Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sword of Vermilion: Sega Got Medieval On The Genesis

Of all the different game genres that I've gotten my hands on, RPGs were the most difficult for me to enjoy. I never understood why that was, but I could never get into the early Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior games when I was younger. One really under the radar RPG changed that for me, and it was Sword of Vermilion for the Sega Genesis. The game follows the son of Erik V, king of Excalabria, on his quest to defeat Tsarkon and restore peace to his world. Sword of Vermilion was released in 1991, and for it's time was pretty cutting edge, utilizing a lot of the graphical innovations that made Phantasy Star II such an amazing game. I played Sword of Vermilion before I had ever touched a Phantasy Star game, and after playing Phantasy Star II for the first time, I can clearly see the similarities between the two games. honestly, the only difference is that Sword of Vermilion is entirely set in a medieval environment, while the Phantasy Star series is known for blending fantasy and science fiction to great effect. This was also one of those instances where Sega gave you every bit of info you'd need to finish the game if you were patient enough to read. Included in every copy of Sword of Vermilion was a 106 page hint book that clued gamers in on where they needed to go next. Hint books like this were a welcome surprise for any gamer thinking they would be flying blind through such a big game. The coolest part of this game was something that was rarely done well in RPGs to that point, with the only exceptions being the Phantasy Star games. The first person dungeons in this game are as fun as they are tense, and the added immensely to the overall gaming experience. Sword of Vermilion comes pretty cheap and it's pretty much available everywhere thanks to Virtual Console and the various iterations of the Sega Genesis Collection for different consoles.

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