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Time for an upgrade?

Introduction
I believe this game needs a fresh review, since most of the other reviewers seem to be approaching it from a nostalgic “I loved this game many years ago” point of view. I never played it back in the time of its release, so I don’t have the nostalgia factor going for me. If there’s one thing to be taken from this review, it is that its age really shows in comparison to the rm games of today.

Plot and Dialogue 1.5/5
I tend to try and forgive older games for their bad dialogue due to the fact that the creator was much younger when it was made. Even still, I found that around 90% of the message boxes in the game had blatant spelling errors, irksome grammatical errors, extremely awkward sentences, and words that were misused. Seriously, it rivals Laxius Power. It really hampers the story overall, and longer cutscenes were affected quite a bit. It’s a shame, because I’m sure after all these years, Nightblade could do a hell of a lot better, and this would improve my personal opinion of the game immensely if he would go back and edit the dialogue. Unfortunately, it would be a pretty big job as it all seems to need a bit of updating.

As for the plot, I also found it to be a bit of a mess. Everything seems to happen very randomly, and so much is clouded in mystery that it’s hard to really understand or even care what is happening. I commend Nightblade for trying to make the characters very different from one another, but what it quickly amounts to is a whole lot of bickering and not a lot of endearing interactions.

Graphics 3/5
I’m being a little generous here (again, because of its age). The layouts aren’t too bad, and graphics are used decently enough. I have a couple complaints, however. The first is in regards to the camera perspective, as sometimes you’ll enter a room from the right and suddenly you’re at the top of the screen facing down into the room. I teleported back and forth between maps accidentally quite a bit in this game. Secondly, there are a bunch of places that seem wide open, but you can’t really go anywhere (example, the outside area of the castle at the beginning of the game).

This kind of crosses over with the gameplay, but I liked some of the dungeon traps used throughout. It added the extra little oomph they needed.

Sound 2/5
Sound effects are quite repetitious throughout, and it gets a little annoying. The music was pretty well placed, however, even though lots of it was instantly recognizable. If nothing else, it seemed appropriate.


Gameplay 1.5/5
The battles are standard 2k3 fare. I’m okay with that. The battle balance is not at all what it should be, however. Some parts are way too hard, then you’ll shift to a place that is way too easy, all the while your skills are never really worth using. Skills seem to use way too much MP at the beginning, and the damage effects don’t really seem worth it compared to regular attacks. The biggest problem seems to be that the party members all have really low agility, making the bar fill up too slowly a lot of the time.

The biggest redeeming quality I found was that the little puzzles sprinkled throughout were sometimes a little amusing (example: the game of SAM on the statues). Another positive that many players will undoubtedly appreciate is that you can see the enemies before you launch into battles. The problem is that some of them move really fast, and they are quick to regenerate on the maps after you defeat them.

Overall (2 out of 5 stars)
I believe with all the fanfare this game has, it really is in Nightblade’s best interest to revisit the project and fix a bunch of these things up. While I didn’t have quite an awesome experience with it, my playthrough would have been significantly more enjoyable if the dialogue was improved, the balancing was a little more progressive, the battles were quicker, and a little bit of environmental interaction wouldn’t hurt either (there are tons of objects randomly placed throughout but they’re pretty much just for decoration).

Judging from what I can see in the program itself, I got a little over a third of the way through before giving up. I really tried to push forward, but I suppose it just wasn’t really meshing with me. Nevertheless, I really hope that the creator considers giving this old game an update. I’m sure the fans would appreciate it, and perhaps even I would learn to as well.

Posts

Pages: 1
Ciel
an aristocrat of rpgmaker culture
243
the upgrade is phantom legacy
glimpse of my extremely relevant review of A Blurred Line to be released in 2014:

author=android me
lol rtp 0/5!!! get your shit together lysander!
Edit: Not sure where the double post came, but it's the same as the comment below.
I agree with sbester's review, and I think he pointed out the facts that bogged this game down. I had been planning my own review a few months back, having just completed the game, but at the time didn't feel the need to revive such an old game. One thing I would definitely add (that sbester hinted at) is how jumbled the story gets, and it's hard to follow.

However, this was a sort of gem in the grind, hiding its potential. I think the game could really go on to the links of being epic and close to old console standards if some of what sbester suggested was implemented.

author=mellytan
glimpse of my extremely relevant review of A Blurred Line to be released in 2014:

author=android me
lol rtp 0/5!!! get your shit together lysander!


Assuming the world doesn't blow up before 2013.
Pages: 1