If you’ve read this site’s “about” section, you know the importance of Landstalker. It’s the game that I found impossible when I was a child, that one niggling little bit of unfinished business that’s been hanging over my head for something like twenty years. It wasn’t easy (seriously—this game is downright cruel), but thanks to the save states SEGA’s classics collection allows, I finally managed to push myself through to the end. Was it a good experience? A bad experience? I still don’t know the answer to those questions; for every bit of brilliance in the game, there’s an equal amount of sadism and tedium ensuring that it’s a bittersweet experience at best. For every moment where I was smiling like an idiot at things like the adorableness of main character Nigel’s fairy-like helper Friday, there was another where I was facepalming at the stupidity of things like throwing spheres on top of statues in order to progress. It’s a roller coaster that randomly veers between brilliance and abject stupidity, moving from an entertaining town to a deliberately annoying maze section designed to have you wandering aimlessly for hours, and from an entertaining bit of dialogue to two dungeons back-to-back.
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