Black Stone: Magic and Steel - Xbox

Also known as: Ex-Chaser

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Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Combat Game
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Xpec Soft. Co.: Xpec
Publishers: Xicat (GB/US)
Released: 14 Feb 2003 (US)
28 Mar 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 11+, ESRB Teen 13+ (T)
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


The RPG, now recognised globally as a mainstream genre, and not just in Japan, has come a long way since the text adventures of the 1970's. Some publishers and developers show more interest in these games than others, and one such publisher is Xicat. Their offering for March 2003 is an Xbox role-player from developer Xpec called Black Stone: Magic and Steel.

A thousand years after their defeat at Zedan, the dark mages hiding within the Tower of Babylon have grown very powerful. They have awakened the ancient volcano, Moon-eye, weakening the powers of Holy Light that is protecting the land of Zedan. Without the protection of the Holy Light, the dark mages will be able to steal the souls of the people of Zedan and turn them all into slaves. The dark one, Xylon, possesses many pieces of the Black Stone and now has enough power to fulfill his destiny...

If you understood all of that, give yourself a pat on the back for being a hardcore RPG fanatic. If you didn't, read on anyway, you'll no doubt be intrigued.

Yes, Black Stone is one of your more traditional RPG's a la Final Fantasy, complete with myriad menus, statistics, magical spells and plot twists, and it's all very good fun. You will begin your lifelong quest as a low-level character barely capable of wielding a weapon, but who will no doubt become the vanquisher of evil and saviour of the sprawling game world. Battles occur frequently, and divert players from their exploratory missions to fend off a few native nasties whilst earning experience and items at the same time. It's finely balanced gameplay that helps you develop your skills enough to face your final challenge - Xylon.

Black Stone is a colourful game as the screenshots demonstrate, and has everything you would expect from a solid RPG.