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The Dream Walker!
Member Name: simon020187
Advantages: Great story, still has decent graphics and sound effects and its not just an RPG!
Disadvantages: Quite a tricky game and its hard to get hold of the game nowadays!
Alundra is another game which I feel didn't receive the credit it deserved. Alundra is an action adventure role playing game that was developed by Matrix Software and published by Psygnosis. Alundra is only available for the PS1 and Playstation Network and the PS1 version was released back in 1998. This was one of the first Playstation games that I bought myself and I still have this now. Alundra isn't just a hack and slash adventure game and it does feature a wide variety of elements and some of those is puzzle solving and platform segments. Alundra also offers quite an intriguing storyline and the game overall rarely disappoints. Alundra isn't just the name of the game as the main character is called Alundra as well and the story centers around him and involves him trying to save people by entering their dreams or nightmares. There was later a follow up to this game entitled Alundra 2 but that went down the pan and was quite poor.
=== STORY ===
In the game you control a mysterious guy by the name Alundra who can enter the dreams of people who are suffering and cannot awake from them. The game starts on a ship with Alundra about to head for bed. Whilst hes sleeping he has a dream and a strange being tells him about a danger on the way in the form of a demon that's over a 1000 years old and has just been released. Also in his dream Alundra has a vision of a nearby village called Inoa. Suddenly the ship Alundra is on crashes and causes havoc but shortly after a scene Alundra is found by a man named Jess and he takes him in and helps Alundra get better. After he wakes up Jess tells Alundra that hes in a village called Inoa and that he was the only survivor of the ship. Alundra later learns that he is in fact the Dreamwalker that everyone has been talking about and now he must enter peoples dreams and save them from their nightmares before its too late. Whilst doing this he must also find and stop the 1000 year old demon Melzas!
=== GAMEPLAY ===
Alundra isn't your average main character in a game because he has multiple skills to be classed as a hero and even a savior. The game has so much to offer and is definitely another underrated game. The main aim of the game is to simply follow the main quest and the island you're actually on is quite large but some it cannot be explored until you find or do certain things. Alundra is skilled at many things and one of those things is fighting. He uses weapons to take on enemies and he also uses some of his gained weapons to solve puzzles. There are quite a few different weapons that Alundra can use and some of these include his tried and trusted sword which also gets upgraded several times later in the game, an Iron Flail which can be used to destroy big blocks blocking your way to a new area, a Hunters Bow which is great for ranged attacks and even multiple Magic Wands. All of Alundra's weapons can be upgraded. Alundra usually receives weapons from Jess every time someone sadly passes away in the game. Alundra will also receive new armor and new boots. I love the new boots because they literally take Alundra to new heights because one pair makes him jump higher whilst another pair makes him move quicker on water.
In Alundra's crazy adventure he will come across many kinds of items and some of which can prove extremely useful to him. Scattered throughout the world are herbs, some of which are stashed in chest boxes. He can also buy them from the village and the herbs he collects can be used to replenish lost health. Other items Alundra can find or buy include Strength Tonics which recover over half of his lost health, Magic Elixir to replenish Alundra's magic power and quite a few more. He will also come across items known as Gilded Falcons which are quite rare and can unlock special items including a rare weapon. Jess also gives Alundra some very exciting items such as bombs in order to blow up certain things to pave way to new areas and also a power glove that allows you to lift up heavy rocks to lead to new areas or secret bits. Its a good job Alundra receives so many weapons and items he can use as weapons because the game has some incredibly designed bosses that can take a fair while to beat. Usually beating them unlocks something like a magic spell or heart vial in which increases Alundra's maximum health. There are also many other items you may acquire on your quest.
The puzzles in the game can be extremely difficult later in the game and they also become increasingly frustrating at times. Also a few of them involve platform elements with jumping around like a kangaroo just to get to your desired destination. Also some puzzles are timed and need to be rushed, fail and you must retry until you do it. Some of the platform elements are quite tricky in places as well but its nice to have a mixture of things in this sort of game. The dreams that Alundra has to enter are all part of the main quest so you cant miss any and to be honest the dreams are absolutely fantastic. Some of them are crazy especially when you get further in the game because most of them will cause you a whole lot of problems. You encounter enemies in most of them some of which include killer monkeys, fire breathing tortoises, overgrown blobs of gel and many more. There are also some superbly looking bosses such as a massive mummy, a HUGE monkey, a mysterious werewolf and a few others but most of them are ten times the size of Alundra.
