Wish-fulfillment is hardly anything new in videogames, but they rarely come as direct as in Myth. In it, you control a teenage boy whose destiny is so important to the whole universe that they are more than willing to accomodate him with adventure and glory. And let me tell you; better known Gary Stu's have been made from less manic back-patting of egos than in the manual of this game.
Further catering to this is also what System 3 is very good at, and Myth might very well be the least exception of all. Your main character, a teenage boy, literally starts in hell -- or Hades, as it's called. From the first click of the fire button, you're already fighting skeletons, goblins and demons. From there, you head outside to deal with Nymphs, the Medusa and even the Hydra. And once you're done with Greece mythology, it's time to move on to Norse mythology and later Egyptian. And after that? You'll have to wait and see.
But Myth is also not merely an action game. For all the asskickery you'll be doing, there's also riddles to be solved and beings to deal with, and in many cases, knowing your mythology will actually help you. Granted, you'll be spending most of the time figuring out what to do to progress, which is why replaying sessions won't be as frustrating -- once you do know what to do, it's a matter of quickly setting it up and moving on. Which is not to say Myth is an easy game -- some of the sections in the Egyptian world in particular is liable to drive you out of your goddamned mind -- but the game is never really unfair. Familiarity with the control, the stages and a sense of timing will usually carry you through safely enough. (As a side note: ironically enough, the addition of spoken lines in the Amiga version actually helped me solve a puzzle with one of the characters in the first level, which resulted in me getting another life energy container instead of dying. You learn something new every day, it would seem.)
In the ways of flaws, Myth comes out fairly clean. Collision detection seems fine, and the game progresses at a natural rate; upon game over, you'll restart the last stage you loaded, much like the Last Ninja games. And since items don't carry over (save for the sword you always carry), you don't have to worry about restarting without the required items like in a Last Ninja game I could mention. There is, however, one really outstandingly irritating flaw, bug or whatever, that will occasionally occur on the very last stage, at the very end of the game. What happens is that the game basically doesn't jump to the... let's call it the final challenge... and instead just leaves you hanging there wondering whether something was supposed to happen (hint: it was) and leaving you with no option but shutting down your computer and starting the game all over again from the beginning. I imagine this has the potential to completely ruin your desire to play it for quite some time. (If you're curious, I'm putting the estimate of this happening to about.... one or two times out of ten. Possibly.)
Still, the effort it takes just getting there will still give you a major feeling of accomplishment, not to mention a pretty slack jaw upon reaching that final battle. The game has aged a little, sure, but Myth is still a great example of how far the Commodore could be pushed when it comes to sheer amount of content and general game design. Given the enormous amount of mythology existing in our world, maybe the amount chosen for this game will seem a little sparse. This is only further incriminated by the fact that Myth 2 was in the planning stages, but sadly never came to fruition. And given how great a game Myth turned out to be, that's really saying something.
Downloads: Music, Speech, Advert
|GRAPHICS - 9/10|
|One keeps wondering how mindblowing Myth might've ended up being if they'd incorporated parallax scrolling, but even without it, this game is impressive, to say the least. An amazingly well-animated main character and a host of well designed and mostly animated creatures for our main character to face. The background art is also well designed and conceived and, in the case of the first level, also pretty well animated. There are some minor niggles -- like Nidhogg's neck wound -- that looks a little bit odd, but those are pretty insignificant in the long run.|
|SOUND - 7/10|
|Save for the final battle, Myth has little in the way of ingame music, which is a shame. Sound effects are generally really well made, though, and does a decent job of making up for this.|
|PLAYABILITY - 10/10|
|In spite of some teeth-grindingly tense caves in the later stages, Myth controls just about flawlessly. There are some odd control choices -- like pulling down on the stick makes your character do a standing forward jump -- but the controls makes sense otherwise. Item control can also get a little bit cumbersome, but since Myth is more about taking measure of a situation rather than a reflex twitch-fest, it's quite OK.|
|OVERALL - 9/10|
|For people like me, who doesn't have the kind of twitch-reflexes necessary for a whole lot of games, Myth is a well measured blessing -- a game where planning, thinking and timing will find you success. The aforementioned bug does detract some from the overall score, but it's hard to remain angry at a game that delivers such an adventure at such a grandiose scale.|