DISCOVERING THE SECRETS OF SALAMONIS
Is it just me or is the cover a tad dull with muted colour ?
And the gold foil letters on my copy are already beginning to flake and fade....
Based on two attempts so far, I am giving this one a tentative thumbs up but with grave reservations.
You have to wonder just how much of this book was actually written by Steve Jackson and how much of it
we can attribute to Jonathan Green ?
The opening section is an almost total disaster with it's puerile tone and misguided attempts to be
broadly humorous. I also didn't care for how we are told about what we are saying to other characters.
And a talking dog ? That nearly killed it stone dead for me.
Mercifully, things picked up after I fooled the dwarves with a card trick. A little voice in my head kept saying
" Ok this is more like it ! "
Training, exploring and choosing of quests kept me happy until I perished once more in the sink pits of Bu Fon Fen.
By that stage ,a warm glow of nostalgia was flowing through me as I realised that FF and Steve Jackson had come full circle.
Looking forward to further playthroughs !
Note to first time readers : don't be discouraged by the early section - persevere and you will be rewarded !
For what it's worth, here is my full review - warning - may contain minor spoilers !
A confession up front- I had to cheat in order to progress to the final section of the book.
At times, it felt as if I were reading CREATURE OF HAVOC REDUX, almost like a tour of old haunts from that previous
( and far superior ) adventure. Nothing wrong with re-visiting a classic but it just felt like a re-hash at times.
The GOOD points - The art is very impressive - clear and concise- always a plus in a FF book.
- The Shriekers are a truly frightening adversary and the mystery behind them is ingeniously plotted
by Jackson although true to form , he leaves some questions hanging in the air - for a sequel perhaps ?
- The nostalgia factor is very high in this one with many nods to the history of FF.
The NOT SO GOOD points - I didn't care for the patchwork approach of having mini-adventures and then going back to Salamonis
for the umpteenth time. This led to an awful lot of repetition. I just prefer the more linear style
- In order to complete the final quest, you need quite a few rare items to hand and if you don't have them,
its GAME OVER. Business as usual in Allansia !
- As I mentioned before , the opening section is near fatal and very off putting.
So there you go, SECRETS OF SALAMONIS is enjoyable enough but it could have been so much more.
Just a few additions to my earlier review :
GOOD POINTS : An alternate title for this book could have been FIGHTING FANTASY BEGINS
in the sense that it seems to be setting you up to be the adventurer in the original series.
There is even a bad but good ending which directly segueways into CITADEL OF CHAOS !
NOT SO GOOD POINTS : In one scene, YOU seem to be having a future vision dream of being inside Firetop Mountain.
While I can see the logic in this, was it really necessary for Steve to repeat the exact text verbatim from WOFTM ?
This just seemed pointless.
Ok enough time has passed to have a retro look back at Steve Jackson's latest opus.
It couldn't help but feel just a tad disappointing after all the anticipation.
And it didn't help that the title and cover made it resemble a guide to angling.
But still plenty of good stuff in there to digest and enjoy.