"Imagine yourself as you run quickly through a beautifully detailed cave. The bluish-green crystalline walls, the distant sound of a waterfall rushing through your ears, and a haunting melody that plays in the background as you hack + slash your way through a myriad of monsters. Suddenly, you come to a ledge. Floating tiles, one of which is flashing, circle around this ledge, and you have to jump on the ones that flash. You hold your breah, and take a leap of faith... and miss. Plunging into the ..."
Imagine yourself as you run quickly through a beautifully detailed cave. The bluish-green crystalline walls, the distant sound of a waterfall rushing through your ears, and a haunting melody that plays in the background as you hack + slash your way through a myriad of monsters. Suddenly, you come to a ledge. Floating tiles, one of which is flashing, circle around this ledge, and you have to jump on the ones that flash. You hold your breah, and take a leap of faith... and miss. Plunging into the water below, you take 5 damage and are (somehow) transported back to that ledge. Still determined to get through, you take another leap. You miss again. And again.
Threads of Fate is a lot like that. There's a lot going for it, with clean, detailed graphics, a beautiful soundtrack, and hack + slash moments that rival Squaresoft's other hack + slash games, the legendary Seiken Densetsu series. The platforming aspects of the game, however, are not on that list. It's truly a shame, too, since the platforming almost breaks what would otherwise be an incredible hack + slash experience.
The opening of Threads of Fate starts out simple enough, with the player being asked to choose between two different characters: Mint or Rue. The former, Mint, is a selfish, snobby, bitch of a princess who wouldn't think twice about stabbing someone in the back to achieve her goal. The latter, Rue, is the typical Squaresoft hero. Dark past, serious demeanor, oversized weapon, and a cliché backstory about losing someone he loved. He does, however, have the badass ability to transform into monsters that he's defeated. Depending on the character you choose, you may get sent to different areas, feature different puzzles, or some such, but the majority of the game is still the same. The puzzles in the game are rather simplistic, but they often require each character's abilities. For example, to unlock a certain door you have to defeat a monster that looks like the statue sitting outside the door, then transform into it and stand on the other side.
What is it that brings these characters together, though? They both search for a legendary item known only as the "[relic]". While you only play as your own character throughout the game, you're often bumping into the character you didn't select as you progress through the story. And while the storyline is nothing to write home about, you're sent to a variety of lush, beautiful areas. A forest maze with streams, mushrooms, ancient ruins, and towering trees that opens up into a mountain path you have to cross before climbing up a spiral hill topped by a wizard's ancient abode? Hell yes, and that's just the first area. Not to mention the entire time, your ears are assaulted by deep, haunting melodies. The forest theme that plays in the very first area I described earlier is one such theme, with deep bass playing beneath a higher pitched, melody that fits the theme of the game just right.
While the game isn't terribly long, it offers a little replay value in the ability to play as two characters. Also, it's pretty cheap, going for about $20 on eBay. If you're looking for a pretty good action RPG with quirky, likable characters that fit their roles well, but never really stray outside of those one-dimensional boundaries, there's a lot worse you can do for $20. Just beware of that damn platforming.
Community review by espiga (June 20, 2007)
Espiga likes big butts, and cannot lie.
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