RPG Review #53: Hydlide

NuMetalManiak
I am an idiot. I say that because again, I get my series mixed up and I really should note the first game in each series. Now here's Hydlide, which precedes not only Super Hydlide, a game I put on my to do list some time ago. That game was actually a port of Hydlide 3, so I was looking at the third game in the series originally. There even was a second game. Now, Hydlide was originally released on the NEC PC-6001 and PC-8801 systems, which are systems that I'm pretty sure no one outside Japan has even heard of. There was an NES port of this game, so I played that. And surprisingly enough, I managed to beat it in less than a day!

Gameplay: So this is an action RPG. Oh yes, this is definitely an action RPG. This is one of the first, and one of the more notable, action RPGs of old times. The game gives free movement and monsters out on the field. There are bars for health, magic, strength, and importantly, experience, making it an action RPG. When the experience is filled up, the max health, strength, and magic go up. The magic spells in this game are difficult to use, you have to select with B, then hold down A and then use B. This game also provides a meaning of health regeneration in this game, and it's actually based on terrain as well.

Fighting enemies in this game works in a weird way. They are out on the field, and you run into them to damage them. Pressing/holding A puts the character in Attack mode, otherwise he's in Defense mode. Enemies don't actually hurt you unless they are facing you, so there is a strategy of attacking them from behind. There's also using a Turn spell to turn an enemy around for easy pickings. With this said though, the player character is weak, especially in the beginning. And despite the health regeneration, he can easily lose his health. This game is harder than it looks, but I enjoy its overall outlook and simplicity. Grade: B

Characters: The playable character is a knight named Jim. That's it. He's setting out to rescue Ann, a princess. You can see where this is going. The other notable characters are on the villain side, a water dragon and the final boss, Varalys. There's no real character depth that this game offers. Grade: D

Plot: There barely is a plot in this game. As I said, Jim is setting out to rescue princess Ann, from Varalys. There's three magic jewels that were supposed to seal this guy, but somebody screwed up and Varalys is released into the kingdom known as Fairyland. He was the one responsible for turning Ann into three different fairies. Jim's quest is to find the three fairies and the three jewels, and then confront both the water dragon and Varalys. By winning, all you get is a congratulations. Very simplistic, and unfortunately it is also a cliche plot. Grade: C

Music: F. Yes that is my only rating there (and my first F rating as well!), because there really is only one song in the game other than the main menu and the final boss themes. It would have been nicer if there were different themes for at least the dungeons.

Overall Grade: C-

For an action RPG, you really can't get any simpler than Hydlide. It's super simplistic, yet hard all the same. But because of the little substance matter, the game really wasn't as enjoyable as it seems. Beating it in less than a day did not really help matters all that much. Heck, this was my shortest review ever in fact!

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