Xak – The Art of Visual Stage
By Para Gon Sunday, 4 Oct 2009

This is part of my continuing series of playing and reviewing random SNES games I’ve never heard of. Some of these are just quick looks at the game, and may not be too terribly in depth. Today’s game is Xak – The Art of Visual Stage! Yeah, I’m finally doing another one. Let’s get to it! Starting a new game pops you right down in the middle of a town here with no prologue. Hmm, a life meter, and some measurement of “Gold” and “Next”. Could this be an RPG of some sort? In fact, it is. It’s an action-RPG/adventure, fairly similar to Crystalis. It’s untranslated, but it’s not hard to figure out what to do just by accident. Walking into people or houses initiates conversation. A advances text and confirms choices, B cancels and (in battle screens) attacks. Y uses an item, X opens the menu. You have to equip items (second option in the menu) and swords/etc (first option in the menu). Going to the right, you see a big white church. The building directly to the right of that is where you have to go. This is what a conversation looks like. I didn’t bother trying to figure out what they were saying, which meant I had no idea what I was doing next. Turns out this lady wants you to find something she lost; it’s in the big church. That’s where it is, to save you the trouble in case you decide to play. You have to take it back to her, then you talk with her, then some guy, then some fairy or spirit or something that gives you some plot. All I bothered to catch was “after 250 years”, but that’s a pretty long time, so you just know something bad is going levitra side effects down. From this house, the item shop is to the right. Go buy two pieces of bread (no more than that, you need money for equipment too). Then go to the bottom-left of the town and enter the shop with the sword emblems outside of it. The first option is for chatting, the second is for buying. Get the basic sword, shield, and armor. If you notice, the item equip screen is also like Crystalis. Now you can head out of the town without the guard stopping you and yelling kamagra jelly at you. Go south. There are basically two kinds of monsters: the kind that walk into you, and the kind that swing a weapon at you. You weapon has a narrow hit range but is long enough to hit most enemies without worrying about stepping into their attacks. Plus, different enemies have different attack zones depending on whether they’re vertically oriented or horizontally oriented. Your shield gives you some leeway, though; and if you’re moving into an enemy instead of just standing there you’re actually less likely to take damage. For a first enemy, the slimes are very annoying because they don’t get knocked back much when you hit them and they’re fast, so you have to attack-run-attack-run repeatedly. The skeletons are not as big a deal, but they do have a shield, which can block your attacks. This area has a decent song for it. There’s some slap bass going on at one point, pretty cool. Overall a semi-typical energetic RPG type song, not bad. As you go to different screens, the enemies change. You will need to gain levels to even be able to damage them, and it’s very easy to accidentally find yourself in a region where you can’t damage the enemies at all and they can plow you down in one hit. This next region (to the right and then up from the first) is doable on level 2, and you’ll find enemies give less experience as you gain levels, making it necessary to move on. Upgrading your weapons (bottom-right of the town, with the star emblem, second to bottom choice on the menu) helps, as does buying entirely new ones. New equipment requires you to be on a certain level, so it can be faster to just upgrade a weaker weapon to take down stronger enemies. North from the screen with the pigmen, new music! Is it a boss??? No, but these enemies are strong. Like the slimes, they just keep coming, but unlike the slimes, they don’t move around unless you’re near one of the holes they emerge from — and if you stand still, you slowly regain life. So this area is actually not too difficult. Heading partway up and to the left, you see an injured girl. Bring her to her house on the right, talk to the guy, then bring her to the clinic in the town (bottom-right of the town). Buy a newer sword, upgrade it if you can afford, then go back to the guy’s cottage and he asks you some yes/no question. Say yes, then go back to the main gopher-enemy screen and head north. Oh my god it’s a BOSS! I was wondering if I’d get to one. (I played a lot longer than it looks like, I went in the wrong direction a lot.) It’s a giant evil-looking tree that shouts at you! He’s very powerful, enough to kill a fairly souped-up character in one hit (at this point in the game levitra free trial at least). He’s also very easy to beat, because his attacks are easy to dodge. He spits a wave of energy from his mouth that’s about as wide as he is, so stand to the side of him and attack, watching out for giant falling apples (which will also kill you in one hit). Beating him and going back to the guy’s cabin nets you 1500 Gold and 300 EXP. Nice! There are a number of areas accessible at this point. Going south from the slime screen will take you to some easy lizard enemies and, past that, a poisonous swamp area and some very strong red enemies. Killable, but they cause a lot of damage. There’s a town there with the fourth level of equipment, but it’s pricey. There are also these guys. They take over half of that humongous life bar I’ve got with a single hit. Going to the right from the pigman screen, you find some tree enemies. Worth a shot just for the surprise of sudden moving trees. Not too tough at this point. Farther on, you get a long cliff with weird gray mud enemies and cyclopes. The music in the cliff area here temple would sound great if someone did a rock cover of it. Just sayin’. You reach a fort of some kind, infested with cialis vs viagra monsters. Those snake-like things have a very long attack thanks to their tail, they can be very tough to hit properly. After a long back-and-forth fetch quest that I had to use a FAQ for, you fight a very anticlimactic water dragon — similar deal to the tree boss, does lots of damage but is very easy to kill — and see this DRAMATIC CLIFF SCENE: He doesn’t even turn around, he’s just looking out over the landscape, his cape rustling in the wind! What a badass! On the way back you run into an injured guy shouting for help. You get a yes/no prompt asking for help, and saying yes causes your character to start carrying the guy, then the guy says this: Evil laughter, oh no! Whereas every other yes/no prompt so far has been a “but thou must!” situation, this was a trap! You just died! viagra cialis levitra If you say no three times, you fight a regular enemy that, at this point, couldn’t even damage my character in combat. Apparently this same type of thing happens again later on, too. Anyway, this game goes on for awhile longer according to the FAQ so I’m going to wrap this post up. Combat is a little frustrating at first, the bosses are pathetic, and the little generic levitra tasks are convoluted as you go on, but it’s still pretty fun to play. If you go in the right order and go back to upgrade your equipment semi-regularly you get to have the over the counter viagra fun of having a little trouble with new enemies then soon after plowing them down like wheat before your scythe. According to the FAQ, this ROM/cart is only half the full game — the full thing was released on the PC Engine system. Sort of like Ys 1 and 2, I suppose. If you like this style of game, give it a shot!

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