Beyond Oasis Review
Posted by Damien McFerran
You are the young Prince Ali in a desperate fight to defeat the evil that is threatening your island empire, Oasis.
This was another late Megadrive/Genesis release but thankfully it avoided the fate of games like Comix Zone and sold pretty well at the time. It's easy to see why - graphically it's one of the best looking games on Sega's 16-bit console. It looks even better in motion, with some superb animation and effects. Sonically, things are great too - Yuzo Koshiro, the talented chap behind the music on Revenge of Shinobi and Streets of Rage created the epic soundtrack, and as you might expect it's well up to the standards set by his previous games.
Story of Thor plays very much like games such as Zelda and Landstalker, but the focus is on action as opposed to item collection or exploration. The player isn't given much scope for wandering around the lavish game world (as you can in the previously mentioned titles) but the combat system is way beyond anything else seen in this type of game. Your character is capable of some seriously impressive combos and attacks, and at times it feels like you're playing a 2D scrolling fighter! As well as several attack options, including swords and projectile weaponry, our plucky hero also has access to a rather neat magical armlet that allows him to summon helpful spirits and perform spectacular spells.
If you're an RPG fan you might find this a little lightweight, but for those of you that turn pale at the thought of indulging in a role playing adventure, this should serve as a gentle introduction to the genre. Regardless of your stance you'd have to be pretty sad and shambling not to enjoy this game. It represents one of the finest VC games yet seen and deserves to downloaded.
On a side note, a sequel was released for the Sega Saturn a few years later and although it improves on the original in terms of graphics and sound, it didn't really take the already excellent concept any further. It's still worth looking out for if you're after a decent 32-bit adventure, though.