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Wer bei Rings of Power eine Art Super-Phantasy Star erwartet, muß erstmal kräftig schlucken: Die Grafik zuckelt und ist unübersichtlich bis chaotisch, die Benutzerführung, trotz zuschaltbarer Hilfsfunktion, arg gewöhnungsbedürftig. Das so gut wie nicht vorhandene Kampfsystem sorgt für zusätzlichen Frust. Und trotzdem: Rings of Power hat einen ganz eigenwilligen Reiz. Wer sich die Mühe macht ein wenig länger in Ushka Bau zu verweilen, findet Geschmack an dem Modul - in dem mehr steckt, als auf den ersten Blick erkennbar ist. Zum Aufstieg in die Oberklasse der Konsolenrollenspiele reicht's nicht, für einen Platz im Mittelfeld aber allemal.
It's strange how Rings of Power has all the ingredients of a deep, playable RPG but is still a pile of old trousers. I'm not RPG-bashing, far from it, it's just that all I see in Rings of Power is wasted potential. A lot of effort has obviously gone into the design but the implementation is shoddy, slow, dull and frustrating. Combat, for instance, is usually a case of instant death in auto mode or death in a few rounds in manual. The movement is unresponsive and jerkier than Pee Wee Herman at a film festival. The title screen and before-game presentations offer a lot but the game fails to fulfill the promise. Once you get past the intros, graphics and sound take something of a dive, as does the gameplay. With any luck Rings of Power will have a sequel where as much care is put into the programming as went into the design, but as for this game, even the most die-hard adventure gamers will be very disappointed.
All in all, Rings of Power on the Genesis certainly isn't the worst RPG you'll play on the system, but I cannot stress enough just how challenging it is. Even to this day, the game is a pain to traverse through, let alone know what the heck you're doing. That actually is part of its appeal though believe it or not, as it kind of separated the men from the boys in terms of gamers. Remember, Rings of Power came out before strategy guides and internet tips were the norm like they are today. Back then, you had to rely on your wits and even some ingenuity to find any kind of success with Rings of Power, and even today where it's incredibly easy to get tips on any vintage video game, somehow this game still proves to be a very challenging, albeit cumbersome and even a bit unfair, take on the RPG genre. With all that being said proceed with caution before you take on this quest.