National Holiday for RPG Players Begins

Many RPGamers remember a simpler time, back in the 8- and 16-bit eras. We were lucky enough to see the releases of a few RPGs each year, and we made do with what we had. Look at a release list today, however, and you'll see that times really have changed. A lack of RPGs is no longer a problem -- in fact, any gamer would be hard pressed to play through more than half of the numerous role-playing titles that have been and will be released this year.

By the time New Years Eve rolls around, the year 2000 will have seen the release of well over 60 RPGs on numerous platforms. This week, June 25 - July 1, will take quite a bite out of those 60+ titles, and it may very well go down in gaming history as the most concentrated week ever for RPG releases. Within a span of six days, we'll see the release of seven brand-new RPGs across four different systems. Be sure to keep an eye out for all of these new titles, soon to hit a store near you:

Monday, June 26

· Crystalis - Game Boy - is an updated version of the 1990 NES classic. The game features the same puzzles and Action-RPG goodness that made the original such a hit, while adding colorful cutscenes and other small features. Crystalis has been rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) and has an MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) of $29.95.

Wednesday, June 28

· Evolution 2: Far Off Promise - Dreamcast - features the return of Mag Launcher, Linear Cannon, Chain Gun, and the rest of the gang in a brand-new adventure. The game brings back the same style of play as the original Evolution while offering enhanced graphics, pre-set dungeons, some new characters, and a more exciting and compelling storyline than before. Evolution 2: Far Off Promise has been rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $49.99.

· Koudelka - PlayStation - is a "Gothic/Horror RPG" set in the 19th century. The title follows the mysterious young woman, Koudelka, and two other travellers as they attempt to solve the murderous mysteries of the ominous Nemeton monastery. Koudelka has been rated "M" (Mature) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $39.99.

· Vanguard Bandits - PlayStation - is a new Strategy RPG set in a world of both technology and magic. The game follows young Bastion as he leads a rebellion against the kingdom of Junaris. Vanguard Bandits features close-up hand to hand combat, dazzling spells, more than 60 tactical missions, and multiple endings. Vanguard Bandits has been rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $49.99.

Friday, June 30

· Diablo II - PC - is the sequel to the extremely popular Diablo. Players must once again bring peace to a troubled land by defeating Diablo, who has been brought back into existence. It features five all-new character classes, full multiplayer support, nearly 30 minutes of FMV, and much more. Diablo II has been rated "M" (Mature) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $49.99.

Saturday, July 1

· Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure - PlayStation - is just what its namesake implies: a "musical" RPG. The game breaks the mold by following Princess Cornet on her quest to rescue the Prince from the bad guys. Rhapsody features the entire musical score in both English and Japanese, an intuitive simulation-style battle system, numerous spells and techniques, and much more. Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure has been rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $44.99.

· Silver - Dreamcast - is an Action-RPG set in the medieval world of Jerrah. Silver's protagonist, David, is on a quest to rescue his beloved from the clutches of the evil sorcerer Silver. The game features vivid environments, real-time battles, numerous weapon techniques and spells, recruitable characters, and much more. Silver has been rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $39.99.

by Andrew P. Bilyk    
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