Date: 09-16-2011 22:01
Author: Steve Whitfield

PDC profile: Steve

Fighting Fantasy: Talisman of Death is a PlayStation Mini with a twist. Does this gamebook orientated game still have its fun factor or is it just simply too out-dated? Allow me to share my experience with you.

Our Quest Begins

Fighting Fantasy was originally a series of single-player fantasy roleplay gamebooks created by British writers Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. At the beginning of the game, the player randomly given 3 cards which make a character; one card for skill, one for stamina and one for luck. The player also has to select one of three available potions to take that could be used to enhance one of these attributes. Talisman of Death starts with the character waking up in an unfamiliar place with a sword. A bird talks to the character and leads to two Gods who tell the character that they need to go to the world Orb and obtain the Talisman of Death to then find a way to take it back the world so it will be safe and out of the hands of evil. The character wakes up in Orb after the talk with the Gods. They meet and have a short conversation with a group of four warriors, who were the last living survivors of a group of people on a quest to find the Talisman. Afterwards they were cornered by elves and trolls and one of them gave me the Talisman and teleported me to the outside.

Protect The Talisman!
During the game all events, surroundings and characters are described in great detail in page long sections. Most of these requires to choose an option afterwards for the game to be able to know what is available next. Some options could enhance or harm my characters attributes while other options made me obtain or lose items from my inventory. Certain options were risk taking options were I had to make use of the in-game luck system; If I passed I would get to choose the lucky option, if I failed I would have to choose the unlucky option. The other in-game system is the combat system. There are two ways to utilize the combat system, one is to use dice while the other is to use a tile-flip system. The dice system is simple, whoever gets the highest amount between the dice wounds on the other player, while both players getting the same amount counts as a miss. The other option does not use dice and instead uses a tile-flip system, where a bunch of red and blue tiles are randomly shuffled and hidden along a grey tile with two swords. If chosen blue, its a hit on the enemy while red is vice-versa; grey meant miss. The Luck system is also used in the combat system, in which it is represented by a bar of green and red sections. If the marker landed on green, it either allowed me to do extra damage or lessen the amount of damage I received. If the marker lands on red though, nothing will happen and the battle will continue. I thought that this luck system was a very interesting idea to enhance the combat system.

Conclusion
Overall I thought that Fighting Fantasy: Talisman of Death was a very enjoyable game. It's different, but not in a bad way. To be honest with you, I think that this has to be the first review I've written where I haven't had to talk about graphics since the majority of the game is just text! It was fun being able to imagine what was happening and what I was seeing, to have my own interpretation of the story, it's locations and it's characters. If you're not a fan of reading lots of text then this probably isn't for you. Patience is the key in this game. I would recommend Talisman of Death to anybody who is a fan of role-playing, or is just looking for something that stands out from the ordinary. Definitely a game to have in your Minis collection.

Developed by Laughing Jackal, Fighting Fantasy: Talisman of Death is a PlayStation Mini available on the PlayStation Network. I played this game for an hour on my PS3 prior to writing this review.

8/10
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