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Title:Sword of Vermilion (Genesis) Playthrough

A playthrough of Sega's 1991 action role-playing game for the Sega Genesis, Sword of Vermilion. I've always loved Sword of Vermilion, and though it might not have aged as gracefully as some other games from the time, it did a lot of unique things that made it stand out when it was first released. It was originally released in Japan in 1989 under the name "Vermilion," and it might surprise you to know that it was developed by Sega AM2. AM2 is of course the world-famous team responsible for nearly all of Sega's hits throughout the 80s and 90s, and it was the team's (including producer Yu Suzuki's) first game produced for a home console. That's quite a lot of talent backing this RPG venture, and it shows in many ways. The first is the variety inherent in the game play - the game uses several different perspectives to keep things fresh throughout. In towns you play from the classic top-down view seen in Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, and Phantasy Star, and you interact with people and items using the then-standard blue menu/dialogue prompt boxes. When you are in areas where fighting occurs (the overworld and dungeon areas), you view everything from a Phantasy Star-style first-person perspective as you navigate with an on-screen map. When you encounter an enemy, the game switches to an action sequence on 2.5D playing field where you hack, slash, and cast spells at bad guys while trying to avoid their attacks. And finally, when you get to a major boss battle, the game shifts to a horizontal 2D field (like you find in most platformers) where you dodge and weave back and forth, smacking the baddie down with your sword whenever you see an opening. While none of these modes alone are runaway successes, all of them succeed well enough to let the game come together as a coherent and unified experience. On the whole it's well-executed, even if suffers from the lack of a fleshed out story, the hideous random encounter rate, and the hit detection issues that tend to make the game feel a bit repetitive as you approach the end. The mode changes do help to mitigate those missteps a fair amount, though, and the mechanics are otherwise solid and the game is quite a bit of fun without being too punishing in its difficulty level. Just keep in mind that it's an RPG from the 1980s - that you will need to grind is a given. The graphics, though exceedingly old and rough looking today, were pretty good at the time. The 3D scrolling is a bit choppy but it's serviceable. It makes for a really nice change of pace from the constant top-down view most RPGs use, and it marks a strong distinction from the feel of the town areas. The standard battle scenes, all brimming with simple enemy sprites that blob around in search of the stiff, marionette-looking hero are dull to look at, but the boss scenes more than make up for this. These guys are often huge, fairly gross, and the level of detail on display on those scenes is pretty astonishing for such an old game. It's unfortunate that the boss graphics end up being recycled later on in the game, but they're always dramatic and entertaining to watch. But why are everyone's faces green? My favorite aspect of the game, and the one that keeps me coming back to the game again and again over the years, is the soundtrack. It's incredible. The tracks are all memorable, and like you might expect from Hiroshi Kawaguchi, full of bombast. It makes use of a wide variety of samples to keep things fresh between music styles, and their quality - especially the heavy drum samples and orchestra hits - are crystal clear by Genesis standards. The FM instruments must have had some serious effort put into their creation, as well - the patches for the electric guitars, the church organs, and synth horns all mix well, and surprisingly, many of the instruments sound better than the sample-driven ones in many SNES games. It's one of my favorite Genesis soundtracks, for sure. Finally, I didn't exploit any of the game's glitches while recording this video - there are several that grant massive strength and health bonuses, but I ignored them since I using them would've gone against the way the game was intended to be played. They remove any challenge from the game. I also haven't edited out any grinding - this is the full fat experience from beginning to end. _____________ No cheats were used during the recording of this video. NintendoComplete ( punches you in the face with in-depth reviews, screenshot archives, and music from classic 8-bit NES games!


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