Neophyte: The Journey Begins

RPG 1998 Windows Alien Software Fantasy Anime

Save the princess!

If you're a follower of classic action RPGs like the Zelda series or the lesser known Aspetra, then Neophyte is another game which definitely needs to be added to your list. Like Aspetra, it's anime-style adventure which isn't exactly well known in the West but which is largely cracking stuff and which is well worth hunting out. If you've played Secret of Mana, then this will be quite familiar, with a very similar look and feel to the gameplay and graphics but this is a good thing as that game is a true classic. As usual with this kind of thing, the general idea of the game is to wander around a large fantasy-style world, whacking monsters and exploring dungeons while embarking on an epic quest. This one revolves around tracking down an evil wizard who has captured a princess but don't expect the story to conclude here as this game is the first part in a trilogy. There are all the usual features like shops to visit, weapons to upgrade and the occasional puzzle to solve. Neophyte isn't staggeringly original, in terms of story or gameplay but it scores a lot of points by simply being well done. The visuals are quite lush, with some lovely characters and environments and are backed up by some equally nice effects and tunes. The combat and exploration and satisfying and enjoyable and although the puzzles are slightly on the easy side, they still make a nice addition to the game. Controls couldn't be easier to pick up, requiring simply the cursor keys and spacebar, so when you add all this together, you have a top notch RPG that is perfect for genre fans.

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