Dungeons & Dragons: 
Warriors of the Eternal Sun

Sega/Shin Force 
| Sega Genesis Review

Sega/Shin Force > Systems > Sega Genesis > Reviews

Shin Force ~ Genesis ~
Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun
Geoffrey Duke
Westwood Associates
8 Megabit
Import / Domestic
1992 (USA)
1992 (EUR)
6 Button
     > Dungeons & Dragons has the best medieval fantasy lore in my opinion, mainly because it's so dark. Perhaps too dark. I hate to see D&D held back by lack of investment and children's ratings to be perfectly honest; this magical lore deserves better. 

     > I used to be a huge fan of Dungeons & Dragons. I even read many of the books (I recommend reading The Avatar Trilogy if you want to learn what happened during The Time of Troubles which laid the foundation for BioWare's Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 for the PC. I am ever the RPG fan. Perhaps I need RPGs to sustain me. RPG stands for role playing game if you are unfamiliar with the term. You play the role of someone you could never be in real life, and enjoy life as much as possible. At least I do anyway!

     > Unfortunately, it has become harder and harder to find quality D&D games these days, so I decided to go back in time instead. Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun is a top down role playing game with turn-based battles while you are exploring the outside world, but when entering a dungeon the game switches to a first person perspective with real time turn-based battles. It's a strange combination that actually works really really well. The first person battles are fast and exhilarating. You can also create your own party from a limited number of classes available.

     > The story begins with humanity on the verge of extinction while in a war against goblins. Before the final battle and inevitable defeat, your castle is magically transported to a huge valley with impossibly high cliffs located under a burning sun. It's your mission to forge new alliances in this strange new world in order for your people to survive. This is a fairly original setting for a story. See what I mean? Dungeons & Dragons has the best medieval fantasy lore. D&D games have the potential to achieve greatness, even if no one expanded the lore ever again. That's how much depth it has.

     > This game was made by Westwood Associates before they became Westwood Studios. Westwood later made the incredibly successful Command & Conquer. This was before EA sucked the life out of them.

     > This game has a unique colorful art style that has helped an old game age well even into the modern era. The imagery is medieval and unmistakably western (if you are used to Japanese RPGs then the difference in style becomes more noticeable). The art is colorful yet serious at the same time. The graphics are timeless due to this art style. I much prefer this art style over minimalistic realistic graphics which have no soul/identity. Let's face it: no one wants to play real life.

     > The first person perspective only uses a small part of the screen. This is a 2D game attempting to create the illusion of 3D, but graphically the game renders a good sense of distance and creates a great illusion of depth, and the enemies look fairly detailed. It's quite impressive for the time. The fact that the first person perspective only uses a small portion of the screen is the only reason the graphics lose points for me. Otherwise everything is great for the time considering the nature of the game.

     > Everything runs smoothly and the controls are responsive. While fighting from a first person perspective you can switch to different characters very quickly, and use magic, or simply brute force your way through dungeons with melee weapons. Everyone takes a turn but you can skip ahead to decide who attacks first (if you are fast enough). This might not be for everyone, but once you adjust to the controls, it's great.

     > You can use ranged spells which are very useful against enemies who strike from melee range. You can strike from a distance which makes clearing a path much easier, but armored warriors can soak up the most damage. You need to rest to restore health and spells, but you can also find items that unleash spells on your enemies too.

     > The music makes great use of the hardware. There are melodies with different types of flowing beats. Some soft melodies and some more thunderous. The music puts you in that time period by never sounding electronic. There are lots of emulated flutes. The music is very solemn at times. You can only really tell that by contrast. Optimistic music is generally more cheerful.

     > The sound effects are good quality. You know when you strike someone, and nothing is muffled.

     > You explore a strange new world full of strange new enemies which can kill your party very quickly if you are not prepared for them, and you explore monster-and-trap-infested dungeons that seem like mazes at times. I think there's an equal balance of combat and exploration. There are many hidden areas and you aren't herded in the right direction; you have to explore the world yourself (some parts of the game need to be done in a certain order, or you need to find quest items before you can proceed, however).

     > I am biased because I love Dungeons & Dragons but I actually think this is a better first person RPG than Shining in the Darkness, mainly because the first person battles are fast paced and aren't random. Once you clear a dungeon it's clear unless you reset it. You can customize your party to best suit your playstyle as well. 

     > Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun is based on the Hollow World setting where a sentient dinosaur who became a god preserves extinct species, including human beings. The god of this setting is appropriately named Ka the Preserver and he looks similar to an Allosaurus. Imagine that. It's difficult to write matter-of-factly about something that excites the imagination such as D&D. I want to immerse myself in this beautiful fiction forever. Thankfully it's too popular to die.

Bottom Line
     > Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun is one of the better Dungeons & Dragons games ever made. This is definitely worth playing if you are a fan of western D&D RPGs. Obviously it's no Baldur's Gate 1-2 (PC) or Neverwinter Nights, but this RPG has a surprising amount of depth. The game has tons of exploration and challenging enemies. The art is still imaginative even to this day. It's colorful medieval fantasy with a dark twist thrown into the mix. I think the only other quality D&D game on Sega consoles was Dungeons & Dragons Collection for the Saturn. Fans should hunt this down.
Overall: 9.1 | Graphics: 8.7 | Control: 9.0 | Sound: 9.4 | Fun: 9.2
~ Geoffrey Duke ~


American | Box /Cover Art

European | Box /Cover Art

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