1/23 – Time Stalkers (DC)

Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s video game of the day.

Today’s game is Time Stalkers for the Sega Dreamcast. Time Stalkers was released in September of 1999 in North America and released a year later in Europe. Made by Climax Entertainment and published by Sega themselves, Time Stalkers was marketed as the first real RPG to take advantage of the Dreamcast hardware, although this is only true in North America where Evolution had not yet released.

Time Stalkers played like many turn-based RPGs of the time but also incorporated several elements of the Roguelike genre, including randomized dungeons and resetting character growth. Players take the role of the hero, Sword, who must save the inhabitants of a floating island by returning them to the world below.

Similar to games like Diablo 1 or the aforementioned Evolution, Time Stalkers contains a single town and from that town, Sword will enter the various dungeons. Each dungeon is randomly generated and players must fight through a series of monsters to complete each one. Monsters can also be captured and used in battle as allies. Other than these captured monsters, however, all character progress is reset after completing each dungeon, meaning characters always revert to level 1 when a dungeon is finished.

The game received poor reviews when it was released with many criticising the random dungeons and the experience reset features. The story was also seen as standard JRPG fare with nothing particularly memorable. These days, many recommend Grandia 2 or Skies of Arcadia as superior Dreamcast RPGs.

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