Hey all; My name is Matt. I’m going to forgo a typical introduction and get straight to the core of my writing: video games. Like many young adults, gaming has been a part of my life since childhood. We loved them as kids, we love them now, and we will likely love them forever. To be honest, I’ve never been that amazing at the “popular” games of this generation; when it comes to competitive gaming, I’m terrible. Not to say I don’t like competing, I’m just not that great. RPGs are my handle; I like to able to sit back and relax. I do try to play all genres, though.
What better way to start off than talking about my first RPG: Quest 64. If you’ve ever played this game, you might have remembered a pleasant, nostalgic memory…but it’s more likely that you cringed. Quest 64 is the story of a young apprentice magician, Brian, from a monastery in a small, rural town. Brian’s goal is to find his father, who disappeared trying to retrieve an ancient book. Along the way, he has to take back elemental treasures from thieves to open up blocked paths. That’s about the whole story.
I won’t lie, it’s not a very good game: it has barely a skeleton of a story, the difficulty is all over the place (though it tends to be too easy if you know what you’re doing), and it doesn’t even look finished! Yet, I still find myself halfway through the game and showing no signs of slowing.
Despite all this, the game still has some merits. For its time, it is very pretty. The landscapes are fairly interesting, the colors are vibrant, and the music is lighthearted. The best aspect of the game, in my opinion, is the element leveling system. This is the only reason anyone would consider a second playthrough in such a linear, uninteresting game.
For those unfamiliar with the game, combat is based mostly on magic and is an odd mix of turn-based and action. Spells are split into four categories: Fire, Earth, Wind, and Water. You can choose which elements to improve by investing spirits, which are earned through battle and found scattered throughout the world, into them. This opens up several possibilities for character development.
The first time I played through as a kid, I unknowingly picked one of the hardest builds: Water/Fire. Without going into too much detail about the specifics of each element, this made the game very tedious and unnecessarily hard. Didn’t stop me from beating it, of course. This time, I decided on a much more manageable Earth/Water build. The combat plays fairly differently based on the elements you choose.
Outside of the combat, there isn’t much to the game. I can’t really recommend it to anyone. It has its niche, but even most RPG fans would have a hard time sitting through it. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has some fond memories of this amazingly mediocre game, though.