Role-playing games are among the most fun games to
play on the NES. Hydlide by FCI is not one of those
fun games, mainly it's an exercise in frustration.
In this kingdom called Fairyland, the evil wizard
Varalys kidnaps the princess, transforms her into
three fairies, and hides them in different parts of the
lans. Jim the knight must defeat Varalys. So you basically
just wander around the landscape killing things, gaining levels,
and stuff like that.
This game has problems right from the start. You walk
around each part of the land on this overworld map,
defeating villans while searching for objects. You're
usually in DEFEND mode, but hold down the A button,
and you're in ATTACK mode. To attack enemies, you
need to hold down A and press into them, and more
often than not, they can press back and inflict more
damage that you're giving them. If you do defeat
them, you get experience points. The key word is if. More often
than not, they'll hit back, doing you in rather quickly. You have spells, but
to use them, you must build to a certain level (which, as mentioned, is
near impossible since you'll spend too much time getting killed.) Occasionally
you'll wander into caves that are entirely dark and get killed by enemies
you have no chance of defeating.
Plus, when you open the menu, don't be fooled by the
SAVE option. It only saves until you turn off the
power. Otherwise, once you die, that's it. You have
to start over. Luckily, you can get passwords.
The graphics are terrible. The enemies look small and
are not very well animated. Also, the landscape
doesn't look good. The music is just as bad. It
sounds like a watered down version of the Indiana
Jones theme. The fact that you have to press against
enemies to do damage also sucks.
In the long run, Hydlide is a game you don't want to
play. If you want a game that looks like Zelda, and
plays like Zelda, you might be better off with Zelda (Ed Note: or Crystalis!)