|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
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"Rank among the greatest battlers in the world!"
Every four years the strongest fighters in
the world meet at Tivan to battle against each other in a glorious tournament
to determine who is the world's strongest fighter. Swordsmen, magicians,
and the strongest wizards are placed in arenas based on their fighting
level, while each arena is led by "leaders", the highest-ranked warriors
Once a young boy, Seth has finally come of
age and is ready to enter Tivan's great tournament. Will Seth be able to
tame the mysterious force of magic and use his sword to defeat all four
of the great arena leaders?
use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|Average. While both
of Venosoft's QBRPGs (Battle Arena and Cai's Quest 3) earned two graphics
points, Cai's Quest 3 was probably on the border line between two and three
points, while Battle Arena was pretty close to getting only one point.
The score really doesn't reflect how far Venosoft came along since Battle
However, Battle Arena's
graphics do deserve some respect. Controllable scroll-speed, flicker-free
graphics, spell animations, and multiple tilesets adorn the game, and the
graphics style is consistent in quality throughout.
The only major failure
in Battle Arena's design are the enemy sprites. The sprites themselves
fit very well with the rest of the game's design, but apparently Venosoft
forgot to make enemy sprites for all the creatures in the game, making
a majority of the game's characters use the Worm Sprite. Perhaps this shortage
of enemy sprites is due to memory issues or time constraints, but it feels
awkward to fight a worm sprite, then fight several creatures like fighters
and Spirit Trees that also use the same exact sprite.
smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
|Venosoft took the
easy but effective way around game music and borrowed some Squaresoft Midis
for Battle Arena. The tunes chosen fit very well with the game, although
there is a short delay between the switching of tunes, and some places
have no music at all.
precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
|In Battle Arena,
the goal is to achieve the highest rank and becoming champion among warriors.
This is done by travelling from arena to arena and challenging each area's
warriors. By defeating these warriors, ranking is earned. Once your rank
is high enough, you may fight that arena's leader. Defeat all of the leaders
and you will be crowned the new champion among all fighters.
The key to winning
in arenas is knowing how to battle, and Venosoft's battle engine plays
a lot like an improved version of the Secret of Cooey 2 engine. The best
parts of the SOC2 engine, including the spell transformation and spell
level gaining via the AP system are there, but Venosoft takes it one step
further by adding multiple hits to attacks and the use of gold to purchase
weapons and armor.
My only complaint
in the gameplay of Battle Arena is that Innkeepers and Shopkeepers in the
game aren't clearly marked. A lot of stores in RPGs are marked with signs
or by some other method, making it easy for such commercial establishments
to be located. This isn't usually necessary, but with a game like Battle
Arena where a majority of the game's villagers challenge you in battle
if you speak to them, it would have averted quite a few Game Overs if the
shopkeepers were easier to find.
creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
|While original and
full of demos, the dialogue in Battle Arena feels like one of those wrestling
shows where people talk trash to each other before they enter the ring.
This would work for the kind of game Battle Arena is trying to be, but
there isn't enough plot development in the game, and the graphics are so
at times that it's difficult to distinguish recurring characters from any
|Replay Value (n.)
timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated
again and again
|Because a lot of
the game is unfamiliar the first time around, a second running of the game
is rewarding because it gives you a chance to enjoy the battle aspect of
the game a lot more while having a greater appreciation for Venosoft's
attention to the battle engine and game balance.
strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and
|This is where Battle
Arena really shines. The battle engine may contain the basic components
of most QBRPGs, but all of the options available (Attack, Magic, Item,
and Run) all have times in the game when they need to be used, and as a
result Battle Arena stays entertaining even during longer periods of experience
The most important
step in Battle Arena is to get access to magic spells as soon as possible.
Magic is earned through gaining levels, but it isn't activated until a
critical event in the game, and the sooner the magic is charged up, the
more powerful the spells will become by the game's end.
|Fun Factor (n.)
overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|As a game director,
I probably would have taken out the last couple of hours of playtime in
Battle Arena. It felt like the last few parts of the game were designed
to form the atmosphere for a great "final battle", but all it really does
is tack on some unnecessary, less imaginative level gaining to the end
of the quest.
Other than that,
the rest of the game structure set up by Venosoft is very well-done, and
it's nice to see that there can be an RPG in QB out there where you have
to vary your attack plan every now and then, especially when fighting bosses.
If you can get over some of it's faults and the battle engine is your favorite
part of playing an RPG, Battle Arena is certainly worth a try.
Battle Arena Reviewed
by Vance Velez
Role Playing Game
||To solve: 5-6 hours Final Rating:
download Battle Arena (204KB), click here.
you're unzipping this program in DOS, use the -d option.
Arena requires a 100% Sound Blaster compatible sound card.
play Battle Arena, unzip the file and run "ARENA.BAT".
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out of 35 points
Highs: An RPG game that focuses on battle
strategy and levelling up, with good progression.
Lows: Same enemy sprite is used for nearly
75% of the game's enemies, forcing you to use your power of imagination
where original graphics ought to be.
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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