Vtd here, with another review, this time describing the lesser known Ascii beat-em-up, Melfand Stories. Long ago, in a country called Melfand, the people had a kind king who knew of peace. However, one of the King's subordinates, Nomolwa, decides that he wants the power to rule the country. Nomolwa uses deception to get rid of the King and Queen and steal the throne! With the help of Labyuless (a twisted warlock) and Brad (The Black Knight), Nomolwa uses monsters and fear to control the citizens of Melfand! One day, four warriors decide to fight against Nomolwa. El (13 year old youth), Corse (22 year old Knight), Lemin (51 in elf age, 17 in human age), and Nora (20 year old thief) travel across the country to get rid of Nomolwa and his flunkies!
The game attempts to have a little plot, though as you progress through the game, the plot is very simple and straightforward. I found the graphics to be pretty nice in some areas and very generic in other areas. The animation of a few things look pretty cool, but other things don't animate all that good. The game succeeds in being silly and colorful and overall, the graphics are decent enough. The music is good and nicely accompanies the events that take place within the game. It's adventurous and fantasy themed. The sound effects are very average, but they didn't irritate me, so it's fine.
Despite the game having fair graphics and decent music, there is a feeling I can't seem to shake about this game. On the surface, the game looks fun and anyone should be able to enjoy it. However, after the first few minutes settled in and I saw Melfand Stories for what it was, I became upset with the game. It's too generic and simple for its own good. The four playable characters each have different strengths and weaknesses. El is like the balanced character, though his range is short. Corse is very slow, but has high defense and attack. Lemin has the most reach, average speed, but slow attacks. Nora has fairly low attack, but high reach with the highest speed. They all have a very basic (somewhat mediocre) three part combo and all use the same four spells (with one only being available in two player mode). There are a couple of nearly pointless abilities such as the ability to attack enemies behind you (like you would in Golden Axe 2, Streets of Rage games, etc.), and flip. The game can also get a tad bit annoying in two player mode when it comes to traveling. It's not a whole lot of fun having Corse drag himself along when you're paired with Nora.
On the plus side, the game at least gives you the option to play co-op and there are a few more perks. The game has nine stages and you have two bonus stages along the way. The nice thing about this game is though each initial run is short (as you only play five of the nine levels), you can choose different paths during the course of the game that alter the story a little bit. Each character also has a different ending too. This adds some amount of replayability, but the game is short and laughably easy. I also wish you could get more than just magic and some restorative items *Sees El pick up a pipe*. In the end, Melfand Stories comes off as a bit of a beginner's action game, due to its very simple structure, easy to get into gameplay, and relatively simple story combined with the colorful graphics. Kids would have a blast with this game, but people looking for something more challenging and dare I say "demanding" will want to ignore this title. See you next story!
- Written by Vyse the determined -