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OZ/The Sword of Etheria

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1 OZ/The Sword of Etheria on Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:48 pm

Birdman


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This is another of my top action games. It never got a US release and is largely unknown from what I've seen over the years. The gameplay is unique and fun, and I've never played a game with a combat system like this. I'm too tired to explain anything right now.

This player was the only one I could find with decent gameplay. The video freezes at 0.42, but only for a few seconds. Check their listings for more gameplay.

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2 Re: OZ/The Sword of Etheria on Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:07 pm

First impression is that it looks and sounds really darn cool. Are those other characters allies? Do you controle them too? How does that work? 
Damned cool abilities too. You know I wish I had more time to delve into all these titles haha. I'm almost done with God of War 1 for good so I can focus my attention on Death by Degrees again and later those other titles I bought. 

On topic though, really cool game. No USA though, wonder why? Too anime?

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3 Re: OZ/The Sword of Etheria on Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:05 am

Birdman


Moderator
Are those other characters allies? Do you control them too? How does that work?

Yep. You can have two with you at all times. There are others you unlock throughout the story.

You don't control them directly (though before a stage you can choose who you want to be), you give them commands, or they automatically respond to certain things.

The main character, Feel (red guy), notice every time he sends an enemy flying he calls out the name of one of the others depending on whose closest to the enemy. That ally will automatically 'catch' and attack that enemy, then send it towards the other ally, who will attack it then send it back to you, then it's up to you to catch and combo it again, and it send it to an ally. You can also choose who you want to send your enemy to. Easy way to describe it is Monster Volleyball.

As for actual commands, you have follow and attack. Follow is done by holding circle, and makes your allies stay right beside you and not attack. Attack makes them attack obviously, and you can make them focus on a single target. There's much more to say even on these basic things.

Each character has the same small set of moves. You have a basic combo, launcher, slide, and knockback, jump attack, double jump, guard and perfect guard, and dodges. You can dodge in the air too. There are two types of air attack; a short combo and a downward slam.

What's really cool is each character has different strikes and speed. One guy doesn't even have a combo, he just has a single punch. Another hits multiple times per strike. Despite having essentially the same movesets, they all work differently and you really need to learn them in order to effectively catch and juggle enemies. When I first played Leon (the yellow guy in the video), I just could not get the hang of comboing because all his animations and speeds were totally different. Some are stronger than others by default.

In combat you basically want to get and enemy dizzy (you saw the stars around them in the video) which means they can now be sent flying and juggled. Then you want to either launch or use a knockback. Another cool thing is that allies, depending on how they caught the enemy, like air or closer to the ground (which would depend on how you launched them) will send them back in a variety of ways. There's a few states, like the ground bounce one where someone slamdunked the enemy into the ground and they bound a few times. You need to be aware of these states so as not to drop the combo.

Which reminds me, there are ways to pick up an enemy that's downed before the combo drops. The slide attack I mentioned is used for scooping enemies back into the air, and the jumping downward slam attack will also relaunch.

I also remember a command that makes the allies only juggle between each other. Didn't use that much but it's there. Might look into it later.

You don't have to wait either, you can send out another enemy while allies are juggling the first one. Some might get missed, but you'll still be building lots of meter.

Notice the energy bar on the side. This is where it gets really fun. That builds up with successful chains. At level one, the leader can perform his/her special move (known as Deathblow). At level 2, you can perform a deathblow with an ally, and at level 3, all three with do the ultimate deathblow which you can see later in that video.

What's cool is that with level 2 deathblows, you can choose which ally to team up with. Certain combinations create different attacks. Killing enemies with deathblows after long chains gives you more etheria (yellow orb used as currency and ranking requirement), and more blue (when enough is collected you can transform into those super forms in the boss fight), as well as taking out large groups and tough enemies.

There's even more depth here as the deathblows have unique traits. For one, they dizzy and put enemies into a juggle state. There's a lot of specific stuff like Leon's dash which you'll see in the video used many times because it's so good. It can mow through a group or line of enemies, and if they hit a wall it actually rebounds which is super cool and useful.

Even level ones are unique and useful. See that one Feel keeps using in the video where he does a spin with his sword, then slams the ground and sends a line of fire? You can actually change target just before he slams the ground, so you'll hit close enemies with the spin, then send the line to a nearby enemy.

There's some light upgrading like attack power, and some accessories that add an element to your deathblows. For example, the lighting element will slow enemies, or light with makes them easily dizzied and explode damaging nearby enemies.

Finally, there are S ranks to achieve, hard mode, other gameplay modes, branching paths and multiple endings, as well as many unlockables.

Didn't mean to talk this much lol. You NEED to play this.

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