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(OUTDATED) If you dislike the comedy, this game doesn’t have a leg to stand on.



Little Wing Guy plays Fragile Hearts an Rm2k3 game made by Sbester. Demo Version 1.

Why should you play this game?
- Its immature and stylistically crude humour will please those whom it is aimed at.
- Gives equal emphasis on it’s main cast, with fast paced story progression.
- Appropriate choice of music and sounds.

Why should you give it a miss?
- Uninspired and rushed dungeon design after the first chapter.
- Bug and glitches constantly disrupt you.
- Mismatched gameplay.




I bet you thought Fragile Hearts was going to be your standard JRPG fare. Epic stories about a great evil and a party of unlikely heroes forced to prevent it. Well, you’d be wrong! Didn‘t you even look at the description or screenshots? I mean, jeez reader, what’s wrong with you? Fragile Hearts is actually an Anime inspired comedy RPG, focusing on a different character in each of the three playable chapters. Comedy is this games most important and prime aspect, so it is critical whether or not you can appreciate the humour. I had made my mind up whether the humor appealed to me within the first five minutes. I felt that the majority of jokes, didn’t really hit home with me. Once you’ve seen the comical character portraits more than ten times, they just lose they’re impact. The humour draws itself from very random moments, and some just plain lack originality. I don’t think I can take any more hooded characters revealing they are your one of your parents for the rest of my life.

That’s not to say you should never try this, but the game has a very specific target audience, which I didn‘t fit into. I‘m old and bitter, you see. So, I hate to say it, but the game feels better suited to players who are much younger than me (basically 13 year old anime fags). The characters are somewhat one dimensional as expected, but their traits are easily identifiable and quite likeable! The simple over-arching plot takes a backseat. One of the best things about the story, is its fast pace. Considering we have to be introduced to three characters after one another, the author does well to keep everything moving, I never really felt bored or the desire to quit, but I did not reach the demo to its conculsion and you’ll read why later.


Sbester ruined his own joke. I was MAD.


The games humour isn’t subtle, intelligent, or even tries to be. But the fact that the game knows what it is, and doesn’t take itself seriously is arguably its finest point. There are some funny moments, particularly with Fergus. Yes, I did laugh when he accidentally cut the princesses head off (although you certainly could have had more fun with the pairing first), and I did laugh when a disabled prostitute attempts to kill someone by ramming their wheelchair into them, even though I‘m not going to hell for it. But! The further the game went on, the less the predictable jokes had a positive impact on me, and I actually felt like the jokes dipped in quality. Sometimes the dialogue will set up a simple joke for you. But then suddenly the author realizes you must not be smart enough to understand it (especially if your playing this game by choice) and must immediately kill the punch line for you. I also really hate when developers only use about a third of the text box space, it can be difficult to judge when it cuts off, but don’t skip down to the next line after only three words for gods sake.




Each of the three chapters tries to create different gameplay styles for you. Fergus’s gameplay has a custom battle system. Now before you cum in your pants, just over the prospect of it; you need to know that it’s completely appalling and absolutely terrible. Firstly, it’s all handled within the message boxes, which by definition all ready makes it clunky, unprofessional looking and gives the impression that little to no effort went into it. You wouldn’t be wrong either! Because it’s not well thought out. There’s no pictures, gauges or HUD to speak of, so when you get attacked by an enemy, there’s no numbers or notification on how much HP you have lost. The only way you can find out is to look on the menu screen, but this actually takes up one of your turns. During your turn, you can only attack, defend or open the menu, there are no skills or abilities available to mix it up. I can’t believe I ever ragged on White Reflections about its unoriginal CBS. I don’t see the mentality behind creating something just for the sake of it. If you don’t know how to make something effectively, then don’t waste your time. All I can do is appreciate the fact that you’re trying something new, but that doesn’t comfort me when I’m trying to play the game. The RM2k3 default battle system is superior than the system you have tried to create (that seriously sounds like an insult, but it’s not) please use it! There is a very basic fetch quest type puzzle build around the chapter here, where you find yourself some equipment. I think it eases you into the game nicely.

As I started the second chapter, it looked like somehow my wish was granted. The game battles use the default battle system suddenly. We are shown all these tutorials and how the custom battle system works, only for it to be thrown away in the next chapter. Will it be used again? How about when the characters all meet up? The gameplay is this chapter remains largely untouched from a typical RM2k3 RPG. NPCs walk around town and we’re allowed access to a shops for the first time.

