GAME REVIEW: ELMINAGE GOTHIC / PUBLISHER: STARFISH SD, GHOSTLIGHT / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Video games are still a medium that is in its infancy, one that has gone through rapid changes and yet has never forgotten its roots. Modern fantasy roleplaying games have amazing graphics, sound and storytelling, and have come a long way from the days of pure text adventure gaming such as Zork. However, text-adventures are still made and are commercially viable; video games never seem to quite let go of past iterations, and this is a good thing as it allows different stories to be told in different ways.
Elminage Gothic is a game that is neither a primitive text game nor a modern, all-singing, all-dancing Dragon Age clone. Instead it draws inspiration from the initial Might and Magic games of the early-90s, using simple graphic interfaces and relatively crude graphics to create a monster-bashing game that comes straight from the golden age of dungeon crawling adventures. The traditional RPG elements are strong and it’s so similar to early Dungeons and Dragons games that you can almost hear the dice rolling in the background.
The game dips the player straight into the action; there’s very little story building to begin with and character creation is optional; if you’re itching to get stuck in and start hitting orcs the game will happily oblige. Your party, such as it is, happens to be comprised of the usual fantasy roleplaying clichés (warriors, wizards, etc), with plenty of weird things to add to the pile as you get stuck in. The plot is also very nineties; the gods have left (pretty much) and a great darkness is sweeping the land. Bad guys are trying to raise the evil gods back to prominence and it’s your job to stop that by going into dungeons and beating people up. There’s not much of a story here, just enough to justify monster crawl after monster crawl.
Elminage Gothic takes the concept of equipping your characters to the extreme and you’ll spend a lot of your time sorting through inventory, making sure you have all the potions and maps you need to meet each mission. At times, this makes it more of a spreadsheet management exercise than an actual game, but the procedural route this game takes is actually part of the appeal - micromanagement is fun when it’s all about monster hunting.
The graphics are simplistic but engaging and the music is just on the right side of repetitive. Elminage Gothic is a blast from the past that will eat your time but not your wallet as it’s a fairly sweet budget game. Nostalgia junkies will love this!
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