[size=3]Brandish 4 - Tower of the Sleeping God[/size]
Although enjoying very little exposure outside of the Japanese market, the Brandish series of top-down dungeon crawl action RPG games was immensely popular in Japan, spawning many sequels on the NEC PC9801, SNES, PC Engine, and other systems. The image of the blond, scantily clad sword & magic-wielding Dela (a recurring character in the first 3 Brandish games) was omnipresent in game stores in Akihabara during the early 1990's. Brandish 4 is a Windows re-release of the last NEC PC98 computer version Brandish, Brandish VT - Fata Morgana Templum. The Windows version includes more characters and enhanced graphics.
[color=blue]Brandish 4 does not require any knowledge of the previous Brandish series games. While it is set in the same world, the characters and story are all-new to this game.[/color]
Each of the 5 playable characters (4 standard and one hidden) has a unique story mode, different maps, and different characters that they interact with. You will run into other player characters in your quest, and how you respond to them can change your character's alignment, affecting the ending.
The Fata Morgana Templum (Tower of the Sleeping God) is a huge tower in the middle of the desert (similar to the Tower of Darm from Ys), and each character has their own reasons for exploring it.
The tower is loaded with traps and puzzle elements, making Brandish 4 a sort of Action RPG/Puzzle hybrid where you have to carefully consider your next moves, not a free-roaming hack & slash.
System Requirements: Windows XP/ME/98, Pentium 133, 32MB RAM, Direct X 3 or greater.
Notes on gameplay:
- Don't hesitate to use the "REST" option frequently during the game - there seems little downside to it if creatures aren't able to get to you.
- The gameplay seems more difficult to start with some of the selectable characters. If it seems to rough, try starting again with another character.
- The white "guide" lines can be disabled in the utilities menu. You might want to remove them after you get used to gameplay as they can detract from the look of the game.
- As far as Japanese RPG games go, this one is not so tough to play for someone who can't read much of the language.
Notes on playing in Windows Vista: The installer will not place a shortcut as expected in your Start/Programs menu, so watch closely where your game is being installed during setup, and create a shortcut of the BR4_WIN file to place on your desktop or start menu. The "wav" sound option causes my Vista box to crash when enabled, so I use MIDI.
Torrent Contents: cue/bin ISO, box and CD scans compressed in .rar format