Sword Master Intro:
The title of the game "Sword Master" to me sounds a lot like a classic dungeon crawling rpg. Surprising it is not; the game is centered around on your sword welding character. Sword Master is your typical side-scroller action adventure game. The goal of the game is to fight thru various levels, trying to defeat the evil wizard and demon.
Your character walks thru the various levels, swinging his sword at anything that comes in his way. As you proceed thru a level you’ll come across a mid-level boss every couple of screens. None of the mid-level bosses are too difficult to defeat, but some can take longer than others to defeat. Most of the mid-level bosses have the same abilities as you, a sword and a shield. These bosses can block your attacks so figuring out their pattern of attack becomes crucial to easily defeating these bosses.
Along your way after defeating enemies you can pick up more experience points, and different magic in which you can use. The object is to fill up your experience bar, once you accomplish this feat, you’ll get another life bar. The magic is used by another character you can control. This other character; can be activated by pressing select, then you turn into a magician who can summon magic. This magician character has pretty poor controls, he doesn’t move fast nor, is he very swift on his feat. The only need for the magician is for a difficult mid-level or end level boss in my opinion. You don’t start the game with this magician; you have to earn the ability to change into him, which you’ll earn after defeating level two.
Most of the levels in Sword Master seem pretty straight and to the point, destroy all in your way and make some quality nes style jumps along the way. Since your main character’s controls are pretty limited, making some of these jumps will take perfect alignment. You need to ensure your character is in the correct spot to make the jump. After you defeat each level your character is seen walking thru the woods on his way to another level in the game. The game has a medieval feel to the levels and the overall design. Then at the same time some of the bosses are dragons, black knights, skeletons, and a sword welding alligator. How all those different characters fit into a medieval themed game, is beyond me.
End level – Bosses:
Like any other NES game; sword master is no different as you have a boss at the end of each level, which possess different skills than the predecessor. Most of the bosses; can be easily defeated by recognizing the patterns for which they will attack you.
What I didn’t like:
The Controls are pretty basic, you can really only jump straight up in the air, or pressing down your character kneels with his sword and shield in hand. You are not able to do any other cool type moves with your sword or character, which can make the game dull. I really wish; you cold jump or wield your sword at an angle, this would help so much. There are also parts in the levels, where you shouldn't walk to the front of the screen. It seems like it pays to play slow, so you can see an enemy coming after you. During battle some enemies would almost walk off the screen, and you had to sit and wait for him to re-appear. In these cases, I had to walk backwords so the enemy would re-appear.
The asking price for this Nintendo NES game is above the $50 range for this game nowadays. I’m not really sure why, the price is so high since the game design is nothing to write home about. The controls are dull and the game seems like a typical button masher with a limited plot that doesn’t keep you coming back for more. It’s always a bad sign when the box art for Sword Master gets more credit than the game itself.
Game Score: 4.0 Out of 10
Release Date: 1990
Console: Nintendo NES