SAND LAND – Game Review


Sand Land – Perhaps for generations of Vietnamese readers, Dragon Ball (7 Dragon Balls) with Doraemon are two indispensable manga series for students.

Recently, the whole world of comic fans was shocked to hear that artist Akira Toriyama suddenly passed away from dural hematoma, while many projects were still unfinished.

One of the last projects before his death was a game Sand Land, along with the accompanying anime series of the same name.

Reality, Sand Land is a short manga written by Akira… 24 years ago, and it seems that he intends to revive and promote this series to the whole world.

Whether Sand Land Is it a lifelong legacy of Akira Toriyama? Let's learn about the game with MarkGame through the following review.


Welcome to the Land of Sand

Sand Land is a manga series written by the late artist Akira Toriyama after he completed the series Dragon Ball and wanted to find some entertainment. This manga is relatively short, with only 1 volume and 14 chapters, so the plot is relatively simple and doesn't have too much world-building.

World in Sand Land Is one barren desert land caused by a disastrous war nearly 30 years ago. Its consequence is that almost all sources of fresh water are cut off. Now fresh water has become a “monopoly product”, sold at exorbitant prices, and gangs of thieves and robbers are raging everywhere to compete for this resource. this precious.

The story follows Beelzebub, the prince of the demon race. Although he says he is a prince of the demon race, Beelzebub actually likes to cause havoc and chaos, and he has a warm, compassionate heart, not only towards his comrades but also towards all humans.

Due to the scarcity of water resources, a police chief named Rao came to Beelzebub and… asked him to “escort” him to find the legendary magical water source, capable of solving the entire world's problems, and The game becomes a world tour of the trio Rao, Beelzebub and their trusted servant, Thief.

The game's plot follows the manga very closely, and for someone who has read it Sand Land before (Vietnamese name is The Desertreleased by Kim Dong Publishing House), the events and locations are almost exactly copied, and the conversion of locations into 3D format is also portrayed quite beautifully!

The barren, ruined, cruel world of Sand Land Described quite thoroughly, the journey of Rao, Beelzebub and Thief is filled with interesting humorous moments but also not lacking in touching moments, true to Akira Toriyama's writing style, creating a storyline. The story is attractive and attracts viewers.

However, Sand Landnot like Infinite Strash: Dragon Quest The Adventure of Dai, is not only a chronicle of the events of the manga, but also expands on the world and characters of the manga.

The game has a new land called Forest Land, many new characters are added, the plot and world are also expanded through side quests scattered throughout the cities that players go through, making give Sand Land is no longer simply a “game adapted from a manga”, but carries within it a “soul” of its own, the “soul” the late artist entrusted before his death.

fans will find in Sand Land the essence of the late artist Akira Toriyama: funny, crazy but equally touching stories

Readers who have read the manga don't need to worry too much about the game having nothing new, because in fact the manga plot is only… half the age of the game. There is a whole new part, with new lands and new people for fans to explore and enjoy.

All in all, fans will find in Sand Land the essence of the late artist Akira Toriyama: funny, crazy but equally touching stories, along with a world that although not built and developed with the same thoroughness Dragon Ballbut also interesting and engaging enough.

And young readers, please follow the words of Lucifer, Beelzebub's father: “Play games in a bright room, don't sit too close to the screen, and don't play for more than 1 hour/day.”

Fun combat, exciting exploration!

To be honest, at first when I came Sand Land The writer doesn't have much hope, the games “following” manga or anime are mostly “watching”, the gameplay is only secondary so there are not many games that create a fighting mechanism. soul.

However, Sand Land Suddenly there is a diverse and extremely fun fighting mechanism. In terms of combat, it can be divided into two types: fighting with Beelzebub and fighting using… tanks.

