Sword of Sodan review - Sega Megadrive
Zoras the evil magician has been exiled to the far wastelands of the east, where it is said that he has been consorting with foul, depraved demons. Unfortunately, Zoras and his new-found buddies have returned to our green and pleasant land and have viciously murdered good King Pallas. The guiding light of law and order has been snuffed out and evil creatures now roam the land.
Obviously, at this point some kind of hero is required, and two such people are ready at hand to dish out the required violence. Enter Brodan and Shardan, a brother and sister who have decided to rid the land of Zoras and his depraved minions. The player can choose either of these muscle-bound barbarians they wish to play as during the game, although the choice of character in no way affects the gameplay.
The general gameplay involves walking across the horizontally scrolling screens using the Sword of Sodan to chop up any of Zoras' minions that you may find. They may leave potions behind that have many and varied effects on your barbarian hero.
What the Mean Machines staff thought
Whoops! Electronic Arts have a reputation for quality gear, and unfortunately Sword of Sodan doesn't quite live up to expectations. The graphics are superb and the sound isn't bad, but the gameplay is sadly lacking in any sort of variety whatsoever. It's just a case of walk along and cut things up with your enormous sword. The potion mixing idea is quite novel, but otherwise Sword of Sodan is a tepid beat 'em up effort which should be avoided.
After a string of impressive titles, Sword of Sodan comes as a b-i-g disappointment. At first it looks pretty tasty, with impressive opening screens, large sprites, colourful backdrops and great sounds. However, good as though they might be, they simply don't paper over the gaping cracks in Sword of Sodan's gameplay. It's just plain boring. Ponce your way around the landscape jabbing at the rather stupid enemy sprites and avoid the occasional hazard. There's simply not enough variety, excitement and challenge to keep you coming back after you've played it a couple of times.
At first glance, Sword of Sodan looks amazing - the sprites are massive and the backgrounds are detailed and varied. However it's only when you play the game that the weaknesses become apparent. It moves at a snails pace - your character shuffles along with some depressingly stilted animation. Combat is very much a 'hit and miss' (ho-ho!) affair, and no matter how hard you try you never seem able to walk away from a scrap without receiving plenty of damage yourself. The final nail in the coffin is the repetitive nature of the game - it's simply a case of walk, slash, walk, slash, use potion, repeat. Don't be fooled by the impressive visuals - this is a poor game, and once again the Mean Machines crew are spot on with their assessment.
Have your say about this review
Tris Wicks - 05 Nov 2008, 03:30 GMT
Garish beef chunks cripple footing around in pretty land. Sword of SodOff more like.
Dan - 19 Feb 2009, 16:02 GMT
I reckon MM were way to generous with their score for this title, it was a proper minge-cookie. Slow, cumbersome, repetative, boring dross.
Steve - 08 Sep 2009, 00:25 GMT
I can't believe this pile of shite got that score. I too was conned by the big sprites... but have you seen the buggers move? It's the worst animation I think I've ever! seen on any console. Don't believe me? Just check for it on youtube and you'll experience the badness of this game.
TJ - 27 Sep 2010, 21:47 GMT
Man, I can remember begging my mum to buy this cuz of the 'amazing' graphics....geeze, how I owe my mum that £40 or so...I didn't have the heart to tell her how crap the game was!!!!