Review: Retro Review: Beyond Oasis. (Retro)

Retro Review: Beyond Oasis.: Member Review

Retro 2,302 views 1 like 8 comments
Reviewed by Lavar Pittman, posted Jul 27, 2016, last updated Jul 27, 2016
So a few months ago, I managed to get a copy of Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, which includes over 40 Sega Genesis/Megadrive games for it plus some master system and arcade games unlockables. If you are a classic sega fan, this game may be for you. There was one game I didn't know about until i had played that collection, Beyond Oasis. Today i will be discussing that game with you. :)
Jul 27, 2016
  • Release Date (NA): March 15, 1995
  • Release Date (EU): March 15, 1995
  • Release Date (JP): December 12, 1994
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Developer: Ancient
  • Genres: Action-Adventure
  • ESRB Rating: Everyone
  • PEGI Rating: Twelve years and older
  • Also For: Computer, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
Beyond Oasis, known in Japan as The Story of Thor: Hikari wo Tsugu Mono (ストーリー オブ トア 〜光を継ぐ者〜 lit. "The Story of Thor: Heir of the Light"?) and in Europe as The Story of Thor: A Successor of The Light, is a 1994 action role playing video game developed by Ancient and published by Sega for the Mega Drive/Genesis console. The game was later re-released to the Wii's Virtual Console on March 19, 2007 in North America, and April 5 the same year in Europe. The game was also included in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection/Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3; in the European version of the latter, it is entitled The Story of Thor.
Lavar Pittman
This game, released in early 1995 (end of 1994 if you were from japan) Beyond oasis, or story of thor as is known in EUR and JAP regions, is a action adventure game similar to Legend of Zelda series with some twist. The game was developed by ancient, which has a very interesting make up of Legendary video game composor Yuzo Koshiro of streets of rage fame, Super Adventure island, and Act Riser, Super smash bros. Kid Icarus Uprising and many more. His sister who did the artwark and Character Design and mother who is lead programmer all worked on the game under ancient and was published by sega. This game features some impressive visuals for the time as well as a okay sound track, to be honest most of the sound effects sound directly ripped from Streets of rage games so may not be as impressive, but it fits well. I must also include the games is a whopping 3 MB (24 megs for all you past nostalgia critics out there, which is a lot at the time.)

The game starts by showing a cenematic cutscene that shows a boy who is prince Ali (That would be the character the player uses in this game) opening a treasure chest in a abandoned cave, inside of it he finds a golden armlet (Or gauntlet) and proceeds to put it on. Suddenly he is spoken to by a mysterious voice. He explains the history of the armlet, the spirit speaks of a war fought between two sorcerers. The names were known as Reharl, user of golden armlet and Agito, user of Silver Armlet. The gold armlet was used for govern magical spirits of the four elements. Dytto of water, Efreet, of fire, Bow of nature, and Shade of shadows and darkness. Agito used the silver for chaos and to try and destory the kingdom of oasis. After learning of this story, he tells Prince Ali that the other armlet must be found as the spirit still exist within and must be stopped before destruction comes to the land of oasis. Your job as player is to guide him to the shrine of the four spirits and put a end to the silver armlet once and for all. Soon after he recives his information the cave starts to collaps and he returns to the land of oasis. The adventure begins. (Time to start the game player)
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In Game Screen shots. Taken by myself using anroid emulator MD.EMU
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+ Nice presentation.
+ Good use of colors and graphics.
+ Decent use of sound effects (even though is mostly recycled)
+ A very fitting soundtack.
+ Interesting story.
+ Good gameplay ideas.
- Recycled sounds from streets of rage makes it seem kinda lazy or cheap shortcut.
- Soundtrack doesn't really have much catchy tunes.
- Has some small gameplay flaws. (See gameplay description.)
