Come chat with us in IRC!

Come in and shoot the shit at #ReviveDC on!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Silver (Review)

Original release:
Europe: June 23, 2000
North America: June 29, 2000

Game details:
1 Player
VMU Compatible
Jump Pack compatible
Standard controller
VGA box

Unfortunately, I did not have the time to do a complete playthrough of Silver for this review. I did play the game to near completion several years ago (before I reached a point that the disc was too damaged to play) however, and am using my memory of that for this review. Since I would be unable to comment on the length of the game, other reviews have put the time at around 20 hours.

Silver is an RPG of the action variety, meaning all attacking takes place in real time instead of being turn based. How the attacking takes place can be somewhat awkward, though. The a button is your basic attack, but holding down the right trigger and moving the analog stick will allow you to do different slashes with your sword as well as bring up your shield. This can sometimes be problematic. I'm not sure why, but occasionally the game seemed to do the opposite attack of what I wanted. I would normally say this is due to me not being accurate enough with the Dreamcast's analog stick, but there are only 4 additional sword attacks when you hold down the right trigger, each being up, down, left and right so there's not a whole lot of error room there. It never doomed me to my death because this isn't that difficult of a game, but it was distracting when it happened. It's also nice to note that this game is generous with the save points. Whenever you move on to a new area or accomplish a task, you'll usually be greeted with one.

The combat is simple enough that it doesn't warrant spending a lot of time breaking own, it works well for the game. Real issues come in with the general design of the game. There's nothing blatantly obvious to point out who you can talk to or what you're supposed to do. Backgrounds are pre-rendered and there's no cue that you can talk to a character when you walk up to them. Holding down the L-trigger will instead show icons over people as well as where you can exit the screen. This is an annoyance because it doesn't seem to show all of the things you can do any one time you hold down the L-trigger. Each time you do this it seems to reveal new things. It's stupidly time consuming to have to do this. Game design has changed a lot since this was released, but it seems like something that could've been resolved with something as simple as a star over a character's head or a button prompt that appears when you're near something you can interact with. Speaking of interaction, this is a largely non-interactive world. There will be signs and other objects, but you usually can't read them. They're just part of the background.

Silver doesn't have a lot going for it in the story department. It breaks down like this; the evil lord Silver has taken all of the women in the land to choose himself a wife. He took your girlfriend and now you're out to get her back. This is supported with the standard cast of background characters who you'll meet along your way. The voice acting is worth noting. There's a lot of it and it's pretty damn good for the most part. There's some bad of course, but that's to be expected for games around this time period. The player character in particular is bad.

Get the image of that badass looking warrior on the cover of the game out of your head now. Silver has anime inspired graphics that are very simple. Simple to the point that characters sort of look like a few bubbles put together and colored differently. They're not really bad graphics though, it seems like it was a conscious design choice. The pre-rendered backgrounds on the other hand, are excellent. A lot of work has been put into them, and even though they are well detailed, the characters never look silly over them.

This isn't anything remarkable. Think of medieval times and what kind of music you would put in a game that takes place around those times and there you have it. It's probably exactly what you heard in your head. Unless you went to an epic scale and thought about some big budget movie.

I like Silver quite a bit. It's another forgotten game in the Dreamcast lineup. Every one is so busy with the big hitter games that they overlook the other games of the time, which were very much in the spirit of some of the first party titles.


No comments:

Post a Comment