Korean independent developer XINESS Games silently popped up on PSN recently with an intriguing piece of intellectual property. Ender of Fire is a side scrolling adventure game along the lines of old classics such as Knights of the Round and Golden Axe. This may send your nostalgic senses crazy as Golden Axe is a timeless classic that gamers can have a great time playing today however Ender of Fire seems to be the drunkard copying the dance moves of a world champion.
Set after the Forest War (I know, the visualization of fighting trees), a war rages on between two tribes, the Beast tribe and the Human-Elf tribe of which you play as one of the latter. Your main goal in Ender of Fire is to defeat The One who is the Elder of the Beast tribe. To do this, you tackle numerous stages set in woods, mountainsides, villages and castles filled with beasties who want your blood. First though, you choose your character out of three only choices which are typical fantasy types, knight, mage or archer. The story is typical war-rages-on and you must help to win it and it’s ultimately forgettable after the initial intro cut scene.
Ender of Fire falls apart from the minute you grab the reigns. Each level displayed on the map overview screen akin to Golden Axe has a level requirement which is where the game goes weird, you start at level 10, only one stage is available from the start and if you don’t level up sufficiently you got to repeat it until you’re strong enough to proceed, stupid huh? Well the frustrations continue in game. Each of the characters only have typical regular attacks, the knight has 2 or 3 hit sword combos, the mage throws fireballs and the archer has her arrows or can hit with her bow. Alongside these, each character has special abilities which help in sticky situations, and believe me, there is a lot of sticky situations throughout the entire game. These begin near the end of the first level when you’re quickly overrun by hulking pig beasts. Being trapped in the middle of them is not a great place to be. At one point, the game was so cheap I actually put down the controller to wait to die as I had no window of attack or escape due to being constantly interrupted by a smack or ten. Ridiculous! I mean my kids’ paddling pool in the garden is deeper than the combat in this game and there is no strategy involved other than sometimes you have to throw a few hits then run away, rinse and repeat.
The visuals are like pacing an endless corridor thinking “I’m sure I’ve seen that window before”. Seeing the same walls and the same forestry and plains gets tedious and does nothing to make the game any more exciting than it already isn’t. Characters have no personality and the enemies are just copied and pasted. Bosses are larger and different than the regular grunts but even these lack oomph.
erm...the knights armour is very shiny
Useless, uninteresting tacked on plot.
Shallow repetitive combat.
Samey dull visuals.
Copied and pasted enemies.
Ender of Fire intrigued me however it turned out to be nothing more than a Golden Axe/Knights of the Round wannabe with a lot of flaws. I give XINESS credit as this is their first game but sticking a £16 price tag on a game as shallow is this raises questions.