Twinbee RPG - 1998 - Playstation (Japan only)
I only recently got my copy of Twinbee RPG, and haven't had a great deal of time to play it. This, and the fact that it's entirely in Japanese mean that this is first impressions only, rather than a proper review.
OK. Graphically, this is a mixed bag. The 3D graphics that form most of what you see are on the ugly side and lack detail. It looks like the first Mega Man Legends game (which is a bad thing BTW). The 2D character portraits are pretty good though, and everything is very colourful, so it's not all bad. But certainly, Twinbee RPG isn't going to wow anyone with its looks. There's some nice CG animation as well at the beginning which is about the same standard as in Final Fantasy 7 - it's nice to see how Pastel & the rest look in 3D as well. The music is reasonable. There's a bouncy vocal track at the start of the game which absolutely kicks. The other stuff i've heard hasn't been as good, but it's still OK. The fight theme will probably get annoying after a while, unless it changes.
The story involves a young Twinbee fan being sucked into his TV set by Melora and charged with saving the Universe. Someone (Warumon?) has clouded Donburi Island with gas, Winbee & Gwinbee are missing, and Twinbee's without a pilot - which is where you come in. The one town i've visited has been overrun by things that look like Mr. Happy and who keep on beating up the residents. Combat is swift and painless - it's pretty much the same as in Final Fantasy, only quicker (which is a good thing). There's no subscreen because the game is already in 3D - menus simply appear on top of the existing view. Also you can see your enemies well in advance of actually having to fight them, allowing you to avoid most confrontations. You can probably have 4 people in your party. The battles don't seem too difficult, but that said, I'm still near the beginning.
I don't know how far I'll be able to get - though I am aware of at least 1 non-Japanese speaker who's managed to beat the game. I've managed to fathom out the menu system, fighting and some other stuff, but a lot of the story will inevitably be lost. I'm still enjoying myself though - this is the first foreign language RPG I've imported and if nothing else trying to understand it is a novel, if slightly surreal experience.
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