Spellshard is obviously ahead of the game when it comes to traditional RPG releases this year. The OHR has never had an NES-style game with the same scope or long development time, and the results show. If you enjoy these kinds of games, you'll love it and you should check it out right now if you haven't.
I like how the game has a few modern touches, like the save fairies, the faster combat speed, and (typos aside) quality writing. These help differentiate Spellshard from Dragon Quest 3 and its like. You can tell it's an old school game made in the 2000s that has the best of both worlds. I also think that the dungeon design is very classy for the most part; the maps don't feel too big but have a lot of meat to chew. The class system probably adds replayability and of course some intrigue when you start the game up.
My only complaint about the game is that in some instances it doesn't modernize enough--I hate stuff like the desert section, and the encounter rates are, if pressed, a bit too high at times. For most players, that criticism would fall on deaf ears though.
I have not finished Spellshard, and I probably won't. It isn't really my type of game (The SNES era was my childhood, not the NES). I do think it's one of the best games produced for the engine, though, and it's a strong contender for OHR Game of 2011.
Rating: 9 Nefarious Traps out of 10
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