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CTTG #3: Neutopia

Three games are now down as I’ve finally beaten Neutopia!

This third game was also the longest, too, taking seven play sessions. Each of the first two games were beat in just one. Alas, being a Legend of Zelda clone, this was to be expected and ya know what?

I liked Neutopia!

It certainly beat my expectations. While the game was such an obvious copycat of Nintendo’s landmark franchise, it did have a style of its own. Comparing it to that NES original, the big difference is that the game isn’t nearly as open world. This means that you are made to defeat dungeons (crypts) in order. A compass shows you where those crypts are which keeps you on target. (There’s no map, however.)

At no point did I feel really stuck and I never once had to consult a walkthrough. The crypts were difficult enough to keep me engaged but never hard enough to get frustrating. So, yeah, no Water Temples. The bosses were, overall, on the easy side, but I have never minded that when it comes at the end of a dungeon where you’ve spent a good chunk of time navigating through. These crypts held plenty of secrets with a ton of secret entrances to bomb through and not a single hint as to which walls can be blasted unless you have a map. ERRR, a crystal ball…

Throughout the game you need to upgrade your sword and armor and shield to take on increasingly difficult enemies across four spheres. There’s no indication that any of this is required except towards the end when you’re told that you need “the strongest sword” to beat Dirth, the final boss. I took this as mere advice when I heard it initially, but no, you should take it literally. You need that premier sword to do any damage whatsoever to the final boss.

In fact, I finally found that pesky sword and then beat Dirth (after losing to him previously without the sword) all very quickly at the end.

I’m a big fan of action/adventure games like this, especially ones that take 10 hours or less to complete like Neutopia, and I did enjoy the game, but I’m happy it’s done. The TurboGrafx-16 is chock full of fun and challenging games to be taken on that can be finished quickly with good play. It became hard to keep up with my progress because I wasn’t playing every day. It’s a relief to be done.

THREE GAMES DOWN. After this longer adventure, I need some lighter fare to take a break on. So, up next, we’ll get goofy. For the first time, I’m going to take on a game I’ve never played before in Davis Cup Tennis.

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About John Blanco

John Blanco is an avid game collector and loves to write about his hobby as much as he participates in it. He run the Denver Retro Gamers Facebook group in Denver, Colorado, and coordinates swap-style meetups with dozens of other collectors every couple of months.

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