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The GoodI first heard of Anachronox when saw the ad, on the Deus Ex box. When the game eventually came out I downloaded the demo, and seeing as if was quite a fun and funny game, I resolved to purchase the full game. Having failed to secure a copy, time went on and the game went to the back of my mind. Some time later I was at my local software store, and they had a few copies of the game. I purchased it for about $15 US.
In Anachronox, you assume the role of Sylvester Buceli, aka, Sly Boots. Sly is down on his luck. He has not worked in months, and to make matters worse he owes the mobster Detta, some serious cash. After his latest working over, Sly resolves to get a job any job. He falls into a body guard gig, for a geezer named Grumpos. Before long Boots will travel the galaxy recruit new members to the party, some he already knows.
PC’s range from Boots’ little bot PAL, Dr. Ryo and scientist trying to unlock the secrets of Mystech, to a disenfranchised, super hero, Paco. And many other colorful characters. This is one of the games many strengths, each and every character is useful and unique, no duds here. Not only does each PC have there +/- side in battle but outside battle as well. Boots for instance can pick locks. Each special skill can be upgraded by finding the “master” of a particular skill.
The meat of gameplay is not combat, it is actually exploration and talking to NPCS. You assemble a party of three, and explore the planet that you are currently on, getting clues from the locals, using your skills etc. Not that are not RPG staples like shopping, and combat.
In Anachronox, the combat is turn based, and very similar to combat found in many Asian RPGS, with many Western ideas thrown in as well. In battle you must wait for a gauge to fill, at which time you can attack, defend, use a battle skill, which are found during the game not learned by level, you can also move PCS out of the way, unlike in many JRPGS, use items, and later in the game you can use Mystech, which is the equivalent of magic. In battle you have a health gauge, one for skills and one for Mystech, each corresponding to you abilities.
Battles are actually not all that common. Like in PCRPG Return To Krondor. Anachronox is like Septerra Core a pretty good mix of Eastern/Western RPGS. So saying it is like Final Fantasy as some here on Moby insist in doing is misleading. It is perfect for those that like both different styles of RPGS.
The Mystech system, is quite interesting. There are various effects of Mystech. And power levels. Later in the game you can even make your own Mystech. This is a very deep system, and takes some time to master, but well worth the effort, or you could simply just use the most powerful ones that the game offers.
There are save points in Anachronox, that can be turned off and the game can be saved any where, like in most PC games. The quest is not to long, but is satisfying, with lots of secrets and side quests to find, and complete. The game clocks in about 25-30 hours. The Graphics are very good, it is hard to believe but the whole game is powered by the Quake II engine. And it never looked better, this also shows how long the game was in development. Nice use of Polygons, the people and aliens that inhabit the worlds of Anachronox look great, as do the worlds themselves. Nice lighting effects abound as well.
The music in the game is very good, very memorable, and since it is all in MP3 format you can open the game files and listen to it. The voice overs are excellent, and fit the game very well. Sound Effects also are up to par.
The BadThis game is riddled with bugs, and you will likely need a patch to run it properly, I needed two such patches.
It is unfortunate how few played this great game. And know that Ion Storm has folded there is slim to no chance of a sequel.