Landstalker review - Sega Megadrive
What the Mean Machines staff thought
Megadrive moaners are always saying the best games on the machine are groovy and playable but often too shallow. Silence, fools! Landstalker is lavish, action-packed, taxing and extremely deep. In just about every department: graphics, playability, game plot and size. Landstalker defers to nothing else. The programmers have produced a really solid-looking isometric 3D world, with amazing stone and wood textures. There's a vast variety of locations and landscapes, each with its own excellent soundtrack. But Landstalker is made a classic by the involved plot that surrounds your adventuring. The story adds another dimension to exploring the vast dungeon areas, making it as much a brain game as an action adventure. The more you play, the more you realise this is by far the best adventure game on the Megadrive.
Landstalker doesn't make for any ground-breaking achievements but is something very different for the Megadrive. At times I find that the odd perspective employed is confusing - platforms that appear in one location may lie in another. Pitfalls often prove lethal as Nigel's journey progresses so this becomes a bit irritating. Other than that the game is a marvel. Not only is it visually magnificent but the interaction between characters is always entertaining with a great line in humour supplying light relief on occasion. Every location in the vast adventure is richly depicted with as much care applied to the background images as the main players. Consequently the eyes are always entertained by places and characters visited many times before in the course of the exploration. Sega also provide an outstanding musical score, yet again, with a consistently good mix of soothing madrigals and rousing marches. Landstalker is guaranteed classic status in no time at all.
There are some moments in your life that just stick with you.
aurickandrien - 18 May 2010, 10:39 GMT
If you told me that I was going off to that old hypothetical desert island and that I could only take two games then one of them would be Asteroids. As for the other? That would definitely be Landstalker. No other game ever grabbed me as much before and no other game ever has since.
This game had all the classic moments: from saving the village chief's daughter from being sacrificed by Orcs at their shrine deep in the swamp; to delving into ancient crypts and solving the riddles contained within; to facing off against the fireball throwing wizard on the highest floor of his tower; and much much more! Not to mention the fact that you weren't the stereotypical hero in this to save the princess (though there was one!) you were a treasure-hunter searching for the riches of an long-dead(?) tyrant!
To my mind there will be two groups of opinions when it comes to this game: those who know its awesomeness and those who just can't get past the isometric gameplay and the impossible jumps. Yeah, Landstalker probably was a bit ambitious trying to be Zelda-flavoured Tombraider of its day back before they'd even invented 3D cards, but seriously I don't know what you'd be doing playing Tombraider when you could be playing Landstalker.
An absolute Classic. I think that all the other Japanese RPGs out there would do well to learn a little from this one.
Somewhat mixed feelings about the fact that the PSP version probably isn't coming out any more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjS76n7eg7Y
Dan - 29 Jun 2010, 11:34 GMT
This was kwality. you could pick at it's faults and the music grated me after a while, but as an overall experience it was something very different and grand fun.
Tim Chuma - 22 May 2013, 09:09 GMT
I would always try to hire this when I could. I actually completed it once on an emulator. The funniest thing I remember reading was an FAQ saying "the guy at SEGA screamed when he heard this" in regards to the one puzzle where you had to walk in the gaps to make a boulder roll over your head. You actually didn't, you could just jump up and down in the first slot and the boulder would bounce. The puzzles were hard including one where you get turned into a dog, but it turned out they were what kept you coming back. There was the infamous brothel that turned into a "ballet school" for the English language version and some other naughtiness. I did try "Ladystalker" but wasn't as impressed. Had heard reasonable things about Dark Saviour but have not seen anything as good as this from the developers since.
Shapey Fiend - 19 Dec 2013, 22:07 GMT
I know they edited it for the English version but I still got the sense of it despite not knowing what a brothel was.
Dan is obviously a fellow Irish man.