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Master of Mayhem vs Lorelai, Queen

So I was reading that "review one game" thread and Indra asked if someone could give feedback for their game Lorelai, Queen. So I thought what the hell. The game looks good and the demo promises to only be an hour long. So here I am, and I'm not just doing this for good karma so someone will give me feedback on my game. Honest.


Story:
Since the demo covers only the prologue I can't do a synopsis of the start of the game like I usually do without ruining it for everyone because that literally is the game this time round. At least it will be short.

You play as Lorelai, a princess who has been in exile since her mother, the queen died, and her father remarried. Apparently Lorelai had to flee the castle when she was younger because... well she's a princes and she has a stepmother, you do the math.

We jump ahead a few years to find Lorelai leaving her quaint country cottage for the kingdom of Dermod where she is to be wed' to a shy, effeminate prince in an arranged marriage. You would think that sort of thing would be difficult with Lorelai being in exile and everything, but apparently everyone's OK with this (except for Lorelai naturally).

Along the way to Dermod she is escorted by two less generic characters; Liam who is painfully shy around women, but is all gruff and serious when he's not, and Aidan who is as easygoing as they come until you piss him off then he becomes a fiery ball of fury.

As luck would have it though Lorelai's personal maid, Marian (Maid Marian I just got that) just happens to be a gifted illusionist, and using her magical powers of magic Marian can transform Lorelai into Sailor Keira. A skilled bounty hunter with his own identity and more badass than a transsexual princess has any right to be.

Now raise your hand if you've heard this story before. If you didn't then you are a sad, unloved, bitter person whose parents didn't read enough bedtime storeys to you as a child.

Cliché children's fairy tale it may be it's at least a well-told cliché children's fairy tale. The plot was engaging in its own "I've heard this before" sort of way and I could tell the characters apart. The problem I have with gauging the story was that the demo was too short for me to really get a good feel for the characters or the plot. There does seem to be some depth there though, and it defiantly has potential.


Sound/Graphics/Mapping:
Well, despite everything being made with the RTP the game still looks good. Things look like what they look like, room felt filled without being too cramped and background objects were placed well. The only problem I really fond, other than the usual problems with VX of everything being made from Lego bricks and all the sprites being midgets, was the design of the forest. Of course anyone here who has actually tried to design a forest with... well anything, will know how hard it is to make one look good let alone look like an actual forest.

I like the music used as well. Although I did keep thinking to myself that I've heard all these tracts somewhere before... I have a sneaking suspicion that they're from the RTP... Not that there's anything bad about that.


Gamplay:
I really have to learn to read the games blog page before I agree to review something. There I was expecting typical JRPG romp when the first battle comes along and to my amazement I instead find myself playing a turn-based strategy RPG, the likes of Tactics Ogre. It's basically like buying a car and then having that car transform into a giant robot. So I say I'll be paying more attention because it's highly unlikely I'll be that lucky next time, and that instead of transforming into a giant robot the car will instead explode.

If you haven't already guessed I love me a good turn-based strategy game, it's too bad that I can't tell whether Lorelai, Queen is a good turn-based strategy game, at least at the moment.

As anyone who has played TBS game will attest to, these games start off slow. The first few battles take it easy on you while you get used to the mechanics before things shift into high gear and you have to use all those tricks you learned to avoid being destroyed by the ever-escalating difficulty. The demo is simply too short to get a good reading for something that long, and while the battles you do fight... well they're not exactly a walk in the park, but it wasn't exactly like playing chess either. Which is actually what I was expecting from the start of the game anyway, so... eh.

That said what I did see from the demo did prove promising. Every character has unique set of moves, Keira can stab people making them bleed and throw caltrops that prevent there target from moving (although it only worked one out of every three times for me), and Liam can push an any back one space with a melee attack. Of course not all of these abilities are as useful as they sound. In fact, the only move I used regularly was Aidan's spin strike that attacks everything around him. Of course that's a lot more due to my play style than anything.

Positioning and facing is important as well as any attack that hit from behind will do extra damage, ranged attacks included.

You fully heal after every battle, which you would have to expect otherwise the game would be too hard, and the developer acknowledges his design choice advising you spam skills and to conserve your items which are few and far in-between (according to him/her anyway). Of course out of the skill the characters have that actually conserve MP, two of them were buffs (albeit useful ones) that you would only cast once, at the start of battle, anyway and the other was the aforementioned Caltrops. This does give me hope that later on there will be some spell casting units with devastating magic where all that MP will come in handy though.


Final verdict:
Well there's not much more I can say about Lorelai, Queen is there? It's a 45 minute demo of the games prolong. There's only so much I can before I start repeating myself. I can keep talking about how much potential the game has and if the developer can keep it up that this will be a really good game... because that's all I really can say at the moment, it has potential and after a while that statement just becomes redundant.

As for the demo itself, I think it does a good job of showcasing this potential. I believe I mentioned in one of my previous reviews that a demo's job is to give its audience a taste of the game's plot, aesthetics and gameplay features. The demo of Lorelai, Queen dose all these things well, but more importantly a demo should leave you wanting more, and believe me I want to see more. The game has a host of unanswered questions I want answers to. Like why is Marian, a master illusionist, working as a maid? And what of the timid prince? Will a real relationship blossom between him and his appointed wife or will deify his father and find a nice country girl who is not seven years older than him? And will he be a playable character or just furniture?

And while the story does sound like something ripped from Grimm's Fairy Tales (all of them) do remember that this is just the prologue. You can't subvert a cliché without the cliché existing in the first place. It's sometimes good to place the audience in familiar territory, where they know the landscape and can guess what's coming next. That makes it much more powerful when you take those expectations and sucker punch in the gut in a move that changes everything leaving the player thinking "I did not see that coming" (Of course if you're savvy enough you saw the twist coming, but still).

At least that's what I hope this game is doing anyway because I would hate to see an otherwise great game fall to mediocrity due its generic storybook plot. Even if it is a well-presented generic storybook plot.

Posts

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I had a very pleasant surprise seeing this. Thanks for taking the time to review!

I can see where you're coming from in most points but...do you mean to tell me yought Keira (Lorelai disguised) is supposed to be MALE...?
Er...why? Isnt her face girly? Liam outright calls refers to her as as FEMALE. I am..a bit confused on that aspect tbh XD

Other than that, I appreciate the review, and will work to improve what aspects seem to need some polish (yeah, plot and combat wise, the prologue doesn't really delve in very deep yet, not much I can do about that).
masterofmayhem
I can defiantly see where you’re coming from
2545
Really? I was under the impression that Keira, while appearing feminine, left no impression that she was a woman. Because if she did wouldn’t Liam have been acting all goofy like.

Maybe, like me, the two knight just assumed that she was a guy. Otherwise some of their conversations with each other make no sense otherwise.
Actually Liam mostly has a problem wth GIRLY GIRLS, and Keira is obviosuly not acting like one. He does try to dissuade her from coming along on the grounds that a woman may be in danger (and later apologizes for it). Had Keira acted all girly, Liam would have acted like a shy little boy. Since she doesn't, he more or less keeps it steady XD

Actually Aidan also makes comments on the woes of being female or female looking, so it has me a bit intrigued as to what caused such a different perception, since no one else that tested it commented on Keira being male. Curious O.O
masterofmayhem
I can defiantly see where you’re coming from
2545
Hah, must just be me misreading and misinterpreting it then.
Defiant potential is the best kind of potential.
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