Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lady Sword

Games Express

Tits are Lady Sword's hook. Tits are your incentive to plod haplessly through dungeons that are overly large yet strangely devoid of interesting puzzles and obstacles, to endure too-frequent random battles and unspectacular musical tracks, and to fumble around with a cumbersome setup that requires players to press the Run button in order to access essential maze maps (a pointless requirement considering all the main-screen space that's wasted on nothingness, and an annoying one when step-by-step map consulting becomes necessary in dark or trap-littered areas). Were Lady Sword tits-less and bold enough to stand solely on its merits as a first-person dungeon crawler, there's no doubt it would be deemed a title that stumbles in more ways than it excels.

All that stumbling doesn't mean that Games Express got nothing right in their endeavor, however. In fact, whoever was responsible for Lady Sword's monster designs did a hell of a job. The variety in the cast is laudable; I met what seemed to be over a dozen different breeds of beast just during my inaugural reckless dash to first-floor slaughter. The designs are a bit too cartoony for my liking, but I do get a kick out of how certain enormous bosses and mini-bosses are sketched as stooped to account for being crammed into lairs too restrictive for their hulking frames.

Even beings who don't immediately assail you have their own, er, "unique charms."

Confrontations can be handled in quick, painless fashion. Also convenient are the options to save and rest whenever you so desire (though dream invaders will occasionally interrupt your convalescence) and set warp points so that important locations can be revisited in a flash. Actually, it's all a little too simple; expect nothing in the way of commerce, spell books, strategic battling, or puzzle solving. Items you need are almost always laid out for you along the correct route to a floor's exit, so there is seldom any reason to poke around in side-corridors and fill out your map, seldom any worthwhile extra exploration to partake in. You'll have to be content with lots of monsters, fast fights, and tits.

Really, though, Lady Sword makes for decent dungeon romping, and it could've been a good game had it offered some confounding conundrums to solve and tucked-away items to locate. As it is, it's too damn boring for stretches, as it doesn't give players much to do aside from wandering around, fighting, and trying to make heads or tails of the gargantuan floor layouts. It's worth playing... if you've already experienced other, much-better PCE dungeon crawlers (like Dragon Knight II and Madou Monogatari) and you're scouring the market for more.

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