Illusion of Gaia
Illusion of Gaia, originally titled ガイア幻想紀 [Gaia Gensoki], "The Gaia Fantasy Chronicles" in Japan, and re-titled Illusion of Time in Europe, is an action role-playing game developed by Quintet and published by Enix for the SNES in 1993.
My friend in middle school rented this game, and I watched him play it for the first few stages of the game until he had to return it. Later, I bought a used copy and tried playing it myself, only to become bored with it, and let a friend play through most of the game. Finally, while wanting to find more SNES music to appreciate, and knowing that actually having played the game tends to make me like it more, I decided to play through the game and beat it.
I own this game and have beaten it.
- Overall: 5/10
- Best Version: SNES
- Over all, the game is a fun action RPG, with plenty of play time.
- The game has some really nice graphics and animation.
- Being able to turn into a more powerful knight is a fun addition.
- While not as impressive as Square's soundtracks, the music is professional and fitting.
- The developers drew Will and Freedan's sprites without mirroring, so you remain right-handed when moving left, a nice touch.
- The game has a fantastic manual.
- Will uses a flute as a weapon... lame.
- The story's basic concept is cool, but the game implements it poorly. I was left with little idea of what was going on most of the time.
- The non-player characters that follow Will around through the cities are uninteresting and look goofy.
- The game is entirely linear, often forcing you forward with no option to revisit previous areas.
- The red crystals, while a nice addition to the game, are hidden in such ridiculous locations that they force you to search every single area of every map to find them.
- A large percentage of the enemies are unidentifiable and boring.
- Your weapon has a huge hit box, often hitting enemies that weren't actually touched by your weapon making combat easier than it should be.
- While I like the system of constantly rewarding the player with minor improvements throughout the game, the fact that every reward is planned takes away a lot of the excitement. It also makes it impossible to grind for more power to get through more difficult areas.
- Several of cut-scenes are really drawn out and dull, there's actually a part in the game where you have to wait in line for several minutes with nothing happening.
- While I love the idea of using various ancient cultures, the designers often mix cultures incorrectly, like having Lamasu in Incan ruins and Shedu in Egypt.
- The bosses vary wildly in difficulty. The bird boss is far easier to defeat than the first boss.
- Not giving the player a chance to heal between battles in the boss re-fight makes the ending a chore.
- The ending boss is stupid hard compared to the rest of the game, and, if you die, you pretty much have to reset since you start with only 50% life.
- Allowing the D-pad to clear dialogue boxes at the end of a conversation is especially annoying, and often results in missed text.
The North American box art is well-painted, but it shamelessly rips off the style of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past in order to confuse players that it is a sequel.