Excerpt: As I walked around Fan Expo, I had the chance to stop by the Sega booth where some game stations were set up for three of their upcoming titles. I immediately noticed there was a station opened for Sands of Destruction and jumped at the chance to test the game out. Not a lot is really known about Sands of Destruction but this impression will cover the introduction to the world, some of its characters, and a brief look at the combat system.
This world ain't big enough for the two of us. So let's blow it up!
9 February 2010
Conclusion: The game info for Sands of Destruction on Sega's website lists an “unconventional storyline” as one of the game's impressive features. So I'm kicking off this review by laying down the premise of this oh-so-groundbreaking plot and letting you, the reader, decide how unconventional it really is: Orphaned teenage boy lives in rural village, oblivious to ways of outside world. Boy goes on errand which leads to series of events forcing him to leave village.
Pros: Very nice soundtrack, A few cool graphical moments, Taupy!!!
Cons: Not so nice VA/effects, ...but too many bland ones, Story is formulaic, Dungeon design is beyond annoying
Excerpt: This world ain't big enough for the two of us. So let's blow it up! The game info for Sands of Destruction on Sega's website lists an “unconventional storyline” as one of the game's impressive features. So I'm kicking off this review by laying down the premise of this oh-so-groundbreaking plot and letting you, the reader, decide how unconventional it really is: Orphaned teenage boy lives in rural village, oblivious to ways of outside world.
Pros: Very nice soundtrack, A few cool graphical moments, Taupy!!!, Not so nice VA/effects, ...but too many bland ones, Story is, Dungeon design is beyond annoying
Excerpt: Sands of Destruction is a new role-playing game for the DS that unabashedly models itself after the console RPGs of yesteryear. While more recent games in the genre typically eschew certain once-common elements, like random encounters and turn-based combat, Sands of Destruction embraces them. Unfortunately, this effort at recreating the magic of many classic console RPGs is not very successful.
Pros: Interesting story puts a twist on genre formula, Extensive voice acting
Cons: Combat is slightly confusing early on, wildly unbalanced later, Some frustrating mazes, Voice acting sometimes slows storytelling down
Summary: As the supposed spiritual successor to Squaresoft's 1998 PS1 classic Xenogears, Sands of Destruction has the pedigree, but not necessarily the polish. However, ultimately, it manages to transcend its quirky shortcomings to deliver an entertaining RPG.
Pros: Battles tend to be fast and entertaining, Fantastic soundtrack, Reasonably good visuals evoke PS1-era classics
Cons: Mediocre voice acting, Battle system is often too one-dimensional, Imbalanced difficulty
Summary: In Sands of Destruction, based on the Japanese TV anime World Destruction: Sekai Bokumetsu no Rokuni, you'll experience an action-packed story featuring a unique range of characters, a artistic atmosphere and an intense RPG battle system.
Conclusion: Is Sands of Destruction great? Certainly not. But it is more fun to play than all the games I named at the beginning of this review, aside from Suikoden Tierkreis. It’s a little depressing that there aren’t better JRPG offerings on the DS, but there are at least a few more promising ones on the horizon.
Everybody wants the boy with the power to destroy the world: you.
19 January 2010
Conclusion: Sands of Destruction is a solid RPG with a good battle system that is fun to use – once you get it all figured out. The upgrade system also takes a while to get your head around, but you’ll appreciate how it allows you to guide the evolution of your party. But those random battles have got to go. They just make the game feel old, even while it tries to innovate in other areas.
Conclusion: Sands of Destruction looks good, and sounds good. But the story premise collapses under its own weight, and it may very well be the easiest RPG I have ever played in my life. It's an entertaining diversion as long as you understand that you won't be challenged at all.