mars 31, 2013

Darkseed for Saturn

I played a very bad game yesterday, Darkseed.

The game was released on PS and Sat in Japan, and also on DOS (PC) and Amiga in Europe and maybe USA.
The game has Japanese text but all the dialogue is in English, and the artwork is amazing. I assumed the game would be a decent point and click adventure game. But, no.

Having all the text in Japanese is of course a problem, but this game is so weird that even with a walkthrough it is difficult to finish. The reason is that many things needs to be done at a certain in game time. The first time you enter the store, there is a bottle of whisky you can buy. But the second time you enter the store, the bottle will be gone forever. If you miss one of these things, you can't complete the game. You may not know until a much later stage.

The in game time lasts for 4 days and many things need to be done before a certain time.  On day 2, I think you should look into the mirrow at a specific time to reach a different dimension. I read this afterwards because I didn't get that far. I think there is a clue in the note stuck on the mirrow, but I couldn't read the note because it is in Japanese. So I never made it that far.

Walking around the town relaxing, and the music and speach isn't so bad either. The game has a certain kind of lame humor that is fun in its own way. It is really just the gameplay that is terrible. The game was made by an American, so don't blame the Japanese for this one.

What I wanted to know when playing the game without a walkthrough or any guide, was "is the game playable without reading Japanese?". My answer is "the game is hardly playable even if you know Japanese". Having all the clues in Japanese will make it close to impossible. But if you have played it to the end in the DOS or Amiga version, or you enjoy following a walkthrough, I think you might appreciate the Saturn/PS game for what it is worth. I priced it at 35 SEK, which is 5$ or so.

Here is a video someone made of the first couple of minutes of gameplay. I never made it this "far" in the game because I didn't pick up the scoth. I put "far" in quotations because if you miss something early on, the game will be unwinnable later, no matter how "far" you made it. A sadistical theme that was in style with many point and click games of that time by Sierra Online. (King's Quest, Leisure Suit Larry

Saturn videos often have bad graphics in youtube videos. With a good RGB cable on a TV it will look a lot better and brighter.

Looking at some other gameplay video, I also notice that I missed some other things.  You sometimes need to scan the screen with the cursor to locate a specific path or item on the screen. You have been warned, haha.

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