grew up in a masochist training camp, this isn't going to be fun, either. Mammoths are strong creatures, and you'll be killed instantly if you try to defeat one right away with just your bare hands. So, in order to get better weapons, you're going to have to build up a larger tribe, which you do by hunting and killing a bunch of animals.
Hunting prey is always a colossal annoyance due to so many problems. Every time you attack a creature, you're in danger of dying; you have no type of health bar (there's a "life" meter, but that's for how long your character's lifespan is), so you have no clue if the next hit you take will be the last. Another nuisance is that your caveperson constantly and randomly falls asleep. You have no warning whatsoever before this happens, they just hit the ground and break out the Zs no matter what you were doing with them, which includes fighting. This forces you into an uncomfortable position of waiting for your character to fall asleep before taking on a beast with a lot of strength. The most frustrating thing, however, happens after you kill an animal. They transform into pieces of meat, and, once you pick them up, you have an option box asking if you want to take it back to your tribe. Of course, since you want and need to power up to a better weapon, you pick yes.
This... unfortunately, transports you all the way back to your tribe, forcing you to venture out again. You can be all the way on the other side of the continent, which takes maybe five to ten minutes to get to, and you'll have to get moved back to your starting position just because of a piece of meat. Would've been nice if you had a small inventory screen to stock these pieces in before you travel back. I mean, I know he's a friggin caveman, but I've seen characters in other video games stock a million types of weapons up their asses without a problem.
Even if some of these problems in Tail of the Sun were corrected, it still would've turned out to be an incredibly boring, time-consuming game. You hunt, you gather, you go back to your tribe, and you repeat this a bijillion times. I've played the game for about five hours, which is already way too much, and I only have been leveled up a few times, and got slightly better weapons. I have no tusks yet (mainly because I can't find any damn mammoths), and judging by a picture I've seen in the manual, I'm going to need about 20 or more of these damn things before I reach the Sun.
The Sun can kiss my ass.
Community review by pickhut (September 04, 2008)
Alternative tagline: Hit the Road, Jack.
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