Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nerdicus NES Review #76 : Battle of Olympus

Title : Battle of Olympus

Publisher : Broderbund

Genre : Action Platformer / RPG

Players : 1 Player

Release Date : 1989

Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $3-$5

For me, there are a few games in the NES library that some people may disagree with how I feel about them. One of them was ZELDA II : The Adventure of Link, and one of the others was a game that was very similar to that. So similar that people thought it was a direct rip off. But you know what, I don't care. The game is pretty well done, and if you have the patience for it, it ends up being pretty damn rewarding too. Of course, that doesn't mean it doesn't have it's problems also.

I'm talking about THE BATTLE OF OLYMPUS. It's a typical side-scrolling action game with RPG elements, much like ZELDA II : The Adventure of Link was. The only difference here is that it takes place in a backdrop of Greek Mythos. Hades is loose and is wrecking havoc Greece in order to seek revenge against all mankind. Why is Hades always made out to be the bad guy. He's really just misunderstood. I mean if you had to take care of all the dead, you'd be annoyed too. Benefits don't seem that great for a guy who's in charge of the underworld.

You play as Orpheus, who needs to rescue his girlfriend Helene who has been kidnapped by Hades. Really...another kidnapping? *sigh* Anyway, you'll go around Greece, collecting magical items and weapons, all the while gaining favor of the Gods by completing missions which usually involve killing Greek Mythological creatures.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for Greek Mythos and action adventure games. So here we go, BATTLE OF OLYMPUS.

So you start out as Orpheus making his way from area to area by use of an overhead map. Townsfolk and mythological creatures / Gods will assist you on your way by giving you usually very vague hints as to what you're supposed to do next. 

It's not as interesting as the ZELDA II map where at least you get to walk around the map and encounter monsters. Instead, you just do that during the side-scrolling segments and when you reach the end of that zone, it'll bring you back to the map to show you where you are next.

Messages like "You need to find this before you can do this." or "You need to talk to him before you can go here." are usually all you get. It's not a lot to get the ball rolling with this game, but it's all you need. I wouldn't say story is a strong point here, it's more about killing critters during the side-scrolling action segments.

You don't know how many times I was hoping to encounter someone that said I AM ERROR...never happened though :(

One of the things that this game will probably annoy the hell out of you with is it's extreme difficulty. If you thought Zelda II was hard, you really need to try this game. I've spent hours painstakingly grinding mobs just to collect crystals and health advances, otherwise there's little hope that you'll survive many battles. The problem is, a lot of your weapons besides the magic ones have pretty piss poor reach. To add insult to injury, enemies will gang up on you and even the simplest mobs like a slime can end up ruining your day. 

Another issue was that you've got a little bit of the ice-skating effect going on with your main character. He slips and slides all over the place after a jump, and while it's not as bad as some other games it does get a tad annoying. Especially during those difficult jumps.

Do you know how many times I've been hit by a monster only to be knocked back into a pit? Hundreds.

Boss battles are even worse. If you somehow manage to beat each boss without dying at least ten or twelve times to each one, I'd be shocked. In fact I'd pay someone to clear the game without dying a few times. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE (or if it is, I'll never be able to do it that's for sure.)

I don't know about you, but now I'm more excited than ever to get to Zelda II...only 700+ games to go :(

Final Score (out of 5) :

Until next time. Keep on gaming!



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