Thursday, March 17, 2016

Landstalker - Initial Thoughts

About the Game (From the Steam Store Page)

You are Nigel, an elf and treasure hunter extraordinaire.

Assisted by his new partner Friday, Nigel will travel to a distant island in a search of a legendary treasure.

Previous Playtime

0 hours

What Was I Thinking When I Bought This

I honestly didn't remember, so I looked back at my transaction history, and it turns out that I bought this game for full price. It took me a while to remember why I would do such a thing . . .

As I recall, it was early 2015 and I'd just gotten my new computer. I ordered it off of Amazon, and because it was the most expensive and sensitive online purchase of my life, I decided to spring for 2-day shipping (so I could guarantee that it arrived on my day off). And then it took more than a week to arrive. This was due to a snowstorm in the northeast, which I thought really sucked, but was something no one could have predicted. Then I found a post on twitter, by UPS, telling people to expect delays, dated the day before I made my order.

Which meant that UPS accepted my 2-day shipping money while fully aware of the fact that this was an impossible promise. I complained on twitter (so far my only post on that site), and much to my surprise, a CSR got back to me, telling me to email their refund department. Not thinking anything would come of it, but having nothing to lose, I did. And for my efforts I got a refund on the shipping price . . . in the form of a virtual giftcard.

Anyway, I used most of the card to buy a couple games from GOG (which won't accept my normal debit card) and then found myself with about 3.00$ left over. So I searched for something that cost as close as possible to my remaining balance, and of the things I found, Landstalker looked like the best choice.

The Steam Store description doesn't really try to sell it all that much, but back in the mid-90s I had a Sega Genesis, and this game was one of my favorites. Sadly, the genesis died and all of its cartridges got sold at a yard sale, but I've had fond memories of Landstalker ever since.

Expectations And Prior Experience

This is a tricky one, because it's entirely possible that all of my memories of this game are filtered through a haze of nostalgia. I remember it being a fun little zelda-style action rpg with a lot of puzzles and quirky characters, and I remember enjoying it enough to get all the way through, but I am completely blanking on all of the other details.

Which is good. Because that means I'll be able to enjoy a zelda-style game for the PC (and why the hell don't I have more of those, exactly) and it will be almost like a completely new experience. Landstalker would have to completely screw up the formula and my memory of the game would have to be completely treacherous for this to possibly go wrong.

However, I can't be entirely clear of doubt, because both of those are possible. My biggest worry is that the game will have poor controls that make the action a crap shoot and opaque old-school puzzles that will bring my progress to a halt. There has to be a reason Landstalker didn't blow up and become one of the 16-bit era's classic franchises.

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