10 Presentation
The games presentation of story is well done, keep in mind this is a classic game from over 20 years ago, and not a more moderen recent game. It just as comparable to the nes trilogy of ninja gaiden games, with is movie like story telling and visuals to impress and dare i say... show off that "BLAST PROCESSING" Is no fact that the snes had better visuals that were eye candy but genesis can too when done right and it was with this game. Very cool special effects, proper story telling, and detailed sprites. It made a impact on someone like me who played it many years after is existence and still was impressed. Large sprites and visuals that made you feel invested in this game as much as a zelda game did before. The enviroment is most likely based on arabia, it kinda like Aladin, there is a castle where is mom and dad are (Queen and King) Castle guards, a water running through the palace, kingdom, castle which ever you prefer, and a town and viliage kind of area. There is also a shore, docks, port, grasslands with lakes, and mountains, even rain exist. Caves, Forest Aqueducts, Towers, lots of different themed areas to visit. As i may have mentioned a few times the sound effects sound recycled from streets of rage, When you defeat some enemies, they sound like exact rips, the menu even sound simlar as well as interaction with objects. But if you like streets of rage, you won't mind, i just felt they could have done better than rip audio but it works for each situation. The music is kinda quiet, that is rare for a genesis game with is PSG FM synthesizer.... The audio does seem to increase and lower volume randomly, even though, none of the tunes actually stand out to be something you would wanna put on your music player, not like streets of rage or sonic the hedgehog. Since it was quiet for most of the time, i had felt it was just part of the enviroment, while if you listen carefully you can hear it and is quite ambient but just was hard to get into. While the music may not have appealed to me it sure felt like the enviroments i visited were accurately portrayed by the quiet ambience of the music. But a more catchy audio track would been memorable in my opinion. But you can't forget is the same composore of Streets of rage..... why? Cause both games has his name on the title screen, yup, he is that popular. I'll give this a 10 , I may sound biased and like i didn't make sense explaining some negatives about the sound but is a different perspective from someone just listening to music and listening while seeing, it all adds up together well. This is a game review by the way.
10 Gameplay
If you played Legend of Zelda, A link to the past, this game has only few differences. You play as Prince Ali on a quest through the kingdom of oasis to find the 4 spirits of the golden armlet to get their help in stopping the gold armlet user once and for all. You begin the game after you leave the cave and return home by boat. You talk to people and get information, collect items to restore health and varitey of weapons. You begin with a knife that has unlimited uses, is the default weapon and has variety of special attacks. Weapons can range from a sword with longer range stronger attacks and even fire, a bombs that you can throw, and cross bows that can shoot steel arrows, flame arrows and even bombs. All the other items besides Ali knife have a limited usage upon pick up (Similar to fire emblem series) Each attack reduces usage and when is depleated is broken and gone for good. There are unlimited use weapons you can find but is very secret and hush hush, can you find them all? It features overhead view (Like zelda) And you can walk, run jump, crouch or "DUCK WALK" (Link from CDI zelda game said that one) push objects, and interact with other objects and enemies. You must use all that knowledge to travel through dungeons, defeat enemies, solve puzzles and find the spirits. Each spirit gives you new abilities, for example water spirit can heal you, shoot water balls to stun enemies or perform a whirlpool attack to damage them. Each spirit has unique abilities you can make use of to travel and solve puzzles as well as defend yourself. It features open world where you are free to explore and may need to visit other places to get there, so as you progress you earn more items and useful tools to travel around the oasis. Each spirit also has a way of increasing power, there is a total of 60 Gems to collect (15 for each of four spitts) Gathering them increases the spirits power. I should have mentioned before that to use them after finding them requires SP (Summon points) So the gems give you more summon points as well. Can you find all 60 gems? The most interesting part of the game is that the armlet can shoot this thunder like ball, that is used for summoning spirits. To actively make full use of it, requires you to understand surroundings, Dytto is ruler of water, so anything water related such as water falls, lakes, fountains, and rain can call her. You can literally stan in rain and summon her. There also variety of items you can collect that can also summon the spitirts as well, Appropriatly title "SUMMON ___" which is name of spirit. There is a system to discard items similar to Toejam & Earl or Fatal Labrynith where the item you discard exist on the feild of play. You can use the thunder ball to summon spirits from those items for example a bottle of water can summon dytto, lantern summons efreet, cabbage or seed can summon bow and mirror can summon shade. Even things like the explosions of fire from arrows or bombs can summon efreet or enemies wearing armor or shields or ice can summon shade as anything which has reflective properties. To me this is the most interesting feature of the game as it makes useful of variety of tactics. There is also a level based system like in rpg games but is really weird. Instead of levels you get "Rank" the higher the rank the more life points you can have at one time. This do not increase attack power. Each weapon has set specific attack power. In order to increase rank, you don't get exp from fighting enemies like traditional rpg games, instead you need to find and collect hearts. The hearts appear at random after defeating enemies, the only other way to intenionally get hearts is to use the thunder bolt on the mirror item that summons shade. Each rank increases life points total by 2 if i remember. So is not really reliable unless you want more HP you can hope you get some often. I personally never reached 99 for this reason and is possible to beat it without ever getting one. So i guess is minor problem. I am giving this a 10 for a very unique game play system. Even though most games before it had existed in same forumla, this one has unique differences that made it cool in my opinion.
