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Not chained to expectation

Game Title: The RMN Chain Game
Engine: RPG Maker 2003
Status at review: Demo/In progress

Background:
I've been aware of the existence of this particular chain-game for some time. I may have even looked at the game page from time-to-time. However, my overall knowledge of this game is still very limited.

I don't really know how long I played the game, but got as far as the end of the main events of Chapter 2. See the last entry on the "Notes of interest" section for more details.


Graphics:
If memory serves, the graphics for this game is based on a project (or other body of work) made by DE. The specific name of the project escapes me at the moment. Regardless of the source, the game presents itself in shades of blue. They recall GameBoy graphics in a certain sense. Perhaps not everyone's cup of tea, but I didn't mind.


Audio:
As per my want, I checked various files in the music directory before playing the game. There's a few recognizable tracks, but nothing really stood out as "good". Saying that, there wasn't much to complain about either.


Story:
The back-story on the game page indicated a very bizarre, surreal, post-nuclear apocalypse setting. Instead of the usual suspects of America and Russia throwing nukes at each other, there was fast food giants McDonalds and Burger King throwing... hamburgers, perhaps? I dunno. Whatever the case, I had the impression that the "superpowers" are as good as gone. However, there's a new threat in the form of White Castle "The White Death".

As unique a set-up that is, the game does not deliver on this expectation. First off, the setting is that of science fiction. Indeed, many Star Trek references abound. Second, instead of both "superpowers" being long gone, McDonalds has survived, and is considered an entity worthy of unquestionable trust. I have my doubts as to how trustworthy they are, of course, but that's beside the point. Third, the "White Death" doesn't appear to have any correlation to White Castle, but I could be mistaken on that point.

Expectations aside, the story is divided into chapters, with each chapter being developed by a different person. Which is how the "chain-game" mechanic comes into play. As of this writing, only two chapters were playable, plus the "hub" area that serves as a bridge between chapters. The first two Chapters were made by Deckiller. From what I understand of the chatter on the game page, Chapter 3, made by ldida1, is complete. Chapter 4 is in the hands of the capable, if rather busy, hands of Liberty.

As for the story itself, it deals with Iron Chef... er, Master Chef Ryoo. He is charged with finding the ingredients for a legendary recipe which will, supposedly, cure the "White Death". Naturally, these ingredients are scattered across various planets in the galaxy. Ryoo is not alone in his task, though. He has help from Doctor Nutritionist Purim, Lieutenant Vicks, and a crew of nameless, faceless soldiers (They are all, literally, named "Redshirt"). However, Prium might not have the most noble of intentions, and the game does suggest that the "White Death" is a virus constructed for a specific purpose. More than this, I am uncertain. Even if I was certain, I would not go so far as to reveal what I knew in a review.


Gameplay:
The theme of the game is "food". The first thing I think of in this respect, gameplay-wise, is a game where there are few conflicts, each one resolved in a cooking mini-game. Much like the cooking mini-game of Suikoden II. What this game serves instead is a plate of generic RPG cuisine: exploration, fighting enemies with the default battle engine, and what-not. Though, I must now confess that I'm not sure about the "default battle engine" part, as my experience with RPGM-2K3 is limited. If boss battles were a cooking mini-game, I could give a bit of leeway here. Alas, boss battles do not provide any change in the manner in which conflicts are resolved. Disappointing!

The game has a Scan mechanic with an odd addition. Certainly, the use of the "Scanner" item causes information about the opposing forces to be displayed, but players also get "Scan Points" for their trouble. These points are exchangeable at Data Exchange Kiosks (which suggests that there are more than one), but I never found such an object in my play. Thus, determining how worthwhile it is to bother with getting these "Scan Points" is unknown.

I loathe how traditional Blue Mages learn abilities. Thankfully, the Blue Magic of this game takes a page from Final Fantasy X. Instead of needing a Mediator, or other "Control" mechanism, the Blue Mage of this game (Myra) comes with an item. Using the item in battle sets off code that checks to see if an ability the monsters have can be, or has been, learned. If there are no abilities to learn, oh well. Otherwise, any and all abilities that can be learned, will be. The item is not a consumable, so it can be used for the next battle.


Other notes of interest:
Since the player can save anywhere, the save points scattered across the galaxy serve no real purpose. If they restored the party, maybe I could be more lenient. I suppose they could be considered check-points, if nothing else?

Chapter 2 introduces a menu where the player selects where in the galaxy he or she wants to go. Choosing any given location causes several screen transitions. The screen transitions to the "Hub" area never completely resolves, leaving players with a black screen.

When the main events of Chapter 2 were complete, Ryoo says he should drop Myra off at her farm. Predictably enough, the farm is on fire. One would expect a cut scene here, but one doesn't happen. I assumed that whatever event is supposed to happen there also enables the switch that allows me to leave the planet. After some investigation in the editor, I note that there is no event in place for getting off the planet. Maybe that was done on purpose, maybe not.


