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The Top Shelf:
Septerra Core

Vol. 2, Issue 5
December 9, 1999 

click to enlarge!

Glom them pretty backgrounds (100k)

The fate cards themselves bring up an interesting point about this game that I want to talk about for a moment. The game developers created this whole world, a legend, and a compelling back-story to the game. Other games in recent time have done this as well; but where they diverge, is in the continuity of the world / universe that they’ve created. Games like Outcast (since its still fresh in my mind) have a game manual that explains how to work things; and then different items and elements are explained to the main character in the game – in alien terms. Where things are too cryptic, the designers often managed a way for your character to weasel more information out of the alien. In Septerra Core, however, the game developers don’t do this at all. They tend to explain how to do things in plain human English – and they explain them as if someone were telling you how to play it on your computer . I’m sorry, but having someone in-game mention mysterious forces like “the seven winds”, and recite lore – and then turn around and tell me how to move a card (spell) into a spot on my screen... I want to jump up from my chair and say “Wait a minute! I know he knows all about Marduk and Gemma and the forces behind fate cards; but how the hell does he know about my mouse and my computer screen? He’s talking to Maya (my character), not ME!”

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It's clobberin' time! (85k)

I've said it earlier in this review, and I’ll say it again – I’ve highlighted a lot of bad parts of this game; but underneath them its still a decent experience. And as far as bugs go, the game is pretty darn solid. The problem is that you’ll run along having fun for a few minutes – and then invariably hit one of the afore-mentioned snags or issues; and gnash your teeth for awhile before getting back to having fun. Taken in total, Septerra Core is a game that would’ve been a lot better a couple of years ago (and indeed, I’ve heard that it was delayed due to publishing problems). However, its problems disrupt the game experience off and on all along the game (especially combat); and in the end my feelings for it are merely tepid to lukewarm. There are far more compelling games out on the market – especially as we enter the holiday crunch... However, if you’re looking for a game to complete your perfect collection of every RPG title ever sold; then pick this game up. Otherwise, if you’re still curious about the game – my advice is to wait and buy it when it hits the “$19.95 bargain bin”. I’ll be looking forward to the next attempt by these developers; and hopefully they’ll deliver a great product, break some new ground, and show us that they’ve learned from this game.

- Noel "HB" Wade is a regular contributor to loonygames. Basically, he just wants attention.



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Credits: Illustration © 1999 Dan Zalkus. This review is © 1999 Noel Wade. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited, goldarn it.