Gestalt - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gestalt

Gestalt

By Bryan Morton     November 28, 2006
Release Date: December 04, 2006


Gestalt
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
When Father Olivier seemingly runs away from the order, Suzu the dark elf is sent to capture and return him to the order. Father Olivier has been having doubts about the legend of creation and decides to go to the forbidden island of G, named after the dark god who betrayed the council of gods and whose name is now forbidden from the lips of men. On his journey, a strange girl named Ohri is given to him as a slave. Fearing her fate should he refuse, Father Olivier soon learns that Ohri holds a few magical secrets of her own as she defends him from Suzu and all else that would impede his goals. It just might be true that Ohri really does come from the dark island of G.

The Review!
Father Olivier gets started on his search for truth but doesn't really get very far, as Gestalt almost ends before it begins...

Audio:
Audio is presented in English and Japanese 2.0 stereo " I listened to the Japanese track for this review. It's a fairly standard 2.0 mix, with little in the way of directionality other than during fight scenes. There were no obvious problems.

Video:
Gestalt was produced in 1997 and is presented in 1.33: full-frame format. It's very brightly coloured, although with a slightly limited palette and not much detail to the backgrounds. For the most part it looks pretty good, although there's a generally soft-focus feel to the transfer and some noticeable line noise in places. Nothing too serious, though.

Packaging:
No packaging was provided with our review copy.

Menu:
The main menu features a manga-style image of Ohri, with options presented for language setup, chapter select and extras. A piece of the show's background music plays throughout. Each of the submenus features another piece of character artwork. There are no transitions between screens, so it's all nice & quick to use.

Extras:
Nothing much in the way of extras here - just a gallery of promotional artwork & some screenshots.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Father Olivier is a priest of the Vesaria Order - or he was, until recently when he left the Order to seek the truth about the origins of the god Salsaroa. That involves going to a land referred to only as G, as to say its full name (Gestalt) invokes all sorts of ill fortune. Unfortunately for Olivier, the head of his order, Father Messiah, is in no mood to let him leave, and has sent the dark elf Suzu to bring him back to the Order's HQ, but along the way Olivier has acquired the services of young sorceress Ohri, who proves quite useful in keeping Suzu at bay.

The pair's first stop on their journey to G is the city of Dangai, capital of the Bilmol kingdom, where strange things have been happening ever since the arrival of the new queen. Olivier is persuaded to help find out what's happened to the king, who has become unusually cruel of late - a case in point is the next day's fighting tournament, where the losers will be fed to a carrion crawler. Just a little over-the-top, perhaps? It turns out the queen is being aided by a sorcerer named Soushi, with whom Ohri is already well acquainted...

The first thing that's worth pointing out is that, while the two episodes here make up a self-contained story, they're clearly the first part of a much larger quest (Father Olivier's journey to G) " but since this was all that was made of Gestalt, there are a few plotlines that are started but will never be finished. That could be annoying to some, and it's the first black mark against the show.

The show feels a lot like a console RPG game " a feeling that's heavily reinforced by Ohri's early scenes, where she's under a spell of silence and speaks only by way of a text box. I kept thinking I was going to have to get the remote control out to scroll down through her lines. It's a fun gimmick for the first few lines, but it soon wears thin. Thankfully, her spell of silence is soon dispelled, allowing her to speak normally for most of the show. Ohri's a reasonably interesting character " it's strongly hinted that she's from G herself, and once her powers are fully unsealed (by way of a kiss from Olivier) she's impressive with the magic, as well. She has a very subservient master / servant attitude towards Olivier, but you do get the feeling that she's putting on an act there in the hope of getting something out of him " but since the series doesn't continue, that's one of those plot threads that's left dangling at the end of the disc.

Olivier himself is fairly bland. He's a priest who doubts his faith and wants to try and reaffirm it by proving some of the legends around Salsaroa, but being generally a good guy he seems quite gullible, and doesn't really do anything in these episodes that's really noteworthy " he just seems to be there to give Ohri someone to play off. The other main character, dark elf Suzu, fills the comic relief role with her efforts to bring Olivier back to the Vesaria Order.

In summary:
Gestalt is interesting enough, but nothing spectacular. It plays to most of the fantasy-story clichés, and if you enjoyed the likes of Slayers you'll get at least some enjoyment out of this, but knowing that it's an unfinished story does make you wonder why it's even been released. It's also quite expensive, given its age and running time. All that adds up to a show that's hard to recommend, other than as a rental.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Screenshot Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic TX-W28R30P 28" widescreen TV; Pioneer DV-626D player; Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.

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