|Publisher: GraphSim Entertainment Genre: Adventure & RPG
|Min OS X: Not Supported CPU: G3 @ 300 MHz RAM: 64 MB Hard Disk: 800 MB 8x CD-ROM
The overall effect of Summoner is that of a very complete, very well thought out RPG that is in effect the player's world for the time they're playing it. The cities, towns and levels are enormous, complete with hundreds of people to talk to, some offering quests that the player can agree to and solve on their own time without having to follow any specific order. The story is among the most thorough and complex I've seen in a recent Mac game, including extensive amounts of information and cut scenes that introduce significant elements of fantasy and history into the plot. Amidst stories of warring gods, corrupt rulers and outcast heroes lies the heart of Summoner, which tells a tale as complete as any Final Fantasy game.
The suggested time to beat Summoner is about 30 hours, but these 30 hours are definitely worth the time and money invested in the project. The graphics and gameplay are incredible, the sound sets exactly the right mood for each level, injecting both the right amounts of realism as well as amazing fantasy elements into the game. The controls are easy to learn, something that makes the game even more enjoyable.
On the whole, Summoner is one of the most original and best implemented role playing games available (there's nothing on the Mac gaming market quite like it), but a few things stand in the way of its being absolutely perfect. The hardware requirements are reasonable, but may be a bit steep for some users. Summoner demands a 300 MHz G3 processor, 64 MB of RAM, 800 MB of hard disk space, 8X CD-ROM drive and an OpenGL-compatible graphics accelerator card with 6 MB of VRAM. The game will support Mac OS 8.6 and higher, but hasn't been Carbonized for OS X as of yet, meaning that you'll have to run it under Classic if the user is only running OS X.
Customization is about the only issue I can bring up as an improvement for Summoner. While the game uses very few keyboard-based commands, it would be nice if players were able to map these keys for themselves. The camera system, while terrific, does clip objects a little when the screen is crowded, making getting around a little harder than it should be, especially in the middle of a town.
Aside from this, the game is more than complete, functioning beautifully on the G4 I used to play it with no performance degradation whatsoever when run in Classic mode on OS X (10.0.3). The game looks outstanding on older graphics cards such as the ATI Rage 128 Pro and probably looks even better on higher end graphics cards such as the GeForce 3.
Summoner is ready for prime time, standing on its own as a complete original for the Mac. There's nothing else quite like it out there, and to the people at Volition, Inc. responsible for this excellent port of a PC game, you've done an extraordinary job, creating a product that deserves to sell like hotcakes.