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Game Profile
Adrenium Games
GENRE: Adventure
November 21, 2001
 Written by Andrew Smith  on January 02, 2002

Full Review: It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a Smurf? no, its Azurik!

Azurik is built around one of the best and most unique storylines I have ever seen. You, as Azurik, are the young guardian of Perathia who controls the power of the elements: fire, earth, water, etc. However, as fate would have it, the sacred disks of the elements have been shattered and dispersed throughout the land of Perathia, and it is your job to travel through the six realms and restore order. The graphics in Azurik are nothing short of amazing. The character models are beautiful and detailed, although it's nothing that you haven't seen done before. However, the environments take the cake as the most breathtaking worlds I have seen on a console videogame. Besides their beauty, the six realms seem endless. The only thing keeping the graphics from being prefect is the lighting effects. In a dark room, the entire screen is black except for Azurik himself, there is no dimming or middle ground of any sort. In all, Azurik's visuals splendor is good, but with more work they could have been much more impressive.

The sounds in Azurik are also well done. The music is very light and often takes a back seat to the sound effects, most impressive comes from a waterfall located in the game, something no one should be deprived of hearing. The other sound effects, such as Azurik swinging his axion, leave little to be desired. However, the sounds that Azurik makes himself are quite horrible. After so many times of hearing ?whoo? and ?yeeeaaa? you'll just want to get up and puke. But besides from those few little annoyances, the sounds are quite good.

The gameplay in Azurik is where a definite line will be drawn between those who like the game and those who don't. Azurik fights all the little baddies with his axion. After he acquires one of the elemental discs, he can power his axion with whatever element it contains. Additionally, you can also combine multiple elements for some really cool effects. Though you won't be killing very often. Let it be known, this is not Halo. You might play for hours at a time without seeing a single monster to kill. Azurik is an adventure game, like it or not. Personally, I choose the latter. While Azurik has some awesome puzzles to solve and a very cool combat system, it just gets boring. I lost interest in Azurik about four hours into it. I did, however, continue to press on, hoping it would pick up eventually. Unfortunately, it never did.

The camera system is very cool, if somewhat unneeded. You control the camera using the right thumbstick and you control Azurik with the left. They work totally independently from one another, so you can run in one direction and look in another (just like in Shenmue). While this does make searching for the broken pieces of the disk elements easier, it can become a big hassle, especially while Azurik is swimming.

Azurik features no multiplayer and the replay value is essentially null. Adventure games in general have very little replay value, and Azurik is certainly no different. Once you have retrieved all of the elemental discs, Azurik will probably spend the majority of his time watching you put Halo back in.

Bottom Line
This game lacks the linear path and the hoards of baddies flowing from every direction we all enjoy. If you are a fan of adventure games, I don't doubt you will love Azurik. If you aren't, I would recommend you at least give it a rent. In the end, it is a very good game trapped in a horrible genre.

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