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Walthros: Mercenaries vs. Uncommon
Walthros: Mercenaries Well, sure, it looks like a neat enough attack, until you realise that THREE OTHER CLASSES DO THE SAME THING.
The Wobbler
Download: 1.48 MB
V.S.
Uncommon
Play Time: 1 hours and some odd minutes
Review # 15 for Uncommon Well, sure, it looks like a neat enough attack, until you realise that THREE OTHER CLASSES DO THE SAME THING.
Them's Fightin' Words
    Walthros. Oh, Walthros. How many more times must I visit your shores, walk your fields, wander your forests, and explore your caverns before I finally receive the finished Surlaw: ARMAGEDDON? Will I wait forever? I pray not.

To keep myself from going mad with anticipation, I've taken it upon myself to play the older Walthros games. It just so happened that this one didn't have a review, so I figured it was time to give it one. REVIEW START.

Graphics
    Not too pretty. Sure, some of them look okay, mostly the Walthrosian Fish, but none of the pixelisation here is all that impressive. A lot of the tiles are grainy, none of the gradients are at all good, and the houses look awkward. There are a lot of quirks to the style here, and few of them are appreciated.

 
Storyline
    Some potential, but little of it was realised. Taken back into the odd and imaginative world of Walthros, the player assumes the role of "Zero", a lost soul who, after death, is given another chance to settle his mortal affairs. He takes in with a guild of mercenaries, who are working both sides of a war to keep them from destroying each other, and making money in the process. The guildmaster, Dimitri, has come up with a new, dangerous job, and Zero does not hesitate to take it.

And so it goes on for a couple of missions. Unfortunately, it ends, quite abruptly, just as the story's about to get interesting.

 
Gameplay
    Like so many games (though I suppose this was, when first released, one of the first to do so on OHR), Walthros: Mercenaries begins by giving you a choice between a good many character classes, 20 to be exact. Lots of classes, lots of choices. Sounds good, right? Well, the problem is that most of them are too much the same. Many of them will just have one offensive spell, most of which are almost all the same, except that they are different element, different name, different mask; else, they'll have a curative spell, or a spell that will, in some way, bring up their accuracy (there are actually three or four classes that do this). Now to be fair, most games, commercial or amateur, are like this, but it gets rather boring after a while. I want more originality, more variety. Half, or at least a quarter, of these classes are, honestly, totally unnecessary.

The one class that was a little different was the Ralz Psychic, and that's only because its magic was random instead of in a list.

Also, the first battle you fight will determine your secondary character. The trick to it is, the worse you do, the better your partner will be. If your health is high or full, you'll get a weak partner. If your health is a little lower than half or so, you'll get an okay partner. If you die in that battle, you'll get a highly elite partner. Remember that.

 
  Battle
    Had to levelbust. Good. Appreciated that balance in it. Curative items were useful. Also good.
The magic system was in a fashion that you started each battle with 0 SP, but, as you attacked, it would rise, and you would eventually be able to cast a spell. This might look interesting, and, perhaps, innovative, but PHC has since put that same system to to better use in Surlaw: ARMAGEDDON, and its use in this game seemed a bit inferior (people get better at these things over time, I suppose). Still, it was better than having nothing special about the battles. Also, that Yuk fellow, in his first battle, has full SP. BUG.

The battles, in fact, might have been very entertaining, had it not been for the mildly ill-conceived class system.

 
  Map Design
    Not bad, I suppose. More than boxes, more than nothing. The first dungeon had a decent enough maze, and reason enough to wander around in it, with the treasure boxes, and all. The world map, or continent map, rather (it seemed to lack the rest of Walthros, and the spot where you were at was one I didn't recognize from the other games) was designed well enough.


 
  Balance
    Challenging battles are good. Interesting spell systems are good. Poorly thought out class systems are BAD.


 
Music
    ...


 
Enjoyment
    Sure, while it lasted, I enjoyed it. I would've liked the story to not leave me hanging so much and the like, but eh. One part I thought was a little funny, though, was when Zero was going through the prison, he said something to the effect of "We should avoid the battles," but the same unescapable Prison Guard I had just fought outside the door was one of the random enemies, so I couldn't really run away, now, could I? The game sent mixed signals. Heh.

Also, some of the fade out/fade ins at the beginning seemed a little off. You'd think that the map teleportation/graphical changes to Zero might happen in the split second when the screen's faded out, but they actually happen after. Not good aesthetics, if you ask me. I did appreciate the successive brightening as you walked up from the very first screen, though I myself would've done it with greater intensity. Shrug.

 
Final Blows
    Walthros: Mercenaries is an okay game. Not a great game, not a terrible game, just an okay one. There is very little that ought to make it stand out. Now, GIVE US A Surlaw: ARMAGEDDON THAT'S MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES, OR Blueberry's Disco XXXTREME, AT LEAST. REVIEW END.


Come, comrade, let us go there TOGETHER.

Come, comrade, let us go there TOGETHER.
Final Scores
Graphics: 3/10.0
Like I said, not pretty. I certainly liked the Cats the least.
Storyline: 5/10.0
Had potential, but that potential had a few walls in front of it. BREAK THEM.
Gameplay: 5.5/10.0
More thought in the class system would have better complemented the spell system and battle balancing.
Music: 5/10.0
NEED SOUNDCARD.
Enjoyment: 5.5/10.0
More fulfilling experience, please. :(
Overall Grade: C-
Final Thoughts
    NEED...MORE...WALTHROS.  


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