Sword of Vermilion Review - Screenshot 1 of 2

Famously developed by Virtua Fighter creator Yu Suzuki, this was one of the first RPGs for Sega's 16-bit system and to be brutally honest, it shows. The graphics are basic and the sound is average so be prepared for a technically underwhelming experience. Thankfully the actual game is very enjoyable, if a little on the short side.

You're cast as the son of a murdered king, tasked with avenging your father's death and reclaiming the throne from the tyrant Tsarkon. Bringing him down means questing for eight rings of power, each one hidden away in a cave, near a town, full of villagers. Sword of Vermilion is a highly repetitive game. You do the normal RPG thing in NPC-populated villages, talking to people, buying new weapons and items, sleeping at the inn and saving your progress in the church. Then you leave town, the perspective shifts to an overworld view, and you search for a dungeon to enter.

Sword of Vermilion Review - Screenshot 2 of 2

The game makes use of several different viewpoints, like Zelda II on the NES. The town sections are top down, but when exploring dungeons and mazes it switches to a first-person viewpoint. The boss encounters are side-on platform action affairs. This unlikely combination of different styles works quite well and keeps everything fresh. Sadly, like so many games that try to fuse radically different genres together, Sword of Vermillion often feels like a jack of all trades, master of none.


Sword of Vermillion should keep you entertained for a good few hours and therefore represents excellent value for money at the very least. However I'd recommend you try out some of the more meaty RPG adventures first - starting with The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. If you've already downloaded that and you're on the lookout for something along the same lines, Vermillion should go some way to filling the gap.