Title : Cadash
Publisher : Taito
Developer : Taito
Genre : Action Platform
Players : 1-2 Player
Release Date : 1992
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $20-$25
Dragons? Barbarians? Wizards? Demons!? DUNGEONS?! SKELETONS?! AGHHH!!! I can't contain my nerdism! It's boiling over! It's everything I want, all packaged into one epic platforming / role playing / action / adventure nerd overload! It's funny though, the first time I ever played this game was for the PS2 when they released it on some Taito Memories Volume where they included a bunch of old school Taito games. This game stood out amongst it's Taito counterparts, and I have to say a large part of it had to do with the setting and the game play.
If anything could be compared to the Legend of Zelda II : Adventures of Link, well this game could be it. I imagine it to be an homage to that game, especially since it plays so closely to it. And let's not start knocking Zelda II, I liked that game dammit.
Backtracking a little bit, let's just sit and bask in the glory that is the box art. It's freaking epic. And I don't say freaking that often (okay, maybe I do). The demon is a bit reminiscent of Tim Curry in Legend, and of course the barbarian looks like Conan, but who cares. It sucked me in like black hole.
So what exactly is a Cadash, eh? Well, apparently it's an underground demon spawning pit that is spluttering out monsters of chaos to wreck havoc upon the world a la Mordor and the Eye of Sauron. Sorry, blatant Lord of the Rings comparison, but that's what I think of when I play most role-playing styled games. Basically, the demons are pissed off because they used to once live in the happy go lucky lands above, but were banished, because they were butt ugly. Oh, and going back to the Lord of the Ring reference? The main demon in this game is called Balrog. YUP! Balrog....so, yeah...LOTR.....no doubt.
When the game starts, you'll have the opportunity to choose from a host of different classes, mostly ripped from your traditional RPG standard. Fighter, Mage, Priestess, and Ninja. Wow.....who can resist a Ninja class? Each class, as expected, as different skills and stats that really determine how you want to play the game dependent on your play style. I am typically a warrior class, because I like to be that front and center tank, but my back up is always the "hunter". But...we'll go for fighter for now, because it's traditional fare.
I could seriously go on and on about all the abilities and differences between each class, but you know what I do one review every single day and I frankly don't have the time. Wish I did though, eh? Who wants to pay me for doing this? Ha...no? okay..fine..
Going back to what I said about how this game was similar to Zelda II, well it's taken all the same elements and lumped them together. This time, they just improved upon them. You know, to a point where it actually makes sense and you actually have townsfolk helping you out and selling you items that are worth it instead of saying I AM ERROR. What is the story behind that anyway?
You'll level up in this game, improving your stats (HP / MP), as well as collecting and purchasing new items and weapons that will assist you in defeating enemies, and you'll also pick up dropped gold / items from monsters and hidden chests. Not to mention, you'll be tasked with completing various "quests" and collecting keys in order to open doors to move on to next areas.
What really made this game different from some other side-scrolling, RPG platformers was the ability to play with 2 players. Hell, in the arcade version you could have apparently played with up to 4. Now that's just MAD. Platforming RPG's with multiple players!? It's like living out a dungeons and dragons quest line!
Also, compared to the arcade version there is no time limit for the consoles. In the arcade, you actually had to buy hourglasses at shops in order to expand your gameplay, otherwise you had to feed more quarters into the damn machine. Imagine if you had to feed quarters into your genesis? Hell no.
You'll fight your way through five areas, each with a separate number of sub-level growing increasingly more difficult. Monsters, and environment effects change per level, and they at least give the game quite a bit of variation as your progress. Not to mention the epic boss fights you'll encounter along the way. All of which are surprisingly easy to figure out a pattern for.
Gameplay it's as simplistic as can be, with the challenge actually being quite low in this game. You'll always have enough health items, and enemies appear way too easy. Makes you wish there was a difficulty setting, and if there was, I couldn't find it.
Visually, this has to be one of the better Sega Genesis games I've played, especially for a platforming game. The backgrounds are reminiscent of some old school Castlevania imagery, but stylized with some great animation. Each area stands on its own quite well. My only qualm with the actual display, is that occasionally it appears to be too small of a user interface. You get used to it though.
It also contains one of the best soundtracks for a fantasy game on the Genesis. And that's saying a lot. If you've heard me talk about some of the Genesis soundtracks, you know I typically despise them. There's something about the audio that bugs the hell out of me. Not here though. While the soundtrack is entertaining, the game does seem to be lacking sound effects. Perhaps they put all the effort into the rocking fantasy tunes?
Looking to fulfill your lust for fantasy platformers and haven't had a chance to find a decent one for the Genesis? Search no longer! An odd name, but CADASH is ready to answer the call.
Final Score (out of 5) :
Until Next time - Keep on Gaming!