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Dark Savior

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Released: 1996

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: Sega Saturn

Publisher: Sega

Developer: Climax Entertainment

Submitted by: Stu

Another action/RPG affair from Climax Entertainment, and a sequel of sorts to their fantastic Megadrive title ‘Landstalker’. As Garian the bounty hunter you make your way through a similar-looking isometric adventure, with the graphical capabilities of the Saturn used to present this in a nice 3D environment with easy control of the camera. There are of course the good old tricky puzzle and platform sections aplenty and once again it’s easy to mess up and plummet into the abyss, but luckily Garian’s avian companion Jack is on hand to rescue him from falling to his doom at the cost of some life points (accrued by defeating enemies or exchanged for other items). You’re then sent back a screen or two for another bash, and for me this points system is preferable to the palaver you had getting back up to some of Landstalker’s more challenging platform sections after a fall.

Fighting an enemy, however, is where an otherwise great game is let down slightly. You switch to a blocky-looking and very dull VS battle mode, where almost every foe is much too easy to defeat. You do have an ability to capture enemies and control them in future battles in place of yourself – but the game still ends if you’re beaten using another captured character making this seem rather a pointless feature to me (unless I’m missing something!). Battles gripe aside though, the bulk of this game becomes very addictive and has absolutely superb music. And just when I thought it’d been disappointingly short and easy to complete, I was pleased to realise there are several separate parallel stories to play through depending on how quickly you do the first section. Nice idea which gives this a fair bit of lasting value.

Unlike its predecessor Dark Savior failed to get me hooked immediately, but an hour or two in and I began to really like it. Though it has it faults it’s a terrific adventure game, and whilst it isn’t worth some of the prices it’s often listed for online I’d recommend taking any opportunity to grab it at a bargain.