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Summary: Great Adventure Game, Horrible Combat Segments

 

I got Shannara in the Nineties as part of a ‘Legend Game Pack’ along with Companions of Xanth and Death Gate. Being the middle child of the group, this game is noticeably better than Xanth, but not quite as polished as Death Gate.

 

Having read the books is likely an asset, but I went in blind and didn’t have a problem understanding the relatively generic fantasy universe.

 

Overall, the game is very well made. Beautiful art, surprisingly good voice acting (especially considering the year it was made), memorable if stereotypical characters, and a decent story. I played it, completed it, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

However... this does not include the absolutely god-awful combat sections, or the surprisingly ugly over-world map. For some reason they decided to make the enemy monsters per-rendered 3D animations (the only 3D in the game) that not only look ugly, but clash with all the other art in the game. And the over-world looks like it would have been more at home on an SNES than a PC.

 

Thankfully the creators realized they had a dog with the combat system, and the manual even explicitly tells you to avoid it whenever possible. Though for some reason they didn’t just remove it. It comes up rarely enough they likely could have and no one would have noticed.

 

And a small tip, you MUST run away from the first combat in the game.

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