What do you do when someone else has a really popular title? Why, you copy it as best you can. That is apparently what Taito did in the early 90’s when they released Saint Sword for the Sega Genesis. They followed the idea of Rastan as best they could but as with most copycats, they fell short of the prize. Just a wee bit. What fans of 2D side scrolling fantasy action romps got was decent but could have been a lot better. This boggles the mind since both games are Taito titles.
Saint Sword gives you control over a legendary warrior named Macress. You are also tasked with defeating a demoness named Gorgon (who is apparently a guy).
What fans got was a slightly stiffly animated character carrying a sword and fighting a lot of cheap fantasy creatures. While nowhere as good as Metroid, Saint Sword has some sprawling levels to take on- the problem I have with it is, you are not made aware that you need to drop through a hole. Ever. Then there are the enemies. Just get ready for a lot of cheap hits. At least they give you a lot of life to play with.
Saint Sword came out in a different time. This was a time when the standards of gaming were slightly lower and the “back of the box” sold more games than snazzy advertising campaigns like today.
The biggest problem I have with Saint Sword is the cheap animations- the swimming animation is just “half” of the walking animation. Things appear rather stiff and there are very few cues as to where to go next- such as falling into a pit for no apparent reason.
Similar titles that you can enjoy that also feature similar play mechanics and visual style include:
Blades of Vengeance by Electronic Arts for Sega Genesis
Rastan by Taito for Sega Master Sysem