Name: Pure Mind - Prelude to Harlem Blade (81.67% in 6 votes)
Company: TGL - Japanese
Release date: 1999
Reviewed by: Lamuness
It says at the title it's the prelude to a pretty famous pc98 H-RPG Harlem Blade, but I finish the game and still didn't see any relation to Harlem Blade itself so...
You play the role of Rian, who lost his memory and was taken care of by a mercenary called Will since 3 years ago. Since then Rian joined Will's mercenary group to work and got pretty popular, especially among girls. Now, Will orders Rian to help stop the war between 2 foreign countries, and through this journey Rian will gradually recover his memory. After Will gives you the task, you have the freedom to choose 1 of the 3 main heroines (u can't choose none though) by finding them in your town. Later, a knight (female) who is one of the 2 warring countries will join you.
I have to say that PureMind is by far the simplest RPG I have ever played. It does get even half as deep as Harlem Blade itself. It's just a plain RPG, and it's so straight forward that you can't believe it. There are no more than 10 usable items, 6 or so weapon and armor each for each character, and no more than magic 5-6 spells for each character. The paths between towns and in dungeons are simple. There are NO treasure chests in the game so the is only one path in dungeons that lead you to do whatever you are supposed to do.
Battles look interesting but in fact is nothing special. The battle screen has a horizontally multi-screen background and you move left to right and attack. However, with the exception of the lass boss battle, your location doesn't matter at all; you will just run to enemies and attack no matter how far away they are, which I think defeats the purpose of a horizontally-scrollable battle. All you do is attack, defend, use item, move elsewhere (which is useless I tell you), run, and cast magic, nothing else. As I said before, each person has only 5-6 magic spells to use in total, and with the exception of the final summon spells, each spell effects are not incredibily visually pleasing (ie it's "ok").
Graphics-wise, Giga seemed to hire a new artist for character design, and not bad actually, although there is way too few full-screen CGs in the game. The field and towns look not too bad but the towns are awfully simple themselves. Music is good but gets way too repetitive.
Here's the bad bad thing. With the exception of different CGs and different appearance and personality, each of the 3 main heroines are pretty much the same, in that they use the exact same magic spell and slightly different attributes. This really destroys the replay value of the game once you finish the game once because no matter which of the 3 girls you pick it's pretty much the same. In addition, it only takes 6 hrs to finish PureMind with insane level-upping, which means the game is too short for an RPG.
I have to say PureMind is slightly on the disappointing side because there are tons of RPGs, H or non-H, that are way more in-depth than this one. However, there is one good side to it. If you are a RPG beginner, I can't think of any other games that is more suitable than PureMind to recommend to beginners. So, if you are new to RPGs or want a really really simple RPG, go play PureMind. Otherwise, pick something else.
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