|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
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The Dark Phear
"An adventure in the spirit of Phantasy Star and
Alicia has disappeared from your town long
ago. But last night you saw her glowing among the stars, beckoning your
name and praying to be saved. Then you wake up. It was only a dream! Or
was it a vision?
As you open your eyes, you discover that King
Theos has been cursed. Your only hope of saving your benevolent ruler lies
is a golden fruit hidden in the northwestern peninsula. So, you leave your
hometown as duty to your king, while secretly searching for your lost love...
use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|Whoa?! I couldn't
believe just how much Dark Phear captures the console feel of Sega's popular
Phantasy Star series with such captivating, well-drawn graphics! If you
know all about Phantasy Star, then you should feel right at home with the
moderately tiley worlds and awesome looking battle sequences.
While Dark Phear
doesn't try to be flashy, there was a lot of effort put to make sure the
game is well-rendered and flicker free. The Japanimation-style art is also
pretty good, though there are some creature decapiations here that give
this game an automatic "T" rating.
smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
|Casali and Jeremy
Eller really give this game a 1-2 punch when it comes to sound and music.
Eller's original soundtrack could easily rival some of the best Phantasy
Star tunes I've ever heard, and Casali's sound effects mix well with the
game's pace. I found myself really immersed and I was almost convinced
that I was playing on a Sega Genesis, not a PC!
precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
|This is one of the
few QBRPGs you will find that uses both the keyboard and mouse interface
for the game. This can be a blessing and a curse. You can use your mouse
to zip through the menus, which allow you to cast spells and perform with
the greatest of ease. However, the mouse system is still a little flaky,
and I had a difficult time talking to people and opening treasure chests.
Many of the game's
concepts are also original. In particular, you customize how each character
gets stronger when he or she reaches a new experience level. In addition,
the game has a "monster hunter's guild", where you stop by to get your
gold for the number of creatures you exterminate. The battle sequence works
a la Phantasy Star III, with a selection of spells and attacks. Even the
"Defend" option, hardly used in QBRPGs, has it's applications because the
enemies range in speed and in power.
creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
|While the plot twists
in Dark Phear are reminiscent of Breath of Fire II, there are many demo
sequences that either introduce new characters or further the story, much
in the style of Sega's Phantasy Star IV.
|Replay Value (n.)
timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated
again and again
|I found playing
Dark Phear a joy to play from beginning to end, and I won't hesitate to
play the game again. The reason for this is simple. First of all, the game
is very well-balanced from the beginning. The game itself is always challenging,
from the depth of the dungeons to the battles with the creatures. However,
neither of these things get in the way of Dark Phear's clean-cut interface.
Also, Dark Phear really rewards you for forging ahead, giving you characters
new abilities and giving you new powers that give the game's intricate
battles even more depth. A lot of strategy has to be used here, and you
really have to know the towns you've been in and keep track of the story
to win the game. The ability customization feature of Dark Phear really
solidifies it's Replay Value.
strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and
|There is a lot to
be said about the game's challenge, since it consists of so many ways.
The dungeons are not lengthy, but they are labyrinthe. Buying good armour
and items will be your key to success here. But at the same time, whenever
you gain a new level, how you customize your character greatly affects
your strategy within the game. Sure, increasing the strength of your character
all the way will let you kill enemies quickly and efficiently. But you'll
also need magic to heal and agility to give defense and allow you to run
in the event that raw bludgeoning fails you. MP also plays a major role
in this game, though healing spells are often more important than offensive
|Fun Factor (n.)
overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|All in all, Dark
Phear is a mixture of Phantasy Star IV and Shining Force II for the Sega
Genesis. Certainly an honor for a QB game! When I last reviewed this game
it didn't have any music, but I did see through that and realized that
game had some serious potential. Now that it has been updated, you can
really see just how deep and beautiful this universe that CMC Productions
created has become. Not featured in many QB Sites, The Dark Phear is certainly
the golden fleece of QBRPGs. If you haven't played it yet, this is the
great QBRPG you've been waiting for.
Role Playing Game
||To solve: 4-6 hours Final Rating:
download Dark Phear (1.32MB), click here.
you're unzipping this program in DOS, use the -d option.
game is mouse-compatible. Make sure it is hooked up when playing this game.
must be made on "DPHEAR.BAT" if you wish to get music or sound effects
on an Ensoniq Card.
play Dark Phear, run "DPHEAR.BAT".
Back to RPG Page
out of 35 points
Highs: Excellent control. Original gameplay
elements, intuitive battle system, and hours and hours of fun for RPG fans.
Lows: Not all graphics are original, originating
from Phantasy Star IV.
V Planet! Archive
This is an archive of V Planet, circa November 2004, when the site was last active. This is read-only, and preserved here as part of the QB Zines Archive at Pete's QB Site.
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