“Sir, I know it’s unexpected, but our people in X-STREAM have something to tell you”
Having been released in 1990, this game is incredibly ambitious for what it is. A combination civ-building simulation & side scrolling beat’em up. When initially hearing about this mashup, I thought it was going to shortchange both of the combined gaming styles to create a subpar experience overall. I was only partially right.
The beat’em up sections are straight forward enough and incorporate a ton of similar elements (if you blur your eyes while playing these sections, you’d swear you were playing Golden Axe). The sections last about 5-10 minutes at most & have the fun mechanic of platforming while not being able to change your mid-air trajectory. Which is super fun when you get to boss sections that have ONLY short-hop platforms to stand on while bombarding you with a flying boss.
The simulation sections are interesting enough in terms of using your miracle powers to clear the areas of obstacles for your disciples or get rid of all enemies on the screen…or just use your power to destroy everything your disciples have built in true civ-building sim fashion (if only you could summon Godzilla…). Problem is, this formula get’s quite repetitive over the 6 different areas:
- Always direct your disciples to build towards the nearest monster nest
- Shoot any monsters in their way
- Move your disciples to the next nest
- Destroy rocks
Granted, there are some minor “sidequests” that are sprinkled into each area that will net you a new spell or magic mcguffin that saves someone from something ailing them…unless you’re that guy in the desert (hashtag you will be missed random disciple). These spells make the beat’em up sections much more enjoyable as you use your spell once, realize you can’t use these unless you have magic scrolls, & save them for use specifically on bosses.
I know I’m coming off as harsh on this game, but it really was enjoyable enough that I wanted to see it through to the end, which is saying a lot for games released in 1990. Incredibly ambitious for the times, and if you happen to find a rentable copy of the game, do it.