The 16-bit age is back in its full glory; enter Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate. This
game is a definite throwback to the RPGs of old, and that is a good
thing. It has been a long while since I have played a good old-school
game like this one. The folks over at Kisareth Studios have done
a fantastic job in making this game.
The story follow a young man named Magus Lee who is held back by his
father, a brutal overlord. Despite being ready for the throne, Magus
ends up following his father into battle where he is engulfed by a great
dark power. He then uses this power to defeat the opposing army. Magus
then defeats his father, but soon after this he loses a bunch of
battles, and this makes him upset. As a result, his powers are stripped
from him. Magus then starts a small kingdom and raises a family. Finding
out his kingdom will soon be attacked, Magus sets out on an adventure
to find allies and save his kingdom from ruin.
The 16-bit visuals look wonderful in HD. Everything from the
animations to the drawn sprites looks great. You can tell the team put a
lot of time and care into making them. The overworld looks great as
well, with several different types of environments being represented.
From sunny fields to fiery volcanoes, these maps are well-detailed and
look great. The towns and dungeons look good as well.
The sound effects, although kind of plain, do their job well. Nothing
really exceptional here; typical 16 bit sound effects, of swords and
magic being flung about. The music, however, is very pleasing; it fits
the game’s mood rather well. From the guitar riffs of the battle theme
to the more noble themes of the castles, it was always a joy to listen
to. I was really impressed with many of the different tracks featured in
the OST. They should really consider releasing it as a download; it is
that good. Here is an example of one of the fine tracks found within the OST.
This game plays like many of the RPGs of old. Battles are turn-based with ATB present, pretty much like Final Fantasy VI.
Each of the playable characters has a set of skills he or she can acquire.
You get these by reaching a certain experience level. Some of these will
be supportive spells, others will be skill buffs and attack skills.
Just like any great RPG of the past, some weapons and skills have
elemental properties. So hit the enemy with its weakness, and watch its
HP fall quickly. The battle system may seem rather old, but I am here to
tell you it still works great and is true to this game in every way.
The ability to save at any time outside of battle is a great feature
because we are all very busy and can’t always walk a half hour to the
next save point. The only minor complaint I have is the encounter rate
in certain areas is unreasonable, even by old-school standards. A few of
the maps are a little confusing as well, but nothing really major
The story is a joyride all of its own. At times it is very humorous
and also quite serious at times. The game will present you with choices
sometimes, such as letting an unruly NPC live or die because of their
poor choice of words. These choices will affect the game later on in
different ways. I really liked this feature in the story as it adds some
replay value to the game and also makes you feel more involved in the
story itself. The banter between the game’s characters is great. It is
funny at times with them making jabs at each other, while at other times
is serious to push the story forward. It is these little details in the
game that make you feel like you get to know these characters better.
One of the best examples I can think of is when you have two certain
female characters in your party and stay at an inn, Magus decides to
have a night of fun, if you get what I mean. It’s these little story
quirks that make it stand out from some of the other games I have which
are similar to this. In the end, the story was a true joy to read. I
look forward to see where they go with it from here.
In the end if you love older style RPGs you cannot go wrong with this
title. Its solid story, great graphics, and wonderful music make it a
must play for anyone that loves this style. I had a blast playing this
title; it made me remember all the old RPGs from yesteryear and how much
fun I had with those as well. Its quirky style and wonderful
presentation make this one of the best RPGs I have played in a while. I
very much look forward to seeing where this series will go down the
line; they are off to a great start.
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