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Zenfar: The Adventure (Windows)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Dr.Bedlam (53)
Written on  :  Aug 03, 2003

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful

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Summary

Being able to program a game does NOT make you a game programmer.

The Good

I found this one in a clearance bin... for two cents.

I figured for two cents, I couldn't go wrong. Worst comes to worst, I could turn it around at the local used software outlet for more than THAT, even if it's only in store credit.

The box art made me nervous. I mean, if your graphics are weak, your figures polygonal and poorly rendered... THAT's when you go out and hire an ARTIST to paint your box art, right? ZENFAR does not cop out here, though... they put their crummily rendered 3D heroes right on the front of the box.

I figured perhaps this was a good sign. Maybe the game was so good that its makers figured it could transcend its crummy graphics...

The Bad

The game fails. Horrendously. The voice work sounds like you and I did it in my garage with a handheld tape recorder. The sound effects are marginal. There is nearly no music. The graphics might have been cutting edge back in 1995, but by the standards of the 21st century, they stink on ice. The program itself is buggy and weird; a patch is available on the company web site.

...and it's boring. Boring, boring, boring. I mean, there was a time when computer RPGs could require a player to simply wander around poorly rendered backgrounds and have pointless little conversations with the people standing around doing nothing, hoping for some kind of clue or treasure or whatever... but that time has PASSED. Okay? I mean, imagine if the makers of Diablo had attempted to infuse their game with all the plot and depth of "Link: Legend Of Zelda II" for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The graphics are vintage 1995 3D polygonal... and the gameplay is strictly 1983. Someone put a LOT of homegrown effort into this one... and it STILL manages to be a dud.

The Bottom Line

Basically, what we have here is something that wants to be "Diablo Goes To Sci-Fi Land, With A Little Help From Fallout I & II."

It succeeds in looking like Diablo and Fallout.

A little.

And that's about all at which it succeeds in the least. Leave this one in the clearance bin.