Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Story of Thor Review (Mega Drive)


Once upon a time a young prince named Ali discovered a sacred golden armlet that allowed him to control four powerful spirits. Ali must now search for another sacred armlet taken by an evil sorcerer intent on doing all sorts of nasty things to people. During this quest he must find the four spirits that the golden armlet controls- the Water Fairy, Shadow Spirit, Carnivorous Plant and Giant of Fire. With these powerful allies at his disposal Ali will be able to end the demonic ambitions of the silver armlets owner once and for all.

Set very much in the same genre as the Legend of Zelda series, the game follows much the same layout. You move around talking to villagers and fighting monsters above ground before entering a dungeon of some sort where you must solve puzzles and discover hidden objects, before facing off against some nasty monster at the end of it all. However, to say the title is simply a Zelda clone could not be further from the truth, in fact few 16 bit releases can match its identity and style.

The Story of Thor (Beyond Oasis outside Europe), is presented with unique comic book graphics from a top down viewpoint. The characters and enemies are big and well animated, whilst everything is beautifully coloured. Backgrounds and Dungeons are varied in both colour and style - thereby helping to maintain interest, as enemies types are somewhat repetitive. A number of nice touches are also present within the game. 

For instance, once found Ali can summon one of four spirits to come to his aid, each one offering something different. The twist is that summoning spirits can only be achieved by finding an item that relates to it. for instance to call the fire giant you need to summon him near a burning torch or flame. Without question this adds a welcome touch of strategy to the proceedings. 

As well as the spirits you can call upon a number of weapons during your quest, ranging from swords to bombs. Each weapon only has a limited amount of uses and therefore must be used only in desperate situations. Unfortunately, the control system lets down what otherwise would be a classic title. The problem is that Ali cannot move diagonally resulting in enemies being hard to hit, as you always have to be facing or side on to them. This increases the danger of you taking damage and it also makes moving around screens extremely frustrating. After a while the action does become repetitive, and you will find yourself constantly hitting the attack button over and over trying to hit some monster that refuses to move into your field of vision. 

Overall, The Story of Thor is a game that could have been an awful lot better. While it arguably looks better than Zelda on the Super Nintendo and contains more charm in certain areas, the controls are just not flexible enough to allow you to pull off the moves you require, which leads to frustration. This is a solid adventure game for fans of the genre or anyone looking for a something a bit different, and worth hunting for, just be prepared to forgive its short comings.

7/10 

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