I have always classed Alundra as a proper role playing game there are no turn based battle systems and it actually gets straight into the action. You can only do the one attack with the weapon your holding which seems a little boring but it works and that's the main thing to remember. Some of the magic you get is really good and definitely effective against the bosses or if you get surrounded. you visit many different places of interest in the game, there is only the one town which is Inoa. You also visit places on the island such as the beach, a mine, desert, cliffs, temples, graveyard and even scary looking crypts. Overall Alundra is a great game and I enjoyed playing it a lot.
=== GRAPHICS ===
Alundra is one of the better 2D games for PS1. Alundra looks like a good character to play and he actually is as well. Other characters in this game also look quite good and there isn't any that look a like not even normal characters that aren't that involved in the game. The scenery in Alundra is fantastic there are a lot of features in them that stand out and make the game stunning for its age. Some of the dungeons and other places you visit in the game are also really well detailed for a 2D game and it rarely disappoints. I was very impressed with the basic design and colouring of some of the monsters and bosses. Overall Alundra has top quality graphics for a game that was released back in 1998.
=== SOUND EFFECTS ===
The music to the game is quite good especially the boss music because it stands out more than other tracks in the game. Some sound effects are a little weak but the some of the effects do make the game stand out. At first the game seems a little weak with the sound effects but they do get better. I have surround sound on my TV and this game sounds fantastic at full blast. Most of the creatures have their own unique sounds and some of them are a little annoying especially the giant blobs of gel and the nasty killer monkeys that make the worst sound ever. The sound effects are good but I think the graphics just edge it out the two.
=== DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY ===
The game is quite difficult a lot of the time. Some of the dreams you enter are very tricky because most are full with puzzles. Most puzzles are common sense but there are a few that will have you scratching your brain. Some of the bosses can also be tricky and may cause some gamers some serious problems. There was only one boss I struggled with but after a while of working out its moves it became much easier. The controls to the game are simple and probably the easiest thing about the game. Also its an easy game to get lost or misguided in.
Alundra is quite decent in terms of length. Its not the longest game of its genre but its definitely a big area that you can explore. Most places you visit are huge and can take you well over an hour each one. I would say Alundra is a 25 hours game but only if you know how to do everything and if you know where to go. Overall I feel Alundra has enough to be considered a long game and trust me its not easy so its going to be even longer!
=== PROS ===
*Decent story line.
*Lots of cool weapons that you can use on all sorts of beasts and bosses.
*The graphics and sound effects are still great for a 1998 2D game for PS1.
*I like the fact its challenging and has puzzle, platform and role playing elements in it.
*Lots of items, armor and much more to find and collect.
=== CONS ===
*Quite a difficult game at times and can become frustrating.
*Not enough variety in the weapons you receive from Jess.
*Only one attack with each weapon and it should have some sort of combos.
*Some of the puzzles are far too hard especially for the younger gamers.
*Hard to find the game nowadays.
=== FINAL THOUGHT ===
Alundra is a really good game worthy of being called a classic with everything the game has to offer. A great story with added emotions that run through it such as happiness, sadness and even anger. Alundra is what I call a proper role playing game of the best quality. When Alundra 2 was released I feel it ruined this one and any chance of a third. Don't be put off by the fact the second is terrible because the first isn't like the second in the slightest.
I would recommend the game. If you still have a PS1 or play the PS2 and are looking for some older material that's still worthy of playing then this could be it. Its a good fun solid game to play and its also very addictive when you get into it. You like role playing games with a mixture of platforming bits, puzzle solving and some hack and slash action then look no further because Alundra is for you. If your into a good facsinating storyline then this is also for you. The game manual is quite short but its okay. The game is suitable for 11 years and up.
I bought my game for this back in 1998 when it was released but I got it off a market stall. I'm not 100% sure how much it cost me but it was definitely over £20. The game is obviously now much cheaper but its quite hard to find seen as many places don't sell PS1 stuff anymore. Amazon however do have the game. Its on there for roughly about £6 which is great value for a game that can still offer a lot.
Alundra is a top game and something i am very glad I own. I would give the game a very good rating of 8/10!
Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!
Summary: One of the best action role playing games for the PS1. Full with action and puzzles!