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Paladin's Quest (SNES) artwork

Paladin's Quest (SNES) review

"Overall, Paladin's Quest would be quite the average role playing game if it featured graphics of any decent quality. Unfortunately, it does not. If you can stomach the game's awful appearance, then you'll find a decent gaming experience, but that's a lot to stomach indeed..."

Paladin's Quest starts out decent enough - A nice black screen with the Enix logo in the background. However, from there, the game spirals out of control with graphics that look like a badly drawn 80's cartoon, overshadowing a somewhat interest story and fairly innovative gameplay.

You're a young magic student, studying at the magic institute. One night, on a dare, you venture into the nearby forbidden temple. However, you manage to unleash and ancient power, one which decimates the town. You can't remember anything that happens. It's now your job to save the world from this power, of course.

Typical role playing game fare? Sure is. While the story of Paladin's Quest is not outstanding, it does seperate itself from the crowd a bit with a decent gameplay system, primarily magic, and a good battle system, featuring old school turn based role playing action.

First, the gameplay system. In Paladin's Quest, you have the customary items, such as swords, shields, helmets, armor, ect. However, the magic system is unique. You learn elements from various temples around the world, and you can combine magic types to make hybrid magic.

Also unique is that magic doesn't take away magic points as in normal roleplaying games; rather, there's just one life meter, from which damage and magic points are taken. Meaning, if you want to use a spell, it will drain your hit points. This can be quite a bit frustrating, as you're more likely to rely just on weaponry rather than lose hit points.

The battle system is also different. Namely, you can use any hand you want in battle. Therefore, you can have a different weapon in each hand, in case there's enemies who are weak against one type but not another. You can even have two shields, if you want to be defended extra well.

However, this new battle system does not come without serious disadvantages. A wrong press of the controller pad can cause you to attack with your shield, instead of your sword. And battles move along at a plodding pace, simply because two to four button presses are required just to do a simple task like attack or cast a spell.

The game would move rather slowly, if the monsters weren't so easy to beat, a rarity for an Enix game. Typically, you can blast your way through each area in the game, after training for ten to twenty minutes around town. A big change from the usual Enix experience, renowned for the hellish 7th Saga games.

Weighing the negatives and positives of the gameplay, the balance skews slightly to the ''positive'' side, although not by much. It's a new battle system, and the effort can be commended. At least Enix tried something new, and just didn't march out the Dragon Warrior system for another go around.

None of these gameplay options can save the game from the horrendous graphics though. This is a prime example of what happens when you base all the color palettes in the game off of Mario Paint. All the characters and backgrounds in the game use nauseatingly bright colors. Graphics usually don't matter in a role playing game, but honestly, this is scores worse than anything available for the Super Nintendo in the genre. Even Secret of the Stars and Robotrek feature revolutionary graphics compared to this hand-drawn mush.

The ugly colors are so loud in the game that you might not hear the sound *hyuck hyuck hyuck*. But if you strain, you'll notice a soundtrack that, while not original, will not cause you to rip your hair out of your head, strand by strand. That's not to say it's good; it's mostly run of the mill ''pleasant and airy'' music. But it's not insipid.

Overall, Paladin's Quest would be quite the average role playing game if it featured graphics of any decent quality. Unfortunately, it does not. If you can stomach the game's awful appearance, then you'll find a decent gaming experience, but that's a lot to stomach indeed...

sgreenwell's avatar
Community review by sgreenwell (Date unavailable)

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