Name: Guardian's Sword Plus (90.00% in 2 votes)
Company: TGL - Japanese
Release date: 1999
Reviewed by: Lamuness
WindThunder's Guardian Sword can be considered a success, but it a lot of plot events are unresolved even at the end of the game. Namely, a lot of people questioned what happened to Jean, the catty girl. This is because she left the story mid-way and was totally never heard of ever again. WindThunder, as a response to their fans' request, made this Guardian's Sword "side story" featuring Jean as the main character. The story basically talks about what happened to Jean after she left Shot at the sewer. Depressed that nobody cares for her, Jean asks the dimensional portal guard to send her to another world. Thus, she goes to the "Fantasy World" where similar to Guardian's Sword's beginning, Jean encounters many interesting things, and later on discovers an evil ploy in this world and it is up to Jean to stop it.
The overall plot of GSplus is not as intense and good as the previous GS. This is mainly because the story in GS centers around a number of characters, but in GSplus it is mainly centered around Jean only. However, it definitely did a good job at adding an post-script for Jean's life after she left the story in the previous game. Instead of being as intense as GS's plot, GSplus' plot is much more to the humorous side, which very interesting and humorous events. The portriat of Akakumo is a definite plus to the enjoyment of GSplus.
The graphics in GS is extremely nice, one of the best. The battle is intense and visually very appealing. GSplus is even more insane than GS. Graphics are more detailed and much better drawn and rendered, and the battle graphics are more intense. GSplus uses the same battle engine as GS, so I will not repeat it again in this review. There are a few improvements of the battle engine over GS, such as a longer time bar (so it is easier to see when your character attacks next), and a much wider variety of spells and limit breaks. The dungeons are less frustrating and complicated than in GS, but the background seems too repetitive in dungeons. Overall the music is extremely nicely done, although I prefer GS music over GSplus slightly. In addition to all these improvements, one thing definitely worth mentioning is the use of full screen CG scenes. They are beautifully done, and can match the CG quality in most Japanese games. Also, similar to Final Fantasy, there are movie cut scenes throughout the game, and they are very very nicely done with a blend of 3d animations and 2d CG art. At certain times in the game, Jean will change into different costumes according to the situation (gozilla suit, maid suit). I think this is a good design but sadly is not implemented frequent enough.
Now the bad part. If you think that GS is too short, think again. I think GSplus is the shortest RPG I have ever played in my life. If you read all the text and know what you are doing, you can definitely finish the game in one day, and that includes a very decent amount of mindless level-upping. Personally it took me around 10-12 hrs to finish GSplus. I think this is way way too short for an RPG. The graphics are great, but it's mega-HD-hungry. The game takes up 550 megs of HD space and I only get 10-hrs of gameplay? Also, not to mention that if you are not running a PII chip, your computer will lag if it is loading some graphically insane battle effects (as an aside, I use a P200 with 64meg RAM and GS didn't lag a bit, but GSplus did at times). GSplus does not have as much dungeons to explore as GS. The short gameplay also causes one problem: you level up too quickly. Also, you learn a skill/magic at almost every level and you just don't have the time to "appreciate" all the skills and magic. There are some skills/magic that I didn't even touch throughout the game.
Some problems in GS also exists in GSplus, namely, lack of equipment variety. In GS at least there are elemental weapons to choose from but that doesn't exist in GSplus. In addition, it will be nice to have a pause button in battles, because battles are real time and what if you want to go to the washroom? What was taken out of GSplus is puzzles, and it is kind of disappointing not to see them in this game because the subgames in GS are pretty fun and entertaining.
I said in my GS review that GS rocks. I really want to say that GSplus rocks more, but I can't. This is mainly because the game is way way too short for an RPG. I was expecting longer gameplay for this game, probably 20 hrs at least, but it didn't. However, multimedia-wise, it is a definite improvement. There are some nice additions to the game, but some things are taken out. I really don't know if GSplus is better than GS. If you are a GS fan and want to know what happened to Jean after the story, then definitely get this game. If you like RPGs but you do not have a lot of time to play big RPGs such as Final Fantasy, then GSplus is your first choice. Just don't expect the game to last very long. If you can live with that, than you will love Guardian Sword Plus.
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