One of the best PC conversions of PlayStation games, Pandemonium! is a great platformer that tells a story about a jester and a sorceress who inadvertently summon a giant monster, and so must get rid of it. You'll jump around levels avoiding hazards, creatures, and traps, while collecting treasure, keys, and power-ups in standard side-scrolling fashion. Instead of the gritty shoot-'em-up style of Blackthorne or Flashback, Pandemonium! takes a less violent route where dangers such as hopping mushrooms and menacing snails are dealt a fatal blow simply by jumping on their heads. Additionally, both characters can use a variety of magical spells (though you can only carry one spell at a time) to dispatch their enemies. |
Although the game is addictive and fun, it is probably too difficult for all but the most die-hard players. Both characters have only two hit points each, and nearly everything you touch is lethal: stalactites, plants etc. And if you've struggled to obtain a spell, you'll lose it the moment you take damage. Ordinarily, this could be seen as a way to challenge the player to keep their wits about, but when you take into account the size and complexity of the levels and the use of a silly post-level password system, things get ugly very quickly. What is worse, the game retains the save-point-once-in-a-blue-moon style of the PlayStation original, which means you will probably have to replay significant chunks of the game if your reflexes fall short of lightning bolts.
Overall, Pandemonium! is a great game, but one that amateur gamers should steer away from. Still, the game has nice production values, e.g. the cutscenes are very well done, especially the ending (I'd say why, but I wouldn't want to spoil the suprise). The music is also great, the sounds are well-chosen, and the controls are solid. Pandemonium! is also one of the first games that offered true 3D graphics, combined with traditional 2D gameplay. A great underdog that shouldn't have been forgotten. Two thumbs up!
Reviewed by: Sakura