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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Entirely Too Early To Call ALUNDRA Blog

              I recently discovered Alundra on the PS1. I can hear you asking, " just found it?" And yes, I just found it. Having gone the direction of Nintendo while growing up, I never owned a PS1 when it was introduced to the US market back in 1995. And as such, I missed out on a large number of superb games, including the 1997 Zelda clone, Alundra. Wait... a Zelda clone? on the PS1? You read that correctly. The initial descriptions I found online all commonly referred to Alundra as a Zelda clone. More specifically, a clone of the 1991 Zelda game A Link To The Past (Zelda) from the Super Nintendo (SNES).

                So what makes this particular game a clone of Zelda? Well to start with, the main character, Alundra, has a very familiar look about him. He's an elf, or so it has been said, and as such he has pointed ears, very similar to the hero of the Zelda series. But to be fair, this game is
said to be the spiritual sequel to the 1993 Sega Genesis game Landstalker, a game that also depicted an elf with pointy ears. Having never played that game, I really cannot comment any further about any similarities from that particular game. I can however, say that from the few screenshots that I have seen online it does appear to be very Zelda like in it's own respects, but I digress.  The other features of the game that seem to resemble Zelda include, but are not limited to:               

                - Whacking bushes with your sword to collect coins/life
                - Upgrades in lifebar abilities.
                - Weapons/Upgrades (including bombs).
                - Dungeons with puzzles to solve, and a dungeon boss.
                - Large open world gameplay.
                - Top-down viewpoint.
                - Live action combat style (so called Action RPG).
                - Similar graphic/character design (i.e. character sprites).

                I will admit that at the time of this writing, I have yet to complete the game in it's entirety, but the few hours I have spent playing it has given me a very similar gaming experience as compared to that of Zelda. I find that I am intrigued to find out what happens next in the story. What new items/weapons will I aquire along the way? I have puropsely avoided walkthroughs and let's play videos so as to not spoil anything. Even though this game is almost 20 years old (17 yrs.) I want to experience it unspoiled, like I would have back when the game first came out. From what I have gathered from opinions both online and in the real world, I am not going to be disappointed.

                What the game has given me so far is vibrant graphics, with simple, yet elegant detail. Controls that are responsive and uncomplicated. Sound and music that is sufficient in providing that in-game ambiance that I enjoy in my gaming experience. I will say this, I don't feel like the music is anything spectacular (i.e. the tunes are not catchy and do not get stuck in my head), but they are still very good, and capture the emotion of what's happening on the screen quite well. The only exception to this is the highly energetic opening sequence set to a pretty awesome hard rock piece.

                When all is said and done, this game has been nothing short of delightful so far. If you get a chance to play this gem from the early Playstation years, I highly recommend it. If you have played it, I think it's time to put the GTA 5 away for a few nights and get back in touch with your roots.

Here is a short video I made with some of the gameplay. I think it will speak for itself.