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SummaryLet me tell you of the days of low adventure...
The GoodCover art?
The BadGraphics Music Controls Gameplay Story (lack of it)
The Bottom LineConan for the NES... Do I need to say more? I will try to be as objective as possible here so that future generations shall not suffer by playing it.
The first thing that strikes you when pressing the start button is the size of our hero. Am I really playing as the mighty warrior or is it Bilbo Baggins? Sprites are very small, and together with atrocious graphics already make you wanna throw this game through the window. Don't get me wrong, I do not judge old games by their presentation, but here the laziness , or should I say lack of talent, of the programmers is noticeable.The backgrounds are also missing details. The look of enemies is a little better, though. They come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from imps to warriors and dragons.
Next huge disappointment comes with the music. It is hardly audible !!! It seems it was muted on purpose by Mindscape staff I wasn't expecting any choir or powerful brass moments, but 8 bit standards were definitely lowered here. Other sound effects are also rare and leave you with a feeling of dissatisfaction.
If it wasn't enough already, the controls are horrendous as well as hilarious (right in that order) You jump sideways by pressing... DOWN!!! That's right, I"m not lying to you. If I am not mistaken, it must be the only case in the history of gaming were the developer incorporated such mechanics. It will surely result in many failed attempts to reach the platform or dodge the enemy. Apart from that you can jump straight in the air by pressing up (thank Crom they haven't butchered that element) as well as use action buttons for combat.You can kick or punch your foes or perform two different swings with your short range weapon. Should I mention the fact that the hit detection leaves much to be desired for? Oh, well nothing's perfect...
In terms of gameplay, the game, surprisingly, does not shine.The player is not presented with any story or purpose of Conan's quest. There are eight stages , each of them rather short, but still troublesome. You traverse a dark forest, a desert, an ancient pyramid or a vessel during tempest, to name just a few. The thing is that on your way you have to pick up various items and use them mainly against the bosses. Not that they pose any serious threat to you, but guessing which weapon suits the situation can take some time.Your standard weapon is the sword, but there are also projectiles like fireballs or daggers. Basically the levels can be divided into two categories, one focused on mindless running ahead and the other one demanding you to jump up and up till facing the level boss.These are at least somewhat nicely done and inspired by the legends and mythology. If by any chance you will finish the game (come on, you ain't so desperate,are ya?) you will be treated to a highly lame end screen depicting our exhausted protagonist, wearing a diaper and holding an axe.CONAN THE KING...What he heck!? An absolute letdown and anti climax after all that epic adventures...
The final verdict can be only one.This is indeed a barbarous title. I am addressing here all respected gamers as well as the posterity. Avoid it at all costs.To err is human, but to get duped by the nice box or cartridge label is just unforgiving. Let this masterpiece rot in the blackest depths of hell, away from the vast majority of decent and amazing NES titles.