The final playable chapter with Midard has some really bizarre and irritating gameplay decisions. You play as an old man, who gets confused easily. So what does this mean? It means we get teleported around randomly as we try to navigate the town. Just say that back to yourself a few times, and see it ever sounds like a good idea. Is the game intentionally trying to piss me off? What were you thinking when you put that in the game? You are supposed examine landmarks in order to stop this from happening, but I couldn’t interact with anything at all. Yeah, it’s seems like a cool idea in theory, but in practice it just doesn’t work. When you reach a town in an RPG, unless a story event occurs, they are quite often times to chill out and talk to NPCs. Once you leave, the author continues his teleporting fetish into the dungeon right after. A bunch of doors are thrown at you, and you have to guess which sequence of doors is correct. There no introduction, riddles or clues to help you out. Please turn this into a puzzle and not an arbitrary nuisance. I was defeated by this so called puzzle, as I wasn’t in the mood for such a lacklustre puzzle that I rage quitted the game. Sorry (I‘m not sorry).


Really? Well it certainly can‘t be more interesting than your dialogue!


Fragile Hearts is packed with a ridiculous amount of glaringly bad bugs. The sheer lack of polish should be listed as a feature on the game page, because, at this point; I’m starting to think the bugs were intentional just for some sick added laughs for the author. In fact, I almost hope they were intentional, because if they weren’t, it meant the author either didn’t care or didn‘t know what he was doing. I don’t want to believe either of those, so it’s the only explanation that makes any sense to me. You can walk up most walls and move during cutscenes which fucks everything up. It’s not really the players fault if they do, cutscenes have these long pauses so just when you think all the dialogue is finally finished and you proceed to move, the perverted cat wants to add in another joke and now you’re standing where you shouldn’t be. Amerkevicius is attached to the game page as a beta tester, I’m hoping it’s a recent development, whether it is or isn’t; I personally suggest a minimum of two beta testers. Also, worse save point graphics ever!

The game treats you like you must only have 50% of your brain cells functioning, and after playing it, you might feel that way too. Fragile Hearts doesn’t want to hold your hand, it’s wants to lift you off your feet, on to it’s back and give you a piggy-back through the game. The first chapter is undoubtedly the biggest offender of this, as it literally plays itself. You wander around the castle and the battles are either a cutscene or a tutorial, you never really feel like you get going or you’re fully in control. When it gets to the second chapter, the game hands out MP restoring items like you wouldn’t believe. The enemies get some different attacks in this chapter thankfully, including some status inducing moves, but nearly all of them fall after a single Fireball to the face, coupled with that fact that you have two “Target All” spells and enemies are weak to both elements. The random encounters become nothing more than a very brief hindrance. I’m going to take a shot in the dark and assume that gameplay does not present any difficulty because this is a light hearted comedy game. To that, I say: Why have so many different types of gameplay, if it isn’t your focus?




The mapping quality varies from acceptable to poor. I found the majority of the maps suffered from the same problem. They were often too large and rather bland, particularly with exteriors and especially towards the second half the demo; where it seems likely he became too eager to get a demo out. There were also plenty of mapping errors in every single map, as he did not know how to use the chipsets correctly. Cliff edges cut off abruptly and look artificial, using the same tile over and over again, and some house interiors and walls give an inconsistent height. Sometimes, wall tiles aren’t even used. Most of the chipsets used are from the same source, but a few of the interiors are pulled from various other places.

The forest dungeon in chapter two was the only map I truly disliked. It looked like absolutely zero care or imagination had gone into it’s design, which was disappointing because the forest dungeon in chapter one was actually well made despite it’s mapping errors, it was my favourite map in the entire demo. But here, there was no path, a simplistic design with clumps of trees placed to stop you from going into the middle. It felt lazy and rushed. I sometimes thought that the author noticed his mapping wasn’t always nice to look at, so in cutscenes, anime character portraits literally take up half the screen. Music choices in the game are fine though. I haven’t played some of the most well-know commerical RPGs, but I didn’t recognise a single tune which was a nice change.

There isn’t a great deal of NPCs in this game as there is only one real town in the demo (I don‘t think the town in Midard’s chapter isn’t even finished). All NPCs say one hit or miss phase, and don’t add a great deal to the bigger picture or development of characters. Not that they have to, but I would have liked it much better if the NPCs interacted with the character in some way, more so than in any other RM RPG game I’ve played, simply because it’s a comedy game and we’re here for some funny dialogue. With the authors sense of humour, I really felt like he could of gone a bit wild and have some fun with optional dialogue, but it was all a missed opportunity. The NPCs do stumble amount the maps rather sporadically and it’s really difficult to talk to them. Plus, they all have the same stoic moment speed and frequency which doesn’t really give the town a natural lively feel.




Reading this back to myself, this review is somewhat harsh. I might not have played them, but I know the author has at least three completed games under his belt already, so I did not expect this level of amateurishness from an experienced developer. If you’re looking for a game to give you a chuckle, then go ahead, because I will admit to laughing at a couple of scenes, so in that sense it did its job. If you want to make it work as an actual game, either focus considerably less on gameplay or alter the gameplay you already have. I’ve seen first games that haven’t fallen into such obvious traps. I mean, who doesn’t set tileset passibility correctly nowadays?…apart from J-Man of course.

SCORE NOT AVAILABLE, THIS IS A REVIEW OF AN OLDER RELEASE.

