zh666's Silver (Dreamcast) review

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  • zh666 has written a total of 156 reviews. The last one was for Fallout 3

Silver had potential to be a good RPG, but to many problems.

Silver is an average or slightly below average RPG at best. I don't think I can recommend this to anyone, because the story, graphics and battle system was all weak. There was a few shinning moments in the game though, I like the Zelda isms that can be found with this game, like leveling up after a boss, killing each monster to advance stages, and to find all 8 Orbs to advance the game. Silver had a few bugs with it, towards the end it would often lock up on me, and even before fighting the final boss the game actually reset on me! The AI is extremely stupid and they become more of a problem than help. The battle system was painfully easy, including all boss', but figuring out where to go next was to much of a pain in the butt. While I like challenging games, this is just to hard. Unless you're hurting for RPGs for the Dreamcast, then skip this game.

----------Battle System----------
Silver is an action RPG. You must play as David at all times, but you can take with you 2 extra characters to form a party. If you warp back to your rebel camp you can swap any of those 2 extra characters for 3 others if you please.

You don't gain experience for each time you kill a monster, however the system is closer to a Zelda game where you gain a level after you defeat a boss character.

The biggest problem with the game the fact that the story doesn't give you any hints to where to go most of the time. The first few hours was kinda linear and easy to follow, then the leader of the rebel camp says "Go out and find the 8 Orbs" and that's it! You'll often get keys or new Orbs, but little direction on what to do with them or where to use them. Just about half of the quests in the game I had to look up on a walkthrough. Otherwise this game was easy.

Another huge problem with this game is the dumb AI by your teammates. For the most part, your team members will just stand there, not even budging to help you. I have no idea why they didn't just make this a single character game.

Silver uses a "Pie" menu, which is easy to use once you know what easy piece of Pie means. Each of the 8 pieces of pie leads to another pie menu under it. It makes for quick weapon switching but the only problem I had with it is each time you equip a new weapon or use a health item it warps you out of the pie menu, forcing you to open it again. If you want to eat a bunch of Carrots to replenish your health, you'll have to open the menu each time.

The game only has quite a few weapons, like 8 swords / blunt weapons, 8 Magic Orbs that can be used as weapons, 8 Summons / Magic weapons and 8 Projectile weapons. You'll be uses normal swords about 90% of the game though. The only armor in the game is shields. Your weapons and magic orbs will gain levels alongside David and his party, but I didn't figure out how that really worked.

So with all of those weapons, David and his team will also learn 8 special moves and with the power of the Right trigger he can use 4 extra moves on top of that. So with all of these moves you'll still be hacking and slashing your way through monsters until the very end of the game.

----------Characters / Story----------
You play as David, a married man that is training to be a warrior with his grandfather. As he was training, a group of soldiers came into his home and kidnapped his wife. As David and his grandfather chase after her captures, they realize this small army is kidnapping the entire town's women. David eventually hooks up with a group of rebels that go on a quest to get the women back and to stop the evil Wizard Silver that is behind the whole plot.

The story is not great, mostly because of the lame dialog. Most characters in the game are very underdeveloped with little reason to care about them.

----------Graphics----------
The character models are in similar quality to Final Fantasy 7, but only the models within the towns and dungeons, not the battle scenes. With that in mind, for an early Dreamcast game, this is pretty poor. The backgrounds are nice looking, slightly grainy at times, and there's little scanning involved, but I enjoyed them mostly because they never repeated over and over again, so each new screen was a new design. That's one thing that bugs me about most Western Action RPGs like Baulders Gate and such is the recycled levels. Because of the unique levels designs, there was less levels and a short quest.

At the start of the game you will get to watch a quite lengthy CGI intro, not quite on a Final Fantasy level of quality, but close to Legacy of Kain maybe. You won't see any other CGI cutscenes until the very end of the game though, and they're very very short.

The dialog scenes are lame lame lame. There just is no emotion shown by the characters at all. All they do is stand there and a little box is shown in the corner showing who is talking. That's IT. The characters rarely move within these scenes. I eventually learned about two thirds into the game that I can turn the "Dialog" box on. This box is ugly to look at and read. The colors contrast and the text is in an ugly cursive that's hard to read.

----------Sound----------
Every piece of dialog is voiced out in the entire game, which is very impressive considering this game is only one disc long. On the other hand, the voice actings are terrible. The main character David sounds like he was voiced by the actor that played Dante Hicks on Clerks, and he's a terrible actor. The music is minimal ambiance or light keyboard work, nothing to bad but also nothing rememberable.

----------World Map----------
The level designs are similar to the PS1 era Final Fantasy games or even Legend of Dragoon. The levels are pre-rendered backgrounds, but there's no marking on the exits until you hold the L trigger and then tap the R trigger to find exits you otherwise have a had time seeing. David will get the world map early in the game once he visits a few areas. Each time you visit a new area it will be marked on your map. You can open the map at any time and warp back to any of these areas for fast traveling.

----------Time to Complete Game----------
Roughly 15-20 hours. The game does not record your time or open up any secrets or bonus' at the end of the game. blah.

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