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In Definite Need of Improvement

  • Scourge
  • 04/02/2018 05:44 AM
  • 810 views
This review was done for the RPG Maker 28th Reviews Event, an event intended to review entries from the recent RPG Maker 28th Birthday contest.

Generic RPG Quest 3 currently lives up to its name. It's generic, an RPG, and a quest and, as of right now, those might be the nicest things I can say about it. While the game is still in beta as of this review, it desperately needs improvement in almost every area in order to be a fun and polished experience.

User Experience:

I'll be blunt. If I wasn't reviewing this game for the review event, I would have quit within moments of booting it up. Generic RPG Quest 3 suffers from flickering textures (yes, really) and laggy dialog boxes, both of which make an appearance within seconds of starting the game. For most of the game, the top third of my screen flickered in and out of existence, sometimes giving me glances of the area that lay ahead, while dialog would stutter into existence with strange red highlights around certain words.

While I approve of highlighting important terms for the player's ease, the text highlighting seemed to grab words at random and every dialog box that included text highlighting took an extra second or three to load.

All in all, this left me with a sour taste in my mouth. I'm not sure if this is caused by scripts or just a strange, MV-exclusive bug, but I doubt it was my computer. I'm not behind the wheel of a $2,000 supercomputer, but I'm not playing games on a potato either and I've never had issues with other RM games before.

I wish I could offer more feedback on these issues or suggestions as to what caused them but, whatever is happening, it needs to be fixed above all else.

Writing:

The issue with lag in the textboxes brings me to another issue with the game: the content of those textboxes.

There were frequent errors, ranging from the forgivable (missing commas of direct address - i.e. the ones that make the difference between Let's eat, Grandma! and Let's eat Grandma!) to the headache inducing (basically every dialog box the innkeeper in HomeTown had to offer, including text such as "okay it 10 gp").

These issues greatly bogged down the game, but let me be clear. Generic RPG Quest 3 is probably never going to win any awards for its writing. The story is a clear Final Fantasy 1 rip-off (not that there's anything wrong with copying the classic formulas) that is drenched in awkward meme dialog, such as two different NPCs who espouse their love of cheese to you, an old man who refuses to let you pass until you bring him the Darklord's soiled undergarments (more on him later), and a demonic clown who uses emojis in his dialog.

Now, in my mind, there's nothing wrong with this sort of strange humor, so long as it's presented well. Earthbound got away with plenty of absurd moments, but it had a solid story at its core and it knew when to be off the wall and when to be serious. I think there needs to be some serious edits done to the dialog, both for clarity, spelling, and grammar, but also for content. The game doesn't need to take itself seriously all the time, but it definitely needs either a change in tone or some serious edits to make it into a truly humorous RPG.

Gameplay:

Both the best and worst of GRPGQ3 are in this category. On one hand, battles definitely felt balanced. I did the requisite old-school grinding that the game seems to lean towards and then headed off into the world. Random encounters went by quickly, which was great, but the sole boss fight I ran into took maybe an extra turn or so more than his various lackeys. I'm all for easy random encounters, but bosses should have something more to them.

On the subject of gameplay, the post-battle window cut off text showing exp and other information, which was quite frustrating. The post-battle music jingle, 05Victory.ogg, happened to be missing, which I thought would prompt a crash. Thankfully, it didn't, but, a few seconds later, I realized I might have preferred the crash, as the game continually alerted me to the fact that it couldn't find said file through a pop-up that keep reappearing about every thirty seconds. I had to import a random ogg file and rename it in order to keep my sanity.

A February blog post on the game profile says this issue was fixed but my experience would beg to differ. I downloaded this game from the main download button for what it's worth.

However, this happened again not long after with a missing animation for an enemy's Toxic attack. However, this was worse, because the game would not progress, whereas with the missing music file, I had been able to continue playing, albeit with an error message constantly appearing. Once I fixed the missing animation using the same method, the Toxic attack poisoned my character, at which point I discovered the only way to cure poison was to go back and sleep at the inn; there were no antidote items anywhere. Thankfully, I wasn't far from the town, but these kind of errors need to be fixed ASAP. And, if this is an intentional design decision, I'm begging KrimsonKatt to change it.

Some other tidbits: the encounter rate in the final area of Lost Forest seemed astronomically high and the dungeon itself is a maze of the same room copied over and over again (please change this even slightly).

