Jewel Master (Genesis) review
A fantasy setting, a demon king conquering the land with his army, and a quest for the holy blade. Jewel Master won't win points for story originality, but the chances of you wanting to play this for its plot and "world-building" is next to zero. Instead, mechanics and its approach to combat are the two things that will get you interested in this side-scrolling action title. Attacking is done with the use of magic rings, and when your journey begins within a forest, you're in possession of a red ring and a blue ring, one on each hand. The red unleashes a fiery melee slash that can be used to take out roaming golems and ogres, along with rambunctious pterosaur creatures in the sky. If your timing is right with the blue ring, you can erect a barrier to block attacks for one second.
Nice, but not a unique concept for a video game. However, the interesting part comes with another trick you can do with the rings: combine their powers. If you place the red and blue rings on the same hand... nothing happens. But! Moments later, inside a ruined building, a new ring drops from a defeated armored foe. Combine it with either the red or the blue ring, and the result will be a projectile shot to keep enemies at a distance. Obtaining rings becomes a theme with each successive stage, creating new fusions like running faster, jumping higher, or a longer lasting barrier, which in turn invites for different solutions to combat. Though, to prevent your protagonist from being too powerful, you can only use two rings per hand.
Community review by dementedhut (November 09, 2023)
As vaguely implied in the review, SpellCaster would get a Sega Genesis "sequel" called Mystic Defender. Both SpellCaster and Mystic Defender are actually reworked versions of Kujaku Ou and Kujaku Ou 2, based on a manga series that began in 1986.
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