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1397 downloads
5 reviews
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Good game that could be great if some issues are seen to

The Story
Although this is a ‘complete’ game, it is in fact Chapter One of a 5 chapter story. The plot – betrayal, coup, the struggle to prove who you are, regaining your throne – is already interesting and has a lot of potential. How that’s developed is going to require a lot of care, but this feels as if it’s still in draft form. Overall it’s competent, with flashes of good writing, but more attention needs to be paid to the mechanics of moving a story along. For example, right at the beginning, after Gavin has rescued Prince Rain with his airship, Rain says that he needs to go to Hamlet to pick up his great friend Blaze, to help him. Gavin drops him off, saying he will go on ahead to the city. The airship crashes, they are separated and so Rain has to make it on his own. Why does Gavin drop him off? The obvious thing would be to land, pick up the friend and go straight on. It needs a plausible reason for Gavin not to do that, but we’re not given one. Another example is going to the Temple to prove his lineage. It’s not his lineage that’s in doubt; what’s at issue is whether he is indeed Prince Rain, and proving Rain’s lineage is neither here nor there.

The characters are beginning to be fleshed out. As is often the case, the people who join the party are developed a bit more than the main character, who is just heroic, nice and overall a good guy. Perhaps he could have the odd private anguish about being betrayed by his own wife, or have the tiniest doubt about whether it’s worth all the bloodshed to get his kingdom back (yes it is, because his wife is plotting on taking over the world, but it needs to be worked in). This would make him a bit more rounded. One jarring bit of dialogue is when Rain goes with Blaze to collect Blaze’s wife and she says (more or less, I didn’t jot down the exact words) “Oh, we thought you were dead, but you’re not. Shall we go then?” I think what all this is getting at is that at the moment there is an emotional lack in the writing – though the bickering is done well enough. The score for this represents its current state of development. With a bit of work it could go up to 4.5 or even 5.
2.5

Sound
I always play with the sound off, so I have no comments about the music or sound effects.

Graphics
Visually this is really good, with excellent lighting effects. Areas are well designed and varied – each town has a totally different layout and feel; the forests are not clones of each other. There are plenty of details to catch the eye wherever you are, I enjoyed the horse and wagon that goes trundling around the world map. My only quibble (and yes, I admit it’s a quibble) is when the King in Big Flame City is telling the party that another city is about to be attacked and it could well spell disaster, the face chosen is a smiling one. Who the hell is going to smile while delivering that sort of news? Actually, perhaps it isn’t such a quibble – it is attention to detail that turns a good game into a great one.
4.5

Gameplay
This is good. It’s true that in the demo there was an appalling problem with the miss rate but now, although not entirely sorted out (a problem which can’t be tracked down in the formula) it’s much smoother, though sometimes still a bit frustrating. This is a game where you really have to think carefully about your armour and weapons because a lot hinges on your choices. They are elemental based and you need to pay attention to who/what you’re fighting if you’re going to avoid being hammered. You also have to think much more actively than usual about your spells. You don’t get them by levelling up or buying scrolls, but by equipping rings from which you learn the spell through combat. You need to pay attention to the order you give them to your characters so that they learn them as a balanced team. This is because, although you can learn a big number of spells, you can’t equip them all straight away. Your capacity increases over the course of the game, and some equipment increases your capacity as well. You need to ensure, therefore, that the essentials are catered for by someone. I enjoyed these aspects a lot; the need to be actively choosing what I equip etc held my attention. I do have one disagreement with the developer about the spells. I could be mistaken, but as far as I can tell you can’t use heal or revive spells during battle – the very time you perhaps most need them. The heal spell (known as ‘mend’ here) is also one of the most MP expensive. Finally, you get points each level up which you can distribute as you wish, leading to customisation of your characters.

As for battle, there are no random encounters, but naturally enemies regenerate if you leave the screen. I found the quantity and difficulty were fine for me, but the continuing problem with the miss rate meant that sometimes my careful strategy with bosses, or using ‘rest’ (guard) to regain some HP/MP, was blown apart. It’s a game that repays careful exploration. There are the obvious chests, but click away merrily, there’s stuff stashed in all sorts of places.

There are a few simple puzzles and each town has a game house which gives decent prizes. These puzzles and games are competent rather than ingenious, and won’t tax the mind of a tired player. What does shine, though, is the alchemy system where you can make all manner of potions from enemy drops. I set myself the challenge of getting through the game using only self-brewed items. This gave a point of interest to levelling up because I could say to myself, “Ah, I think I’ll go there, because I could do with more X or Y.” I didn’t quite make it because of a bit of misjudgement on my part, but I’m sure it could be done.
4.0

This is a game that’s well worth playing. With some more work on it, and as part of a much bigger game, this could develop into something really excellent.

Overall score 3.5

Posts

Pages: 1
I have no idea what your talking about. All regeneration spells are cast-able in battle...

I kinda feel like 2.5 on story is low. :(
I've also been able to cast heal just fine in battle.

Also, I think it's a good thing that Mend is expensive. In over 95% of every RPG I've played, heal spells are the best spells and this game is not an exception. If healing are the best spells they should also be expensive. This game is one of the few where healing is actually appropriately priced.
author=Crystalgate
I've also been able to cast heal just fine in battle.

Also, I think it's a good thing that Mend is expensive. In over 95% of every RPG I've played, heal spells are the best spells and this game is not an exception. If healing are the best spells they should also be expensive. This game is one of the few where healing is actually appropriately priced.


Also I give the player a skill called minor mana drain that you can use to fuel mend spam.
The minor mana drain is one of the things that I came unstuck on because of the problem with the miss rate. Several times I used a character's turn to do this in the happy expectation that the other members would deal with dishing out the damaging, only for both them to miss, followed up by a couple of more misses while the enemy cheerfully hammered me. Though it is enormously improved since the demo, it is still sometimes a problem.

As for it being/not being available in battle, I'll see if I've got a save file where I had it equipped and it didn't show up.
author=littlebro
As for it being/not being available in battle, I'll see if I've got a save file where I had it equipped and it didn't show up.


I just double checked to make sure and you can use all restoration spells in battle. Perhaps you did not have the skill "equipped" when you failed to see it. Hope that helps.

author=captainregal
I just double checked to make sure and you can use all restoration spells in battle. Perhaps you did not have the skill "equipped" when you failed to see it. Hope that helps.

I've looked at my saves, and they are all right at the end - I was being super cautious because I suspected a split party was coming up, so I can't re-create the conditions.

What I think would be fair would be to edit the review. As I said in the original, "I could be mistaken...". I could add something there along the lines of that being a strong possibility/probability that I am indeed mistaken.

Edit
I've submitted the edited version. I have no idea how long these things take to work through the system.
author=littlebro
author=captainregal
I just double checked to make sure and you can use all restoration spells in battle. Perhaps you did not have the skill "equipped" when you failed to see it. Hope that helps.

I've looked at my saves, and they are all right at the end - I was being super cautious because I suspected a split party was coming up, so I can't re-create the conditions.

What I think would be fair would be to edit the review. As I said in the original, "I could be mistaken...". I could add something there along the lines of that being a strong possibility/probability that I am indeed mistaken.

Edit
I've submitted the edited version. I have no idea how long these things take to work through the system.


Hey there littlebro, I've sent you a PM about your review.
Pages: 1