Heir of Zendor Review

Buy this game at your own risk.

For the past decade, Koei Corporation has cranked out Japanese-flavored strategy/wargames of varying degrees of quality. If they're rooted in Asian history (the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, for example) they're great; but when Koei strays into unfamiliar territory (anything other than Asian history) they're horrid. Heir of Zendor is an example of the latter. Simply: Heir of Zendor has the worst graphics I've ever witnessed in a Saturn title (I was half-expecting the Saturn to eject the CD across the room in disgust), and gameplay that's about as exciting as a typical episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Heir of Zendor takes place in the atmosphere of a planet that's "rich in anti-gravity ores." The action consists of squadrons of flying machines battling each other in non-real time. The solo player (there's no support for multiple humans, a baffling omission) moves his squadron across a "battlefield" (a boring sea of clouds). When the squadron is moved, the Saturn moves its squadron. This goes on until the two forces are close enough to exchange weapon fire and cause severely underwhelming explosions. Defeat the mighty Saturn opponent and you get a plot-thickening "intermission" with still pictures (no animations!), and voice acting with all the emotion of a brick. And that's it.

I'm a supporter of Sega's liberal game-approval process (Sony has foolishly rejected or delayed several excellent third-party games they felt weren't "flashy" enough), but it's hard to believe anyone at Sega or Koei let a product this bad onto the market. The music consists of annoying synthesizer tunage; the sound effects are atrocious; and the graphics are so bad that I'm convinced that either the artists were working for free, or they were DUI (drawing under the influence).

With gameplay that would put the most easily-entertained person on Earth into a coma (and graphics that would be shameful on the Super NES), even the tiny group of American gamers who regularly play Koei products will be turned off by Heir of Zendor. Buy this game at your own risk. Consider yourself warned.

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    Heir of Zendor: The Legend and The Land More Info

  • First Released
    • PlayStation
    • Saturn
    Buy this game at your own risk.
    Average Rating17 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Published by:
    Koei, Tec Toy
    Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
    Kids to Adults
    Animated Violence