In the wake of the great Phantasy Star 2, Sega wanted a new RPG to help spearhead their famous enesis does what Nintendon’t ad campaign. I have fond memories of reading the various gaming mags and seeing pictures of Sword of Vermillion and being blown away by the graphics. When I got my hands on it for Christmas that year, I continued to be impressed with the graphics but found that my expectations were just a bit too high for this game for the game has a whole.
Let’s get down to brass tacks or steel tacks if you prefer (Zinc tacks for me – Ed). Sword of Vermillion is an RPG (you know the drill, XP, levels, new armor and weapons, from town to town quest doing, the usual) that seemed to blend a whole bunch genre staples into one big pot. You had the classic walking around town top down view. Non-boss combat was an action style top down hack and slasher, where you often found your character surrounded by enemies. This was one of my problems with the game as it was purely random if you would be able to escape the sudden rush of green bouncing slimes when the combat began. When exploring the world you had the 1st person view. Now the famous pictures from the ad campaign were from the side view boss battles that were also action based. While the game did all of these thing well enough to get a passing grade, nothing here was really ground breaking.
I will admit, since I am quite the “Phantasy Star Phan” I am being a little harsher on this game than I should. It did a lot of different things for a 16-bit rpg and it was fun to take your little blue coloured sword and whack the crud out of a bunch of yellow gargoyles (makes the XP green!!). It’s worth a look or two from you RPG fans out there because in the end it did indeed do what Nintendon’t.
Fun Trivia Fact: This game came with a solid little 100+ page hint book that took you through the game. When is the last time you bought a video game that came with it own free hint book!