Magic of Scheherazade
Reviewed 5/28/00

Magic of Scheherazade is one of those games that is generally overlooked, but if you give this game a chance, you'll see that it's in fact one of the best RPG's around. It certainly takes an unconventional approach to the genre, and combines adventure-style fighting such as in Zelda, with unique turn-based battles. It doesn't skimp on the puzzles and mazes either, as it has it's fair share of those.

The setting is ancient arabia, and the game has a lot to do with 1001 Arabian Nights. You play the part of the descendant of the great warrior Isfa, who must save the princess Scheherazade from the evil Sabaron. a fairy/cat/thing named Coronya accompanies you at the start and helps you all through the game. I don't want to spoil it for you, but you do a lot of time traveling on your quest to succeed (and people said Chrono Trigger was completely original...). There are 5 "chapters", each with a distinct theme. For each chapter there is a present and a past, and ultimately you must go into the past to effect something in the present and then come back and beat it. It has a really good plot, but don't expect the Squaresoft fare here. MoS has a feel to it all it's own, unlike any RPG you've ever played before.

Isfa's descendant has 2 main weapons at his disposal for the overhead action scenes, the sword and the magic rod, both of which can go through many upgrades. There's also a literal plethora of magic to learn and use, which can have effects ranging from opening up a hidden doorway to spells that give you maximum money (you can only do spells like that at certain times, though). In turn based battles, you can choose 3 party members at the start of battle, which is a plus. You can do all the basics, spells, attacks, plus a few sweet extras such as double attacks (yet another time this game has beaten Chrono Trigger to the punch).

The music is done quite well, it has a real arabian feel to it. Also, the game is fairly tough, I myself haven't beaten it yet (I'll get around to it sometime). I think one of the coolest parts are the boss fights, if you've ever played Illusion of Gaia or Secret of Evermore, the bosses are similar to those in those games. However, one thing really gets on my nerves, I mean REALLY: the game saves by password feature, and the passwords are a mile long. A back-up battery would have made a world of difference. If you don't mind the 2-3 minutes putting in your password at the start of every game, this game can be quite fun. It's very involving, if you know what I mean. I DEFINATELY suggest to get it if you see it. It is the best RPG on the NES, if you ask me.

Graphics 6
Cool looking battle graphics, arabian feel
Bland, for the most part, lame special effects for spells
Sound 7
Bad sound quality
But otherwise, good music
Innovation 10
The only RPG of it's kind, put together very nicely, there is no game like this one
Time travel, double attacks, arabian setting, need I say more?
Gameplay 8
Fun game, lots of exploration and battling
Sometimes too open-ended
Replay Value 7
It's very involving
But it IS an RPG..

Overall Score