Note: This review is based on the Japanese version of the game.
Okay, before I get going, let me stress that this is a review of disc 1 and ONLY disc 1 of Gulliver Boy, thanks in part to my non-modded Saturn.
Gulliver Boy is as straight-forward an RPG as they come: overworld map, different vehicles to travels in, battles scenes every other step (or so it seems), and super cute deformed little children as main characters. Yes, my friends this indeed is RPG heaven as we know it. While Gulliver clings to the good things in RPGs we all love, it also (sadly) clings to some of the ones we don’t. The main one being, plain-as-dirt graphics, painfully blatant in the towns.
GB’s town and overworld graphics are horrid, looking as though they came from the early 16 bit era… well, in some respects they did. What I failed to mention is that Gulliver Boy is a PC Engine to Saturn port. Unfortunately, no graphic improvements where made (in overworld and town graphics) and if there were some, you can’t really tell. I’m sorry to dwell so much on graphics, but I’m really trying to let you know that they just aren’t there and it’s where GB really aches.
Another disappointing aspect of GB is the battle systems. Battles are, well, really boring.
REALLY-really boring. All they are, are three monsters standing still hitting you and your characters hitting back. But your characters aren’t even visible, only the enemies are. The regular battles are pretty bad, but the main character battles are pretty nice. Instead of the bad guy just sitting there the screen goes to a cartoon view (ala Tengai Makyo: The Apocalypse IV). Though the frame rate is deathly low, it still looks kinda cool.
Ok, with all the negatives aside, now it’s time to say some goods things about GB. Well, I must say I was impressed with the difficulty level of GB, it was fairly hard and long too. The enemies you run into are no cakewalk and in some areas it gets downright insane. If you love hard battles, you’ll probably like GB’s. I also liked the handy little map that came with GB. It made navigation a lot easier. But the major plus GB has going for it is the mammoth amount of voiced dialog and anime.
I have never seen anything like it, I mean every 5 or 10 minutes you’ll be listening to voices or watching a cut scene. I was very impressed with the high quality of the anime, too. It is very clear and a very nice addition to an otherwise average RPG. Also, the voice acting was nice, and there weren’t any really annoying voices in the game, which is very rare.
All in all, GB is no Lunar or Final Fantasy. Heck, it’s barely average, but it’s loaded with lots of nice extra’s that make it all worth it. Hard-core importers will not want to pass GB by. If you’re into RPGs big time I see no reason why you wouldn’t have some fun with GB. Don’t go in expecting much and you won’t be let down. A nice addition to any Saturn import collection, and with a price of only $19.99 from NCS, in my opinion no RPG fan can go wrong with the purchase.