The Immortal
Sega/Shin Force
The Immortal

Sega/Shin Force > Systems > Sega Genesis > Reviews

Shin Force ~ Genesis ~
The Immortal :: Review
Geoffrey Duke
8 Megabit
Import / Domestic
6 Button
     > The Immortal is an isometric RPG that was created by Will Harvey for the Apple IIGS. It was later ported to many different platforms including the Genesis/Mega Drive, courtesy of Electronic Arts. This game is set in a huge labyrinth with puzzles and enemies that punish mistakes with a quick death. My favorite death trap is an area with swords shooting up from the ground. You need to watch where they strike and avoid them accordingly.

     > You play an old wizard who is stronger than he looks and the game starts with your mentor asking Dunric to save him in the dungeons below. The problem is you are not Dunric, and thus the game begins with a quest to unravel the mystery of your mentor's disappearance.

     > You won't be playing this game for the story. Nevertheless, the mystery makes you want to find out the truth. The story unfolds as you progress which gives you a sense of purpose. It's reminiscent of what an old school Lord of the Rings game might be.

     > The Immortal uses a 2D isometric perspective which means it creates the illusion of 3D with diagonal graphics. Sprites are drawn with isometric angles and blend into the scenery well. Nothing seems out of place. Everything is figuratively dark and literally grim with death traps everywhere. The graphics clearly aren't aiming to be a colorful cartoon. The game lacks color, but given the setting, it's quite fitting. The art is what you'd normally find in western medieval fantasy (goblins, trolls, giant spiders etc), so if you are a fan of that genre you will feel right at home.

     > The graphics aren't in the same league as Landstalker, but the game has a serious dark atmosphere which sets a dark mood. Needless to say, it's a different style. This game is gory because the main character kills his enemies in different ways, such as making their heads explode or using fireballs to burn them alive, or dies in horrific ways himself. 

     > Whenever you enter combat, the game zooms in on the two combatants (set against a black background) which makes everything easy to see.  The battles ensue as you see striking, magic, gore and fatique bars.

     > You move diagonally like in other isometric RPGs, as well as up down left and right. If using a keyboard and emulator you need to use two keys to form the medium direction to move in diagonal directions. Everything responds well if you enjoy isometric graphics.

     > When entering combat, your character and the enemy have fatigue bars. The more you attack, the more fatigued you become, thus causing you to attack slower. You can dodge enemy attacks by moving in the right direction, thus making the enemy fatigued which means killing them becomes easier. You attack by pressing left or right depending on where your character's sword arm is. It's slow and confining but works well. Holding down a button plus pressing left or right to dodge is counter-intuitive but with practice it becomes second nature. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.

     > Sound effects adequately suit what they are trying to convey. The music is very atmospheric. The music sets a dark mood with slow or prolonged key strokes, and panicky fast keys for story exposition. The music also constantly switches depending on the location. I am impressed with the music overall considering the limitations of the platform. It could be a lot worse.
     > As an RPG fan, I enjoyed The Immortal. The game mostly contains death traps you need to avoid, minor logic puzzles (i.e. clues tell you to do things in a certain way or order), fetch quest puzzles, and gameplay where you need to react quickly to enemies, lest you meet an early grave. You also need to use items to navigate literal pitfalls and other death traps. I'll leave this to your imagination because I don't want to spoil it.

     > There aren't many levels but the game is so unforgiving that it's worth playing if you want to play a game that doesn't hold your hand. You can use passwords to access different levels, which is great if you enjoyed certain levels above others. The last boss is an awesome dragon.

Bottom Line
     > The Immortal isn't the best RPG on the Genesis but it's certainly a good one. I wish it was longer. If you want to play another isometric RPG with a similar art style to this (albeit way more colorful) check out Light Crusader.
Overall: 8.3 | Graphics: 8.0 | Control: 8.0 | Sound: 9.0 | Fun: 8.0
~ Geoffrey Duke ~


Japan | Box Art

USA | Box Art
[click to enlarge]

European | Box Art
[click to enlarge]

USA | Magazine Ad
[click to enlarge]

[ << BACK ][ TOP /\ ][ FORWARD >> ]
All images and logos are the copyright of their respective owner.