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Sword of Sodan: Blood Will Tell!
by: Dr. Boogie

Many 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.

Serious pontoon lips.

About 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 this:

Too much tomato bisque!
Death to the bearded ones!
The milk challenge goes horribly wrong.

It was 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.

Hope he's wearing ye olde cup.

Of 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.

Medieval mullets.

They 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 grace:

The only remotely cool thing in the whole game.

Again, 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.

His head is aerodynamic.

Questions or Comments about this piece?
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*** You too can play Sword of Sodan! ***


Note: to play this game you'll need a Sega Genesis emulator.

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