Posts

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Max McGee
My name is Legion: for we are many.
8237
Just how old and bitter are you, LWG? I have foolishly assumed you were on the young side, perhaps from your name.

Also: semper reviews.

More serious comment:

This review also suffers from poor score/text agreement. Also as in 'this is yet another review that suffers from that', not as in 'this is yet another thing this review suffers from'. The text given would be much more suited to a 1 or 1/2 star review. I recommend you change the score or, even better, the text, if you have time. Right now this textually does not align with what (unnecessary disclaimer clause: I feel) a 1.5 Star score should be.
Thanks for the much needed feedback. Not sure if you've read any of my blogs, but the gameplay is definitely changing from this tech demo (CBS is going bye-bye, and all characters will have 2k3 battle system in their dungeon romps, although each character will function very differently).

You are correct in your assertion that this game was meant to focus more on the comedy than the gameplay, (even though I did attempt an in-depth cbs, when I realized it was too ambitious I stopped and that is the reason it feels so...unfinished). I want this to change, and am actively reworking everything, including some of the cruder looking maps and certain elements of gameplay that didn't work.

I'll definitely be using this review as a basis to start the new version off of. It will be much different in terms of gameplay, but you also mentioned a few areas where I'm holding the player's hand in explaining the jokes, which I will have to change as well. The only problem I see is that I'm not sure what the age of the target audience is exactly, so maybe it would hurt more than help? I don't know, but reading this review I kind of found myself agreeing with you on that part.

I was a bit surprised to hear that you didn't think I took advantage of the NPCs enough. Did you not visit the library? Lots of stuff there, but maybe I should add some more funny dialogue for the NPCs around the town. Maybe I'll even add some NPCs to Prostitown as well, if I feel inspired enough.

Anyways, at the point you quit you only missed out on a final little cutscene, so you played about 95% or so by the sounds of it. I hope you'll give future iterations a chance.

author=Max McGee
Just how old and bitter are you, LWG? I have foolishly assumed you were on the young side, perhaps from your name.

I originally made this username up when I was about 15 or 16, so you’re not wrong to assume that. I’m actually 21. So maybe not old and bitter, but I didn’t think anyone was going to call me out on it!

author=Max McGee
Also: semper reviews.

Not sure what you mean by this. I’m sure it’s not good.

author=Max McGee
This review also suffers from poor score/text agreement. Also as in 'this is yet another review that suffers from that', not as in 'this is yet another thing this review suffers from'. The text given would be much more suited to a 1 or 1/2 star review. I recommend you change the score or, even better, the text, if you have time. Right now this textually does not align with what (unnecessary disclaimer clause: I feel) a 1.5 Star score should be.

I do very much agree with you. I need to work out some sort of scoring the final verdict and stick with it. It’s dumb that I haven’t because I am trying to put care into the reviews I write. I mostly just pick whatever I think sounds about right at the time. I remembered I gave a single star to White December, and I felt Fragile Hearts was slightly better. I think everything I wrote is fair and true, so I’m not changing the text or score, maybe it should be half a star less but it's not really going to matter in the long run. It has NOTHING to do with the fact I’m lazy.

author=sbester
Thanks for the much needed feedback.

You're welcome mate. Thanks for being a good sport.

author=sbester
The only problem I see is that I'm not sure what the age of the target audience is exactly, so maybe it would hurt more than help? I don't know, but reading this review I kind of found myself agreeing with you on that part.

Yeah, well I still don’t think I’m completely incorrect, but it’s actually a pretty unfair point. That’s like saying only youngsters laugh at fart jokes. Some do, some don’t. I just needed a way of telling the readers what kind of humour to expect and perhaps I shouldn’t have spun it at that angle.

author=sbester
I was a bit surprised to hear that you didn't think I took advantage of the NPCs enough. Did you not visit the library? Lots of stuff there, but maybe I should add some more funny dialogue for the NPCs around the town.

I did go into the library, and after I’d stopped walking on the bookshelves, I read everything. I totally forgot about it and the amount of dialogue there. Whoops!
Haha it's hard not to be a good sport when you're completely right. The demo was rushed to a release, and the only thing I really have to say in my defense of that is that I needed to get some feedback so I could decide where to go with it. Now that I've read this review I have a good idea of the number of changes that need to be made (on top of the ones I already knew) and the true game can begin to take shape.
Whoa, this demo is surely has some problems to hold the gamer.
Can it be compared with Legendary Legend? )

This comical faces feels OLD. And not nostalgic.
The funny - original Sword of Mana works bad with its own maps too )))
author=Dragol
Can it be compared with Legendary Legend? )


Front page, here I come!
Marrend
Bludgeon of Inspiration
10829
author=sbester
author=Dragol
Can it be compared with Legendary Legend? )


Front page, here I come!


Considering the events that followed the featuring of Legendary Legend, I'm pretty sure that wasn't meant as a compliment. But what would I know?
Yes, I was joking.

Maybe I'll stick to explaining the punchlines afterall :P
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