That's right, you didn't read wrong! Fighting Beelzebub is quite simple: you have light attacks, strong attacks, special attacks, dodges and even… transform into a Super Saiyan. In general, this part is nothing too special, it's just that when you hold Beel “tossing it horizontally and vertically” it feels very comfortable and “relieve stress”.

The new tank combat part is the “highlight” of the game Sand Land. Players have the ability to “unlock” more than ten different types of vehicles, from two-wheeled motorbikes to… heavy super tanks, each vehicle will have a different use, strengths and weaknesses.

At the base, you can use pieces of material picked up everywhere, or dropped from monsters (there is a paradox: Beelzebub once said “never kill” but he defeated monsters Dropping items doesn't count? -NV) to be able to craft parts for the vehicle and upgrade the vehicle.

There are countless possibilities for tank customization, you can change the main weapon and secondary weapon to be able to fight in different styles, combined with the variety of vehicles makes fighting using vehicles Unpredictable transformations, and holding a tank to “plow through” the enemy squad has never felt so good! However, if we discuss it further, we will encounter… “spoiler” again!

Sand Land Suddenly there is a diverse and extremely fun fighting mechanism

The next surprise was Sand Land has a semi-open world approach, and players are (mostly) free to drive freely to explore the entire wasteland. To fully explore, players will need to use many different types of vehicles: motor vehicles to shoot down obstacles on the way, motorbikes to speed through the desert, or a strange vehicle. Oddly named Jump Bot to jump up steep cliffs.

At first glance it seems simple, but gradually getting into a tank and flying around the desert and shooting poor monsters becomes an elegant hobby for the writer, causing hours to pass without realizing it. . Anyway, there's only one small problem, which is that the game forces players to climb up and down many times to get some items on the ground, causing a small annoyance.

“Breath” by Akira Toriyama

It's quite sad that artist Akira Toriyama passed away while still having a lot of unfinished work, but we can see it in every line of his work. Sand Land contains the love and sentiments that the late artist left behind.

From character creation, to the environment, scenery, and colors, all have a very “personal” style, very characteristic of the late artist, along with the characteristic border shading style that has made Sand Land It seems like he carries Akira's soul within him.

Developers ILCA did an excellent job of converting Akira's drawings into 3D format. Rao, Beelzebub, Thief and even the silly general Are are also shown excellently on screen, and even new characters like Ann are equally beautifully drawn.

Not only that, the small stories in the form of side quests, although most of them are just compact stories, are like “yonkoma” pieces (manga wrapped in 4 picture frames) written by Akira himself. so draw it. They are funny, succinct, and concise. Even though they are just “fetch quests”, they do not feel cumbersome or boring, but on the contrary urge the writer to look for side quests in all cities.

We can see it in every line Sand Land contains the love and sentiments that the late artist left behind


Some minor issues

First problem, reality Sand Land is just a collection of stories, so there are inevitably situations where the game is stretched and filled with “filler” to reach the required length. There are some events that in the manga only have… one page, but the game lasts up to… 30 minutes, and this prolongation clearly means “buying time” and is not natural.

For example, it's annoying that our badass Beelzebub has to go on a mission… stealthily, it feels like sometimes ILCA has a list of gameplay that needs to be included and needs to be perfected. run out of.

Another problem is that the number of monsters is relatively poor, mainly “changing skin” and not having much diversity.

At the same time, special boss monsters are not mentioned, but the common boss monsters encountered in the desert have very similar fighting styles, with almost no innovation, easily causing boredom when the player has to go. plow” a certain ingredient – not to mention the “terrifying” amount of ingredients but up to 80% are… garbage and have no use.

And finally, along the way, the characters… talk a lot, but also repeat a lot, it seems like the “lazy” developer doesn't want to record more dialogue. The writer is very supportive of conversations on the go, like Final Fantasy XVHowever, if Rao keeps telling the same story, it will be very boring and annoying!

On the way, the characters… talk a lot, but also repeat a lot, it seems like the “lazy” developer doesn't want to record more dialogue.

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