10 Lasting Appeal
This game features a save system. It has four files and shows your status before starting. You can copy or delete them if you want. After completing the game, you are rewarded with the end of the story. After the story is over, you get a scoring system. The system goes by how long you took to complete the game, how many eneimes you defeated, how many spirit gems you collected, and how high your "Rank" is. In order to get better titles, you need lowest completion time, high enemy defeated count, high spirit gems collection count (Total of 60) And low "Rank" Count. Don't collect any hearts. This opens up oppertunity for people who want to challenge their skill for better gameplay optimizations and even for speedruns just like metroid games have encouraged. Your best top 5 scores are recorded and saved, unlike most games that have you write them in the back of the instruction booklet the game does it for you. There is also some cheat codes and debug functions. There is a sound test, to listen to your favorite tunes if you want. A scene viewer that lets you watch cut scenes again, a map selector to jump to any place on the map. A debug mode or "EASY MODE" that gives you every item, all weapons stocked at 255, high ranking "Lots of HP" and all four spitits with lots of SP as well. You can even still collect more Spirit gems to increase it even further. With those options available, is okay to play over and over for various reasons like exploring cryptic areas of the games developement, breaking game sequence, finding glitches and even just finding more secrets or shortcuts to finish the game faster. It may get old after you find everything but this one game you might remember to play again if you really like it and haven't picked it up after awhile. I'm giving this a 10 cause the amount of impression it gave me of how much this game offered at the time, remember, I did play this first on playstation 3 in sonic ultimate genesis collection but this is a retro classic game from 1995, during that time the games content were important to make someone wanna keep playing it and not trade it or sell it back to stores if you could. Super mario bros 3 was kinda that game you wanted to keep, this may be as well after one playthrough.
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
I'll admit this review looks biased and the scores aren't kinda fair, but is just my opinion on the game. Playing this game so late after it was made, made me wonder why i never knew about it. Is reasons like this why i appreciate Compilation collection games cause it help expose new people to new things they may have missed. Of course i could have played it on a emulator and not spend about $20 on the collection but i would have to know what the game is, no one just get random games without knowing anything about them now and days. It has sonic games i like as well as some others which made me buy it, and well emulated (even though i dislike backbone entertainment ports and M2 Does them better) The game presented itself properly with nice cut scene, special effects and visuals, a interesting story from beginning to end, great game play systems and secrets and content to explore the world of Oasis. Yes there some flaws i pointed out and i am aware but are very minor to game, as long as the game plays well and is fun, people will play it and probably like it. Main importance is gameplay, having fun. If you like legend of zelda series and want a interesting game, try this out. it may be for you. There was a second game called Legend of oasis for sega saturn, i never played that game. It is a pre-story telling of this game so the events happen earlier than beyond oasis. I do wish to try but i doubt i will get a saturn just for it knowing is reputation especially if it will be expensive. A moderen port would be appreciated. In the end, I had hoped to see more of this game but sadly it doesn't look that way. But I recommend you try this once. Again if you missed it, is available for genesis/megadrive, Wii/VWii Virtual console, PS3 and Xbox 360 by purchasing Sonic ultimate genesis collection, and steam for computers. The name is also known as The story of thor in some regions. This game would be nice addtition to 3DS Sega classics 3D as the idea of the visuals for 3D Or even HD makes me smile.

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