Title Whales Voyage CD32 Game Type RPG Players 1 Compatibility CD32 and CD ROM equipped AGA machines HD installable No Publisher Flair Software Developer NEO Submission John Burns (firstname.lastname@example.org) Profiled Reviewer This is my third review for the AGDB and before I begin I must apologise that yet again it's not a recommended game. No it isn't that I hate all games rather that most of the ones which I like have already been done to death. C'est la Vie. I'll begin at the start with the documentation which, compared to that provided with the floppy version, is quite good. At least it explains the main mechanics of the game and the controls. So lets start the game. Once the disc boots up you are presented with an intro screen and a rather good CD quality vocal track which only serves to lull you into a false sense of security for what is to follow. Once past this you have to generate your characters by choosing a mother, father and then directing their education. Standard fare so far but then you are given the option to genetically manipulate your characters stats by a random number of points (up to 10). This is the first thing which appears to be wrong in the game. The manual warns you that if you use this option your character will be more likely to suffer from disease. A dire warning indeed, but unfortunately it just ain't true; even when you use all ten points to change the stats, your characters won't get ill. Why? I can only suppose that illness/disease was a feature that was dropped somewhere along the way. Ok, so we now have our four characters and enter the game proper. This is where the next and perhaps biggest problem comes to the fore, the cumbersome control system. Moving your party around is easy enough using the directional pad but once you have to fight anyone you notice the shortcomings of the method used. In combat you first have to target your opponent then fire, an easy enough task when you are fighting someone with a very poor weapon at the start, but an almost impossible task later on in the game when your adversaries have weapons which can virtually kill you with just one shot. I could maybe excuse this had it been a limitation imposed by use of the joypad, but having checked the floppy version which used a combination of keyboard and joystick and was just as bad if not worse, so I'm afraid it's once again down to the programmers. Before I go further and describe the game I'll detail the second major failing of the game which is the lack of a save game facility. I know that the floppy version could only save one game per disk so given the size of the non volatile memory in the CD32 it's not surprising. Of course this doesn't make it excusable. Codes are generated throughout the game which enable you to restart from these points but when you do you are given a predetermined party and inverntory which at least let's you complete the game (the furthest I ever managed with my original party was about 3/4 way) I don't know about you but part of the enjoyment of an RPG for me has been seeing your characters develop and gain in experience throughout a game due to my guidance. So it really irks to have died due to a clumsy control system and then be forced to use some pretty pants characters which aren't of my choosing. So apart from that what is the game like? Well graphically it plays in a first person perspective 3D mode like most games in the genre. The graphics themselves are nothing outstanding, no texture mapped walls, floors or ceilings, but adequate for the game. The graphics for Non player characters are flat and pretty uninteresting. Likewise sound effects are adequate if uninspiring being mainly gunshots. The problems and sub tasks which you encounter are easy and straightforward enough to solve requiring no lateral, or even much, thought. So what are the games good points? Well none really, it's too easy to complete and coupled to the aformentioned control problem make this game a non starter for me. Thankfully I got the game along with a CD32 from a friend for free so I can't complain about it being a waste of money but, if you buy it, you will.