Heroes of Shaola
You play as Leonardo Sutherlands, who has great potential as a young paladin and is the only child of the wealthy and powerful family, the Sutherlands. Twelve years ago, you came across a strange crystal, and ever since that moment the crystal has followed you no matter where you go. You are the only one who can see and touch the crystal, and after telling your parents, they think that you’re either on drugs or just plain crazy!
After many visits from therapists, psychiatrists, wizards and healers to evaluate whether or not you’ve lost the plot, no one could find anything wrong with your sanity. However, you were diagnosed with Minor Delusional Disorder, something which could help your parents understand what is going on with you. Minor Delusional Disorder is harmless and will go away as you grow older. But no matter how many times you threw the crystal away, or where you threw it, the damned thing kept finding its way back to you the next day.
Six years later, you found yourself dreaming that you were somehow inside the crystal. Within the crystal were two goddesses; one looked like an angel and the other looked like a fairy, and both claimed to be the guardian of the crystal, with the other being their assistant. They say that you’re one of the chosen and have the potential to become a great hero, as a Shaola Protector. The goddesses tell you to come and see them on your eighteenth birthday for a tutorial, which takes place inside the crystal, and where you’ll be shown the basic controls for the keyboard, mouse and game pad. The crystal guardians will tell you about the basic mechanics and gameplay of the game. Once the game starts there’s a bit of a story that plays out, and eventually you’ll be in control of Leonardo. This is where your adventure starts.
You follow a storyline where you’ll need to either make your way somewhere or complete a mission. There are some side missions you can complete, and you’ll be rewarded for completing these with some gold, potions etcetera. As you make your way through the game, you’ll come across various characters; some will aid you while others won’t. Scattered here and there you will find items, like wood or fruit; sometimes items are hidden in small shrubs.
When entering a battle, you’ll be able to use a normal attack as well as any skills you may have unlocked as you progress. Using skills will cost Mana Points; how many depends on the skill (some require a few hundred points). You can also use items from your inventory while in battle, replacing health or mana points, and removing ailments by using potions. At the end of a battle you will be rewarded with experience points, gold and maybe some other items. You can also try your luck by searching a dead body after leaving the battle screen; sometimes you can gain more items.
As you gain experience points your characters will increase their level; certain items can help increase your level by giving you a boost in experience points. There are also items which can increase your strength, luck, defense etcetera, you’ll collect these from battles or may find them hidden in chests or shrubs.
If you forget what you’re supposed to be doing, you can check the Story Quest in the menu, where you will also find your Items (Inventory), Skill, Equipment, Status, Bestiary, Save, Load, Game Options and Exit.
There’s not much in the way of options; selecting F1 will take you to Game Properties and Control Configurations. You can toggle between a small window or full screen by using ALT+ENTER. You can use either keyboard, mouse or game pad (I played the game using my Xbox360 game pad with no problems). You can change the game’s difficulty at any time during the game (Easy, Normal, Hard and Legendary), with Normal as the default setting.
I found the game a bit slow at the start and at one point I couldn’t find where I was supposed to go. There wasn’t really anything to indicate where to go next as the road just stopped halfway through one of the screens. I found it in the end but before I did, I was clicking on every tree, bush, stone and blade of grass looking for the undercover hideout. I also had the game crash on me a couple of times, but it wasn’t much of a problem as you can save at any time in the game and use any of the fifty save slots available to you.
One thing which I didn’t like was when trying to take a screen shot. Pressing F12 as per the norm for taking screen shots on Steam, would send you back to the main menu screen. This happened a couple times with me and at certain points where I hadn’t saved for a little while. So you might want to make sure you either change F12 in Steam’s overlay (if you use default setting) or save at regular periods in case you do happen to hit F12 and get sent back to main menu and lose any progress you may have made.
Review written by Piston Smashed™ for Zeepond.com!
Positives+ Good graphics
+ Decent Storyline
+ Multiple endings
Negatives- Crashed a few times
- F12 Sends you back to the main menu rather than taking a screenshot
- No achievements
- No cards currently
With the guidance of the goddesses from within the mysterious crystal, lead Leonardo to become one of the Shaola protectors.
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Zeepond Rating: 6/10
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