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Hail fellow, well met! Our Guild seeks
to catalog genres Fantasy, Strategy,
& Role-Playing. From swordplay to
tactics, the Guild shall be your
mighty castlegrounds. Stay awhile.

Dual Orb II
I'Max Corp * SNES * 24 MEG * Now Available JPN


There is no shortage of solid role-playing games out there, at least in Japan. Either due to high translation costs or concerns that American audiences prefer ice hockey to medieval adventures, oftentimes such gems are doomed to land-locked exclusivity. Dual Orb 2 is one of those carts. Even on import, this one is a riot and worth the play time. Its story tells of the Kardosa Empire and its capture of a knowledgeable time-traveler from ages long past. As Kardosa rises to prominence, you play as young Aleth, son of a respectable priest in a far smaller kingdom. Once Aleth incidentally invites the ire of the Kardosans by getting his hands on a mysterious artifact, he and his friends are their top targets.

Discovering the secrets of an ancient civilization takes the form of a traditional role-playing game. Train up your party of heroes in a multitude of random battles with baddies and demons and collect new armor pieces galore. Combat takes place in an isometric arena not unlike Breath of Fire, which is a welcome change-of-pace from the usual perspective. Dual Orb also contains a unique upgrading system whereby players can enchant their weapons and manifest powerful "tech" attacks. This cart is loads of fun despite not having much fluency in Japanese. We can only imagine how awesome it would be in a translated state! In the meantime, the Guild will bring more Super Famicom hits!

Printed in Issue #22, February 1995
Phantasy Star IV
Sega * GENESIS * 24 MEG * Now Available


Years after the conclusion of Phantasy Star III, we began hearing rumors of a grand finale in the works over at Sega. That prize is finally here in the states for all players to thoroughly enjoy. The gist is a desert planet called Motavia is in deep trouble. What was once a peaceful world is now subject to darkness and an unforgiving wasteland. Motavians led by a heroic Hunter's Guild have picked up the pieces to try and restore their land, but the forces of evil never rest, now do they? Take the role of a novice hunter, Chaz, and engage in a thrilling adventure that, in our book, exceeds either of this series' previous Genesis entries. This cart introduces killer combination attacks, vehicular battles, and comic book-like cutscenes.

Of course, PS IV takes heavy inspiration from its predecessors and shies away from doing much at all to revolutionize the franchise a la FF III. It plays as your standard Japanese RPG with a top-down perspective and random, turn-based battles. Thankfully, the developers returned to PS II's lovely dual-weapon system for equipment and a plethora of spells to thwart your foes. A particularly interesting addition is the option to engage in "party talk" to see some amusing conversations from your team members. The dungeons were a marked step-up from II and III as well. We'd love to see Sega localize more titles and build a compelling reason for RPG-fans to grab a Genesis.

Printed in Issue #22, February 1995