Find the sword, save the world
This is another Genesis/Mega Drive-era RPG that shows that the system could actually do a pretty good job of turning out such games and as such is well worth adding to any collection which includes Phantasy Star IV
and Shining Force
. It's not as good as these classics and is certainly not for novice gamers but for a bit of good old-fashioned fantasy fun, you could do worse. The game takes place in a medieval/fantasy-type world and finds you in the role of a young man who finds out he's actually a prince and who must embark on a quest to find eight magic rings which can be used to defeat the evil King. The gameplay is a mix of styles here, with a top down perspective used for exploring towns, where you chat with the locals, pick up quests and go shopping, while a first-person view is used for when you venture outside of towns. Interestingly enough, a side-on view is used for combat, which plays out in a sort of Double Dragon
-style mode. Sword of Vermillion isn't quite top tier nineties RPG stuff but it's definitely second level material. The story is fairly compelling despite its familiarity and should keep you going to the end, with some memorable characters to meet. The mix of gameplay styles is well handled and helps make this feel a little more varied than many similar games although it is showing its age a little. The visuals aren't as sharp and charming as other titles from the period but they're still quite nice if you're into this sort of thing. On the whole, this is a worthy example of the 90s RPG.