Exile for the TurboGrafx-CD mixes role-playing segements with a healthy dose of action, yielding a game that'll probably please a wide audience. While this mix of genres isn't exactly new (the Y's games, for example, did exactly the same thing), it does help keep the game from getting bogged down in the role-playing elements, which tend to bore fans of action games.
Like most role-playing games, in Exile you take on the role of a specific character, in this case a fighter named Sadler. Sadler was best known for overthrowing the Cerjeuk Dynasty, which had been holding the world violently captive to its religious beliefs. But, even now, with the Cerjeuk Dynasty felled, religious intolerance tears apart the land. Sadler is again charged with bringing back the peace.
As Sadler makes his way from scene to scene, he'll need to talk with townspeople, discover clues, fight monsters and buy supplies. Shops in the towns offer various items for sale, including all types of swords and armor, as well as healing tonics and magic-restoration tonics. Obviously exploration is important so that you are sure that Sadler has talked with everyone and has visited all the shops.
In the wilds, Sadler must defend himself as best he can from his enemies. The better his weapons and armor, the better his chances against his foes. In typical RPG fashion, as he destroys monsters, his experience increases, bringing with it increases in level, which give Sadler more fighting power and hit points. Also, throughout the action scenes, Sadler will discover treasure chests containing items from healing tonics to caches of gold.
With all this fighting, you'd be right in inferring that staying alive can sometimes be a problem. Luckily, Exile provides a nonpassword game-save mechanism. However, taking its cue from action-oriented games, you can save an Exile game only at specific points in the adventure, which requires you to start the most recent scene from the beginning, should you die.
Everything is not all fighting and explorating, though. As you advance Sadler from scene to scene you'll be treated to non-interactive story segments featuring graphic images, animations and professional voice-over, which help advance the plot and keep you aware of the unfolding story. Unfortunately, although the voiceovers are terrific, the accompanying graphics are a bit thin, with many static images that stay on the screen for long periods of time. There are a few animated sequences in these segments, but they tend to be simple and brief.
Still, Exile is a solid game that successfully marries action and role-playing. Some will be a little disappointed by the brief story, but there's a lot to enjoy along the way. Exile isn't the deepest role-playing game on the platform (you're better off buying Y's Book I & II), but if you're looking for an exciting fantasy RPG for your Turbo, then you might want to give this one a look.