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Name: Wind & Cloud (95.00% in 12 votes)
Type: RPG
Platform: WINDOWS
Company: Engimas/Softworld
Release date: 1998
Reviewed by: Kyubi Fox

Wind/Cloud is one of the most famous comic in Hong Kong. It is published by Tinha and written by ”nž-ÅT, who has also written the comics ’†‰+‰p—Y(Chinese Hero)and ˜¯“V“j—¦‹L.As of this review Wind/Cloud is at volume 272. In a sense HK comics are a lot closer to American comics than Japanese manga: they are all full colored but HK comics have a lot higher quality (but more expensive...) There is also a movie based on Wind/Cloud.

This game depicts the beginning of the Wind/Cloud story. The story starts when Cloud's step-father got killed by the Tinha clan. Cloud decided to join Tinha while planning his revenge to kill the clan boss. But then as he finds out later, a fortune teller wrote his boss a poem about him and Wind...

In the game, you are Cloud. It starts out that you are a kid and then at some point you turn into adult. In the beginning when you are the only person in the party, it was really tough. Basically you have to go back to the inn everytime you fight someone. But then later when you get party members life become a lot easier. Your party changes a lot according to the storyline, so you don't really want to train your members. One little complain that I have is that the actual time when Wind is in your party is way too little ^^

While most of the stuff in this RPG is the standard stuff (with an item interface like Diablo), the battle damage system is very interesting and innovative. Closer to real life, when you get hurt, your attack/defence/speed goes down!!! Of course the enemy drop also, which creates a really interesting twist in the battle mode. You no longer try to eliminate one single enemy as soon as possible, now you have to spread out your damage on all the enemies to weaken them. "Attack is the best defence."

Internal Strength(magic basically) is the exception to this damage system. These are cool attack moves based on the comic. The damage are usually huge. Only Cloud can learn new moves, and you have to use your moves A LOT to learn better moves.There are some healing moves as well but you will really want to save those energy for more damage on the enemy.

Gameplay: 8/10 - This is just like any other RPG but the "realistic" damage system really makes it fresh and stand out from the crowd. Too bad they do not include the Final Fantasy "real-time" battle mode. Also, events are triggered by position so sometimes you may be wandering in the town just to look for the "hot spot." (terrible in those larger towns)

Story: 7/10 - The comic is great, but the game gives us kinda a rush feeling, like you are flying through the story without really getting to know the enemies (or your partners). Also the ending is very vague (dammit like the comic, I really want to know what would happen b/w Cloud and that girl). OK, there are also some really stupid jokes that are not even funny.

Graphics: 10/10 - da bomb! Featuring the best-looking 3-D rendered characters I have seen. They are very detailed (not like that stupid Sky Dragon story) and really dress like those people in TV and movies. The whole environment looks so much like the real Chinese stuff (like those shrines in houses). You will be totally sucked into the world without even trying.

And I haven't said anything about the battle scenes yet. The way some of the bosses fight are really cool. They jump around flying the swords and stuff. Also there are those cool transparency effect on explosions.The Internal Strength moves are also great (note: the representation of those moves are totally wrong. Those moves are supposed to be used in close combat with a very big influence on the surrounds. In the game it's all shooting fireball and stuff. Major points deducted here). One wield thing is for Cloud's animation, he uses his fist as normal attack instead of the sword after he turned into adult. Although all animations are done in 3D, they are incredibly smooth except for some very complex and detailed battle effects such as the final boss' special attacks (which can be a pain because it can take VERY LONG to load). Fortunately, animation slowdowns happen very rarely that it's pretty negligable.

Music/Sound: 9/10 - There are 42 CD tracks. Basically the second CD is all soundtracks and the openning and ending movies. They give you a very good variety of backgrounds in different places. The Chinese style of those musics make it even easier to get sucked into the game. Too bad there is only 1 background music for battles, so in long battles with bosses you really get bored... The sounds are nice. Most are heard in battles.

Bugs: -1 - Very rare has a Chinese game got so much attention on its bugs on newsgroups. One very major bug is for people with more than 1 CD-ROM drives is that the game cannot detect the CD (thus they can't play)! Great that patches are out in a quick manner.

Overall: 9/10 - Probably the best Chinese game of the year. With stunning graphics and fun battle system, this is truely what a RPG in this age should look and play like.
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