Overall entertainment:
This game messed with my expectations a lot. Because of that, I probably didn't have as much fun as I probably should have. Even so, I don't think I had a terrible time with this game. I suppose I just wish I was playing what I thought this game was.


BOTTOM LINE: NOT APPLICABLE

Posts

Pages: 1
Well to be fair, it did say:
The idea is simple: make traditional RPG chain game

on the first line of the game's description.
Marrend
Bludgeon of Inspiration
10833
A math teacher I has once said, "Y'all know what happens when you assume?" Guilty as charged! It's probably more my fault for not reading everything on the gamepage or looking at the screenshots, etc. than you guys not providing the information at all.
I'll be waiting for the updated version too 'v')
Ok, I'll hold off for now. So far I like everything about this game.

EVERYTHING :|

Gimme more
Liberty
Sometimes the prequel is better.
13939
There shall be. Perhaps. Most likely when it hits the half-way point.
author=Deckiller
I asked someone to review it in the review something threat - I wanted to get an idea where we stood before going forward.


I see, had I known I would have volunteered. I'm thinking that I might anyways. Or perhaps I'll wait until the next demo..will there be another demo?
Liberty
Sometimes the prequel is better.
13939
Thanks for taking the time to review. It's appreciated, even if it perhaps goes on a bit about how it didn't meet your expectations. You probably had different notions as to how the game was being made and what it was about, which is understandable. We'll try to make the description a bit more clear.

About the bugs and whatnot - well, yes, there are things missing from the demo since it's really just a teaser demo. There's a lot of things that have yet to be implemented, or are implemented but not accessible. There's also an unfinished feel, since it is rather unfinished and wasn't really polished up much when put up here.

The next version will most likely be a lot better and I hope you will give it a go once done. ^.^
Deckiller
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.
15597
I asked someone to review it in the review something threat - I wanted to get an idea where we stood before going forward.

What's here needs a lot of polish, for sure, and I'm glad that Marrend liked the blue magic and pointed out some glitches.
author=Deckiller
There should've been a "this is the end of Chapter 2. TBC..." event somewhere. Liberty and I both had computer problems last year, so maybe a slightly outdated version got updated. Same with the warps, etc.


I recall being told there would only be 2 chapters. Not sure if it was in game or on the game page, though.

I don't understand why you bothered to review this. Most of what your saying is nonsense to me and way off the mark of what my experience was. It seems to me that you expected it to be one thing, and since it's not you found a way to present it in a way that makes it look bad, or at least worse than it is.

You (probably) know full well that this is incomplete, so why even talk about negative things like not seeing any trade kiosks(therefore scanning might be pointless) or hitting a black screen. (I think)The point of this demo was to give an idea of what it would be like since many people have been waiting forever to see it.

Story:
The back-story on the game page indicated a very bizarre, surreal, post-nuclear apocalypse setting. Instead of the usual suspects of America and Russia throwing nukes at each other, there was fast food giants McDonalds and Burger King throwing... hamburgers, perhaps? I dunno. Whatever the case, I had the impression that the "superpowers" are as good as gone. However, there's a new threat in the form of White Castle "The White Death".

As unique a set-up that is, the game does not deliver on this expectation. First off, the setting is that of science fiction. Indeed, many Star Trek references abound. Second, instead of both "superpowers" being long gone, McDonalds has survived, and is considered an entity worthy of unquestionable trust. I have my doubts as to how trustworthy they are, of course, but that's beside the point. Third, the "White Death" doesn't appear to have any correlation to White Castle, but I could be mistaken on that point.


Whaaaat are you saying? I don't recall anything about Post-Apocalypse(but I could be wrong). It's just the future. Some people have gone through wars or have been attacked(like your first mission), it doesn't mean there was a nuclear holocaust across the entire galaxy or anything. You trying to compare it to the so called "superpowers", and subsequently continuing the analogy, seems so silly. Why do you have to force such a thing on the game?

Are you saying that it's bad that the White Death doesn't have anything to do with White Castle? I don't follow you...

Alas, boss battles do not provide any change in the manner in which conflicts are resolved. Disappointing!


Huh?

I may have even looked at the game page from time-to-time. However, my overall knowledge of this game is still very limited.


I suppose I just wish I was playing what I thought this game was.


So you know very little about the game but have already formed such a strong expectation of the game that it ruined your experience of it? Perhaps you should rethink your approach to playing video games.

You've seen so little of the game, how can you even make any kind of rational judgement on it? You didn't even talk about any of the awesome stuff like the humor or the mapping, both of which are excellent. I was really shocked at how good this is turning out to be and makes me want to be a part of it now(I was against the story back then and decided not to join *shame* I was young and naive!)
Deckiller
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.
15597
Sorry you were misled. It's understandable that you were disappointed - what you thought and what it is are completely different.

There should've been a "this is the end of Chapter 2. TBC..." event somewhere. Liberty and I both had computer problems last year, so maybe a slightly outdated version got updated. Same with the warps, etc.
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