Reviews for Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole™
Old School RPG Funravestar | May 9, 2013 | See all ravestar's reviews »
Landstalker was a great game when it was released, and is still a pretty good game even now. Sure the graphic are outdated and the gameplay is nothing to shout about. But the level design and the overall atmosphere is one that will satisfy RPG fans.
You play as Nigel on a treasure hunt, battling monsters and solving puzzles along the way. The characters and levels are all designed in a 2d cartoonish way, which may or may not appeal to everyone. I like the simplicity of the story and it's a nice little adventure concept.
The gameplay is actually not easy, especially if played on a keyboard. In the 180 degree movement sphere, you have to battle various enemies who surround the character.
The soundtrack can get abit annoying at times, as it's rather repeative to the point that I poinder whether to turn the sound volume off.
Overall, Landstalker is still a fun game, slightly letdown by flaws in the gameplay and soundtrack. But it's got a nice story and character which you will want to explore. Recommend if you are a fan of old school RPG games.
Difficult but funnairume | Dec. 23, 2012 | See all nairume's reviews »
Landstalker is an admirable attempt by Sega to provide their own answer to Nintendo's Zelda franchise. It is a sprawling action adventure title with clever puzzles, an enjoyable plot, and interesting characters. However, many things about this game works against your ability to enjoy the game. Nigel takes a considerable amount of damage from each enemy attack and restoring that health is often expensive or hard to come by when you've run out of options and are not near a town. This results in combat often feeling less enjoyable, as the rewards do not match the amount of risk that goes into each encounter. Furthermore, as the game is played from an isometric perspective, the controls are also rather clunky and this results in many cases of Nigel being hit by enemies because you either could not adequately move him out of range of an attack or because the perspective made it difficult to gauge how much space you had between yourself and the enemy. The game also features a considerable amount of platforming, which, as with the combat, is not well served by the controls or the isometric perspective. Overall, the game is still solid, but there is definitely room for improvement.
Frustrating but funGAMERamble | April 8, 2011 | See all GAMERamble's reviews »
Landstalker is the story of Nigel, a wood elf that makes a living from being a treasure hunter. Planning to do a little relaxing after his latest adventures in the Jypta ruins his plans are altered when he rescues a mysterious forest nymph from the clutches of some bad guys. The reason that they were after Friday the nymph is that she knows the location of the legendary treasures of King Nole. Spending all his cash to hitch a ride to the island that Friday spoke of Nigel sets out to find the treasure hoard. Things take a turn for the worst though when he gets knocked unconscious and wakes up in a village of strangers that took care of him. Before he can get back to his search he has to help a few people and gather some clues to the whereabouts of the treasure. Things get a lot more complicated than he bargained for and he soon ends up in a far greater adventure than simply dodging a few traps.
If you're thinking Lanstalker bears a passing resemblance to The Legend Of Zelda on SNES you'd be right. It's a action Rpg where you have to fight as much as use your brains. Your quest is vast and you'll need quick reflexes as well as some logical thinking before you even have a shot at gaining the treasures. Combat takes place in real-time so strategy fans is going to have a hard time here. You have virtually no time to think and enemies will decimate you in seconds if you don't have quick reflexes. I was a little disappointed with the combat system seeing as it can get very unfair at times. Your character can only attack with swords and have no way to defend himself. You can also get into situations where you can't attack because trees or whatever is blocking you. This doesn't stop enemies though who attack in large groups, can seemingly hit through anything and take loads of hits to die. You also stagger backwards when you're hit so there are lots of scenarios that happen likes this : You walk into a room with five heavily armoured knights. All the exits close and you have to defeat everyone to exit the room. You do so and enter the next room. A bad guy instantly hits you, knocking you back into the first room where you have to fight the knights again. Yes sadly the bad guys also respawn as soon as you leave a room. Things like this can really spoil your day and getting cornered by a bunch of enemies usually spells your demise. The original had limited save areas but since this version is emulated its not such a big deal anymore. A cap on the amount of health potions you can carry still makes this a challenging game. Be prepared for boss fights where you can get killed in two or three shots even with a full health total.
If you though the combat was hard though wait until you see the puzzles. Almost every room you enter in the dungeons or caves of the island is filled with traps and puzzles to bar your way. These are also coupled with quick reflexes and arcade skills like platform jumping to make your life more difficult. Trust me, by the end of this game not only will your gamepad be knackered but your fingers and brain too. All of this could have destroyed any chances of Lanstalker being a classic but it's such a damn good game you just have to keep on playing. Landstaker was actually the first Megadrive game I bought and although I couldn't complete it back then I could have kicked myself when I saw how close to the end I came before giving up. The graphics in the game is pretty good with lots of cool details everywhere. Character and monster designs are of a high quality and everything has a unique look to it. The entire game takes place from a 3D-Isometric viewpoint and your character can only walk in four different directions. Due to the viewpoint some of the jumps in the game are extremely difficult as it can be hard to make out if a platform is above or below you, but after playing a while you get used to it. The same with the control system. At first you'll struggle to get to grips with moving your character but after a few hours of play it becomes second nature.
There are a few towns that you'll have to visit and talking to people can be vital to your progress. There are some funny situations and talking never become a chore. Buying items on the other hand is a bit laborious for my taste. If for example you want to buy health restoring herbs (called Eke Eke) you have to walk into the shop, pick it up, listen to the shopkeeper tell you what it is, put it on the counter, get asked if you want to buy it, answer yes and only then it's yours. Unfortunately there is also only one or two in the shop so to max out your Eke Eke (you can only carry nine at a time) you'll have to buy the two, leave the shop, enter again and repeat the whole sequence. A simple question of how many do you want to buy would have saved a lot of time and patience. Later on you'll also find a casino where you can play games like Chicken toss, Chicken race and roulette for more cash. Although you won't be playing these for long it adds a little extra to the game.
Sound wise Landstalker is good but not impressive. There are some very nice tunes in the game but the sound effects let things down a bit. All of the enemies have the same annoying screeches and Nigel sounds like a baby when he gets hit. This can get on your nerves very quickly. In the original game you could only save your game in towns at a church and if you're lucky you'll find a priest that can do the same for you in some of the dungeons. This makes this emulated version a tad easier since you can save at any time. If you lose all your health Friday will use a Eke Eke on you to restore half of it, but seeing as you take so much damage and can only carry nine of the herbs things get very frustrating. Fortunately you can also carry nine Dahl that will fill your health up to it's max.. These are best saved for those mothership encounters that are infrequent but extremely tough.
Landstalker isn't going to be a game that will appeal to novices. The cool old skool graphics might draw them in, but they'll soon tire of the unending puzzles and frustrating combat. You also have no statistics to improve so unlike other RPGs combat serve no purpose other than to acquire more cash. If the enemies didn't respawn so quickly it would have been ok but having to wade through hordes of them only to find you have to backtrack and take another route makes killing them pointless. Avoiding them in the narrow passages also cost you more health than fighting so you really have no choice than to hack away. The game is also fairly linear and to trigger certain events you'll have to visit a certain place or talk to a certain person. There's never really a time when you don't know where to go next, it's more of a question of what do I have to do to get there? All this might sound very negative but once you start playing Landstalker it grows on you and you'll want to see what happens next. This game was a classic back on the Megadrive/Genesis and is still worth playing today.