games in the old school wind up discarded and forgotten for a variety
of reasons. Low sales, bad graphics, and stuff like that. In the case
of Sword of Sodan, an early sword-and-sorcery title for the Sega
Genesis, the game was forgotten for one very simple reason: It sucked.
It sucked big time. It sucked in such a way that you can't help but
look at it and wonder why the developers thought for even a second
that this might be at least a passable game, let alone a good one.
the only thing good you could say about the game was that the title
theme was kind of catchy, and it would have to be, since it's pretty
much the only music in the entire game. As was the case with many
crappy games/movies/books, Sword of Sodan tried to mask its lameness
with a nice shellac of violence. You see, Sword of Sodan was made in
1990, prior to the big dustup over violence in video games that took
place in the early 90s. That's why they could get away with stuff like
all very neat in 1990, I assure you. Why, when I was a kid, I didn't
even mind the fact that in order to catch a glimpse of all this 16-bit
gore, I had to slog through level after level of pointless, boring
fights that often boiled down to little more than me poking the
crotches of the marauding horde.
course, these were just the regular, run-of-the-mill grunts. Apart
from them, you also had to fight some unremarkable flying demons (no
blood from those guys, but they did let out a strange yelp when you
hit them), and most notably, giants.
were cheap bastards. You were pretty much guaranteed to get hit by
these guys whenever you tried to engage them, and if you weren't quick
enough in killing them, they would pop back to life with full health.
I think that was what made killing them so satisfying. You see, these
guys were so tall that it was necessary to chop at their knees for a
while, and after a few whacks, they would fall down to a more
acceptable level, and you would be in line to deliver the coup de
let me just say that back in the day, this was pretty damned cool. You
chop the guy's head off, and he lets out a short gurgle as his head
bounces away. That's the problem with nostalgia; you remember the cool
decapitations, but you sort of gloss over the rest of the horrendously
bad game that surrounded those beheadings. Well, at least the intro
song was kind of catchy.
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*** You too can play Sword of Sodan! ***
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Note: to play this game you'll need a Sega Genesis emulator.
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