Received: July 18th, 2012 / Written: August 30th-September 1st, 2012
Tenchi Sōzō (AKA Terranigma)
Year: 1995 | Developer: Quintet | Publisher: Enix | [ O ]
6/6/14 Update: Click here to read my current thoughts on this awesome game! =D
After I beat this game last month, I started writing a rough draft expressing my thoughts and feelings on my experience with it and saved it on my flashdrive. I spent about two weeks working on it, and it was going to be split into two parts because I wrote like twenty-plus paragraphs on it; medium-sized, mind you (most aspects were written in a few paragraphs as opposed to one long one). I felt like I did a really decent job on it, and I liked how it turned out (it was almost done, and I only just had to make a few adjustments). Sadly, my flashdrive malfunctioned when I inserted it one time, so I couldn't access my files, and in turn I lost my rough draft. It's my fault, because I never thought of creating a copy of it; and I really wanted to share my thoughts on my blog with everyone once I finished my rough draft. Originally it was going to be over twenty paragraphs, yet I don't know how I could express my thoughts on it in just a few. Well, let me try.
EDIT: I still had some video game footage on my video camera, so I managed to create a few still shots again (since the ones on my flashdrive got lost, too). Click on the screenshots to see their native size. One day I'll make a full-length review, but for now, my feelings must be shared. You may notice that from time to time I'll refer to the game with its Japanese name; if I reference it as Terranigma over and over, it'll give the false implication that I played the European version, when in actuality I played the original Japanese version. The last thing I want to do is mislead anyone, so please bear with me.
In the early to mid-90's, Quintet developed a series of action-oriented RPGs many regard as the Gaia trilogy for the Super Famicom and Super Nintendo consoles respectively, which are highly praised and lauded as some of the best video games available on Nintendo's 16-bit console, and for good reason. The first game, SoulBlazer, I absolutely love to pieces and is one of my favorites, despite being a victim of bad translation. The easy-going nature, not to mention its lighthearted feel and quirkiness, make it very charming to me; also, it makes for a perfect starter RPG for those new to the genre (almost to the point that it makes me wish it was my first RPG). Eventually it was followed by the second title, Illusion of Gaia (Time for PAL countries), which is another game I love to death, even if it didn't have a satisfactory difficulty (in my opinion) and suffered from a lot of plotholes. The stark contrast between this game and the previous one was that the controls were vastly expanded, had a unique leveling up system, it was linear, the tone was much darker, and there was an optional secret boss fight. In some respects, it's a superior game to SoulBlazer, but overall it's still a fantastic, fun game, though not in the same level as the aformentioned title. Finally, today's game, Tenchi Sōzō, released in Europe as Terranigma, was the third and final game of the trilogy. And all I've got to say is: damn, it's one of the most incredible video game experiences I've ever had in my life!
Before I start, I should share a little story. Ever since I first looked it up, I became very interested and intrigued, and for a long time it's been at the top of my wishlist, for I heard tons of great things about it. Sadly, it only saw release in Japan and Europe and was never released in America back then. Over the years, there have been "repro" carts that were made to play on an NTSC Super Nintendo console. I'm sure you must be curious as to why I bought the original Japanese cart over the localized version. The reason I didn't buy the American "repro" cart was because it's way too expensive for my taste, and the reason I didn't buy the PAL version was because I researched that it's one of those games that won't work on a Retro Duo system (the console I use to play Super Famicom games). If it did, I would've totally picked that up. Luckily the Japanese version sells at a smaller price than the other two versions do, and I thought that Tenchi Sōzō was more likely to function on the Retro Duo than the PAL cart. I thought right, for when I turned it on for the first time, I was totally surprised to see that not only did it work, but I was also about to play one of the most critically acclaimed video games of all time. I was super excited when I got it, and I did not regret buying the Japanese cart one bit. Yeah, it's all in Japanese (well, mostly; there are a few instances where you see English words or letters, though not exactly many), and I may not have understood what was going on dialogue-wise, but it didn't stop me from playing and enjoying it.