Name: Words Worth (81.77% in 62 votes)
Release date: 1999
Reviewed by: Wingzero
"Glittering of the light cast shadow, the more the Light below, the more the Shadow deepen. God placed a stone on the border to prevent conflict and engraved holy words on it. The stone, guardian of eternity and truth, the sentinel of peace, was named Words Worth.
A long time has passed and washed away the legend and something broke Words Worth into pieces. From that time on, Light and Shadow struggle to engross the truth engraved on the stone. When this conflict came to an end, Words Worth will quietly tell us the truth." Source---Prologue
As the game begins, both the Light and Shadow World blame each other for breaking the tablet while trying to collect the broken pieces at the same time. You begin the game as the Prince of the Shadow World and your childhood playmate, Sharon, has become your fiancTe based on your father's arrangement. While Sharon is a beautiful woman, she is also a respectable sword fighter in the Shadow World; and she isn't going to settle by marrying a weakling (like yourself at the beginning of the game). In order to change Sharon's opinion towards you (much to your father's opposition), you begin your own search for the broken tablets of Words Worth and the fight against the World of Light. Although you will be the only member of your team, but you will meet your friends along way to guide you through: Sharon - your fiancTe, Neena - the half woman half beast, Kaiser - the strongest swordsman in the Shadow World, Stallion - the "always" horny horseman and Catora - the "always" happy skeleton. As the game progresses, you will soon discover the shocking truth about yourself and the message Words Worth brings forth.
Although the game is being marketed as RPG by Elf, I prefer to view this game as a combination of first person hand to hand combat and RPG. Like many other RPG, your basic objectives are: beat them all monsters, gain experience points, level up and upgrade your equipment. While this game is pretty well developed as a RPG, the element of first person combat added a twist to it. On the first person combat side of the game, you will come across some trick traps and switches and the all too famous tele-portals (like first person shooter). As you encounter some stronger monsters, some guerrilla-warfare skills will better guarantee your survival (as a side note: a god mode applet has been found on the Internet if you are not fond of first person combat). One nice feature provided in this game (and I have to call it a huge time saver) is the automap feature. It automatically map explored regions of the dungeon so you can go back it anytime by just clicking on it. Another nice feature provided in this game for the RPG side is the ability to scroll back to some older conversation even if you have accidentally hit the all too famous "ctrl" key a couple of times (I have noticed other newer game such as Gone from Active Software that carries the same feature). In all, this game has a good mix of RPG and real time combat.
The CGs and character design in this game are definitely Elf's top class work. No wonder Elf is one of the top companies in creating virtual idol. There are plenty of nicely done CGs and hentai scenes (I captured about 300 some pictures and about 75% of them are h-scenes) . An omake section is also available as you progress through the game. The opening avi in this game is probably the best I have seen so far. The prologue in the opening avi actually uses English and Japanese subtitle (which kind of surprised me). Has Elf really taken their first step to market their games overseas?
The level of Japanese required to play this game is not all that high (heck, Elf even used English in the prologue) with the game leaning toward first person combat a little bit more. The storyline is pretty much linear and pretty easy to understand (as I have not been able to discover an alternate path). Any gamers with a good sense in first person combat should be able to finish the game without too much trouble.
The music in the game is ok, but nothing to get overly excited about. The background music kind of set up the atmosphere on each level of the dungeon, a well match however.
Now, for a little drawback of the game. This game is "really" HD space hungry, a minimum installation will take up to 370 MB of space (560 MB for a suggested installation). The system requirement is pretty harsh too, a 3D capable video card is almost a must have to ensure smooth game play. (See Elf's homepage for a list of compatible 3D video card).
In conclusion, Words Worth is a still the most impressive RPG game I have ever played despite the fact that it requires a supercharged system to run it. I strongly recommend this game for any Elf's game fans.
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