XAK I & II (MICROCABIN / RIOT - TELENET JAPAN)

SUPER CD-ROM 2 (JAPANESE VERSION)

In a conversation about RPG, there are some names which usually come first: YS, Final Fantasy, Zelda, sometimes Chrono Trigger. But there's also one of the most cute and famous japanese RPG series, beloved by MSX users but quite unknown among other systems users. This series is called XAK.

The company which has created XAK, Microcabin, was responsible for MSX's Final Fantasy I conversion. Microcabin games were legendary on MSX, and were simply unbeatable on graphics and musics. The first XAK game was released in 1989, followed by a sequel in 1990 (MSX2, PC-98, FM-TOWNS). With a gamestyle similar to YS, XAK catched Japanese people with its excellent playability and charismatic characters. It's hard to keep yourself serious watching the screamy and jealousy scenes with Pixie and Fray, because of hero Latok!

 

Just like YS Book I&II, both XAK ("Art of Visual Stage" and "Rising of the Red Moon") were released for PC-ENGINE on the same CD, but using the higher memory storage os System Card 3. Its conversion was made by Riot, a Telenet Japan subdivision. For the rookies, Telenet Japan was responsible for lots of great games, such as those from Valis series.

XAK on PC-ENGINE is outstanding! The animated cinemas are awesome, almost all of them on full screen and in perfect sync with musics. Even with a lot of action, XAK I&II has a very strong RPG side, with tons of neat riddles, unexpected missions and bosses...er...well, this is something I'd really like to talk about.
 

This is the only little disappointing issue on XAK I&II. The bosses are really well done, and incredibly huge...some of them doesn't even fit on screen. But they are INCREDIBLY easy to be beaten!! There's a feeling that Microcabin's programmers made it to balance the time lost solving the riddles. Well, this isn't a real bad thing, since it's easier to finish both games, but it would be much more pleasant to beat the bosses with a slightly harder fight.

  

 

YS Book I&II is still the number 1 RPG option for PC-ENGINE, but XAK I&II follows really closer. Even in Japanese, it can be finished without major troubles, with a little of logic and patience. Specially knowing that both ends have LOOOONG animated cinemas!! It worths the sacrifice! :)

 

Marcelo Reis

 

UNIVERSO PC-ENGINE

Graphics

87%

Playability

90%

Musics and Sound Effects

97%

Interest

94%

OVERALL

92%

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