REVIEW: Super Hydlide

superhydlide

I’m probably the Hydlide series’ biggest fan. While there is a lot to complain about Virtual Hydlide (and to a lesser extent, the original Hydlide), Super Hydlide is a fine RPG aside from any of my bias. Actually a remake of Hydlide 3 for the MSX and Famicom (which explains its dated visuals), it is the second Hydlide game released in the US and full of interesting ideas even if flawed in implementation.

Super Hydlide’s most novel feature is the day/night cycle. Basically, everything you do takes time and you rapidly lose health at night. This means that time, like health, is a resource that must be carefully managed during dungeon runs. Plotting a short course is mandatory due to the day’s short length and large dungeons. It’s engaging, without being as frustrating as it could be. Another cool idea (with minimal affect on gameplay) is the alignment system. All creatures are either good or evil and killing good creatures reduces a morality attribute needed to progress at a certain part. Also, there is an unforgiving weight system where equipment, items, and money all encumber you, making you move slower (wasting more daylight hours) and affecting combat. Depending on your class’s strength attribute, it can be infuriating and unlike the day cycle and monster alignment, the weight system is mostly just cumbersome.

Beyond it’s more unique features, Super Hydlide’s mundane elements work well enough. A simple class system (with 4 classes) adds a little customization. The action-based combat is fun. The dungeons and bosses are challenging. And the science fiction premise gives it a different flavor. Frequently, Super Hydlide gets a bad rap. True, the day cycle and weight system are abusive until you learn the ins and outs, and sometimes the progression is a little directionless. Still, it’s the best of the series and fun in its own right. Way overlooked.

8

7

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