I claim to love a great many games but I'll admit that I love some more than others. Sometimes when I really love something it can quickly turn into an obsession, as several of my ex-girlfriends can attest to. I'm a little different though, I donít tend to get obsessed with the same games other gamers do. Iíve only played Chrono Trigger once, my first and only play though of Ocarina of Time was a year or so ago, and Iíve never actually beaten Final Fantasy VI. No, I seem to save my adoration for games that go unnoticed and unloved by the gaming community, games like Soul Blazer for the SNES.
In Soul Blazer you play as an avatar of a generic deity called The Master, who must travel from village to village repairing a destroyed world and freeing its trapped inhabitants. You do so by slaying monster and destroying their lairs to release the missing buildings and people. At face value it just seems to be a bizarre mashup of ActRaiser and Zelda, seeing as itís a top-down action-RPG with world building elements. However, it still manages to offer a very satisfying game play experiences. Why are walking plants always such dicks?
I've always thought that the whole rebuilding aspect was an interesting addition to the game, despite the fact that you have no say in how the villages get rebuilt. As you run through the dungeons repairing the villages you come across areas you canít access and enemies you canít damage and youíll have to come back with items and weapons received from the villagers to get everything out of each dungeon. The villagers donít only serve as glorified treasure chests they also act as interesting side stories. Some of them have family members that theyíll worry about and miss until you finally release them. While others will offer up segments of the main story giving you a glimpse of what happened to get the world in such a sorry shape.
The overworld map.
There is also a nice variety of environments ranging from typical lava and ice dungeons to more original locales like a steam-punk basement and a model town. Though different, they are not as epic in scope as other games such as Final Fantasy. While this may be the case, I find that the different dungeons so a good job of matching the theme of the village they belong to while staying unique enough to not be repetitive. When relying on a giant bubble for air, donít fight pointy things.
I seem to be one of the few people to remember this game and fewer still that remember it as fondly as I do. Sure, there appears to be a strong cult following for the game but I havenít met any fans off of the internet. However, I feel that unless youíre talking about a depraved sexual fetish you shouldnít have to turn to the internet to find people that like what you like. Now, I know that last statement might sound odd seeing as itís in my blog, which itself is a much smaller part of another blog and therefore bravest and most daring internet spelunkers will find it, but that doesnít change my opinion.
Behold, my obsession:
I know there are better action-RPGs out there but I always find myself going back and replaying Soul Blazer at least once a year. I donít know exactly what it is that makes me love this game so much. Maybe Iíll never really know, but isnít that what loveís really all about? Seriously, is that what loveís all about? I have absolutely no idea. Iím kind of new to this whole ďloveĒ thing and am much more familiar with its bitter cousin hatred. Oh hatred what would I do without you? My never-ending rage fuels me and keeps me warm.
Other games I love:
Games that I regret:
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