Game Reviews
Game Reviews / Lagoon (SHARP Version)
Publisher: ZOOM
Rated: Everyone
Released Year: 1990
- SHARP X68000
- Adventure
- Role-Playing
  • With the water becoming dirty and the land being infested by demons, the time has arrived for the Champions of Light and Dark to appear and decide the fate of the world.
 Contributor: Kuro-chan

Overall Rating: 6.4

"A better version of the game than the well-known SNES (KEMCO) one. Woo!"

Plot / Concept: 6 / 10   

Trying to skip / ignore that the entire premise of the game sounds like something right out of an Ys game...

It plays (more or less) like the SNES one: You spend around the first half of the game going through towns and solving problems for people. The puzzles are a little different. Some things were removed and added into the SNES version.

You do not get into the real part of your mission as Champion of Light until you have dealt with a whole bunch of towns and dungeons already. From there, the story picks up and becomes a lot more serious and even a bit interesting, especially at the Dwarf Cave when you intercept the Princess for the first time in a cut-scene that helps to emphasize what was going on. The only nit about the last part of the game is it devolves into a chase mission where you are constantly 1 step behind the enemy at any given time, allowing them to reach their final objective with you in tow.
Gameplay: 6 / 10   

In some ways, this game is easier to play than the SNES version.

The gameplay is quite smooth and character movement feels marginally faster. (Though it may be the method of playing the game, rather than the game, itself). The character could move around at a good speed, attack, use spells, etc. The menu system takes full advantage of the keyboard, allowing for near-instant access to what you want.

The monsters in-game had a 'little' bit of variety in terms of attacks. Some of them launch themselves at you and some throw magic around to defend themselves, for instance.

My personal nits about the SNES' version of the 'hit box' for your character were already severe, but this version allows for some slightly easier combat. To fight, you hold your sword button down, and CHAAAARRRRGE at the enemy, much like Ys. Fortunately, the enemies do not deliver one-hit killing blows and your shield is useful at pushing them away, too, so this greatly improves your odds of survival at lower levels. Still, boss battles are not easy, so it is best to be careful. At least you can save your game right before facing one.

Now for the unusual similarities to Ys.

- Item and Inventory system is 'literally' a perfect match for Ys. The equipment system used 5 swords, shields, armor and rings, EXACTLY like Ys. The item system was a list of stuff, including a limited number of items you could carry only one of each at any time, EXACTLY like Ys. There was trim around the inventory and items pages... maybe not exactly like Ys, but sure felt familiar. Combat is like Ys, too, where you charge at your opponents.

And for some differences.

- Attack button. You have to hold it down before running into enemies
- Magic system. Ys' magic system was based on a mix of attack and support magic. Lagoon allows you to combine staves and you currently equipped sword cast different kinds of spells. However, where in Ys, magic is necessary for boss fights and parts of the quest, you can get through Lagoon without magic if you want to. It is rather useless in boss fights, unless you equip rings.
- Rings. In Ys, rings are useless against bosses and very useful on the field. In Lagoon you can equip them anytime, even during boss fights, but they cost a LOT of magic to operate, so it pushes you into doing what you have to do and getting it done ASAP.
Controls: 8 / 10   

The controls were good enough. You main action buttons were the necessary A & B buttons and the 4 directions were solid enough. It did not feel glitchy or unresponsive.

I found the best way for me to play the game was to make my game pad with the directional buttons and the two key action buttons, while leaving the misc. stuff to the keyboard.
Music: 7 / 10   

Well, this game confirms where KEMCO got their sound fonts from for use in the rest of their library. ZOOM's sound fonts sound 'very' close to the ones used by KEMCO for their SNES version.

I rated this version higher because it had additional music that was not included in the SNES one... Kinda too bad, since I prefer the missed stuff over that which KEMCO tinkered around with.
Sound Effects: 5 / 10   

I would not really say that the sound effects used in Lagoon were that impressive, but I think they were a slightly step up from the SNES version. A few of the sound effects used in the opening sequence sounded a bit more convincing.
Graphics: 7 / 10   

I liked the extra cutscenes. I felt they added far more depth to the story and the peril you (the character) are in. They also did not convert the game into a "Movie with a little gameplay", rather it stayed a "Game with a few cutscenes included", and I certainly have no complaints toward that approach.
Replay Value:

Overall, if you have played it once, it's likely you will not play it again for some time.

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