• August 2011 - The Brothers Duomazov gets its first makeover. Over the past year or so it became more and more evident as we added content that the original interface was becoming less and less practical. We hope the changes make navigating the site a bit easier. Thanks to all our readers for your continued support. -TBD


    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Farzyarth no Jakoutei (Neo Metal Fantasy)

    Super CD-ROM

    It's unfortunate that this game garners little reverence these days, as it's a fantastic old-school RPG that does practically everything right. Following the lead of legendary Phantasy Star II, Neo Metal Fantasy takes a traditional tale of adventure and infuses it with science fiction elements. You'll still explore a green-field-dominated overworld, purchase shields and healing items, and visit caves and castles. You'll also pilot giant mecha, meet mechanical centaurs, and take off into outer space. NMF's not quite as atmospheric as the compellingly bizarre PS2, and it's nowhere near as challenging, but it's faster-paced and even more enjoyable to play.

    As you'd expect in a game that draws inspiration from PS2, the dungeons are extremely large. We're not talking pointless space and redundant corridors, though. There's variety in the location designs and plenty of good stuff to find via thorough exploration.

    Well-constructed labyrinths aren't NMF's greatest asset, however. No, that would be its bosses, who are absolutely ENORMOUS. We're talking full-screen terrors here.

    The artwork employed for regular adversaries is also very nice. Battles are fast-paced and handled with a neat system that makes you earn your magic points by defeating enemies.

    Most of the good guys are pretty cool too, with centaurs and a little blob accompanying your standard warriors and sorceresses. Of course, wherever there's a little blob, there has to be comedy, and NMF delivers the laughs, especially during a sequence that sees your characters deck themselves out in cult garb to do some sneaking around.

    Nope, nothing at all suspicious about those three...

    The story delivers some drama as well. There aren't many cinemas early on, and the ones that are present occasionally stumble with awkward character depictions, but most of the later intermissions are exciting and well-put-together.

    The music is another element that sees its best moments during the latter half of the game. The gameplay, on the other hand, is rewarding all the way through. Constantly entertaining and afflicted with not a single significant flaw, NMF can make a strong argument for a spot amongst the best 16-bit RPGs.

    (Be sure to check out Justin Cheer's excellent walkthrough for the game here.)

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