However, to round things out with a positive, all my characters felt useful and unique, which was great, and the skill progression felt good. I didn't get alerts when my characters learned new skills, which might be a part of those aforementioned post-battle text issues, so please consider adding that if it's not already in the game.

Atmosphere:

Maps in GRPGQ3 are generally large and sort of bland, but I've definitely seen (and made) far worse. I would recommend adding some details to them, particularly the castle interior and Lost Forest dungeon, in order to make them stand out a little more. Music was pretty good as well. I recognized some of it from the MV RTP, which is totally fine, and there are some rips as well, I believe, but they seemed to mesh just fine.

Also, and this is a very minor issue, transition events sometimes turned my character around and had them facing in the wrong direction. This is something that is really easy to fix, and, by fixing it, adds some polish and care to the game.

Wrap-Up:

Anyway, let's go back to the elderly underpants freak I mentioned earlier. When I got through the Lost Forest, infiltrated the Darklord's Castle, and returned with said underpants so I could get him to move his ass out of the way, he failed to recognize the fact that I had the item in my inventory and wouldn't budge, so my Generic RPG Quest ended quite quickly (total playtime was around 90 minutes, I think, and that also included the time spent fixing the two crashes).

All in all, I don't think this is a bad game. It just is badly in need of polish in many areas, which makes sense for a beta release. Once the bugs are fixed and the typos removed, I would call this just around average. It's not pull-your-eyes out terrible, but I never caught myself having much fun either.

However, if I were to score it now, it would land right around a 1-1.5 star rating. That's because of the frequent bugs, the typo-laden dialog, and certain elements that show a lack of caring (that's not to say that KK doesn't care about what they're making, just that they seem to have a very 'good-enough' attitude to things) - e.g. the transition events and bland maps.

I'm not going to assign the game a score because it is in beta and these issues might be fixed by the time it releases. I hope the game does get that extra layer of polish and care that it needs in order to be a fun and generic RPG.

My scoring scale, for the curious:

0: Either not in a position to be scored (e.g. an unfinished game) or so irredeemably bad that there are no positive qualities.
.5 - 1.5: Bad. A game that suffers from frequent and serious errors and lacks any semblance of fun.
2 - 2.5: Below average. A game that struggles mightily in some areas, but shows, at the very least, potential or a bright spot mixed in with the bad.
3 - 3.5: Average. A game with some pitfalls and weaknesses, but one that has more, or at least an equal, number of good design choices, well-made maps, or intriguing and believable characters to balance out the bad.
4 - 4.5: Great. A game that does a lot of things very well and is polished and enjoyable. Might suffer from some minor issues that prevent it from being extraordinary, but is fun to play.
5: Amazing. A game that is a true joy to experience in all areas. May suffer from small issues still and isn't perfect, but any problems are so tiny that they have little to no impact on the overall experience.

Posts

Pages: 1
KrimsonKatt
Proud winner of the "Worst RMN Thread of 2019" misao.
1860
Thank you for reviewing my game! That problem with the weird glitching was because I accidentally left in a debug and spell check plugin. The debug plugin is only supposed to work in the play tester and the red highlights are all words that the plugin doesn't recognize, that was inserting data from a 3rd party application. I'm sorry for all the trouble this may have caused and will look into it. It might also be a problem with your computer or you might have virus/adware but that is unlikely. One problem I've had with MV in general is the way MV handles exporting games. It is really backwards in my opinion and you can tell they had to cut a lot of corners to add mobile ports, but even that doesn't work properly. Also I kept forgetting to update the "main download" on this site so that could be another cause of the problem. I thank you for your constructive criticism and will use it to help improve the user experience for all who play my games.
Scourge
So I can type anything here?
1403
author=KrimsonKatt
Thank you for reviewing my game! That problem with the weird glitching was because I accidentally left in a debug and spell check plugin. The debug plugin is only supposed to work in the play tester and the red highlights are all words that the plugin doesn't recognize, that was inserting data from a 3rd party application. I'm sorry for all the trouble this may have caused and will look into it. It might also be a problem with your computer or you might have virus/adware but that is unlikely. One problem I've had with MV in general is the way MV handles exporting games. It is really backwards in my opinion and you can tell they had to cut a lot of corners to add mobile ports, but even that doesn't work properly. Also I kept forgetting to update the "main download" on this site so that could be another cause of the problem. I thank you for your constructive criticism and will use it to help improve the user experience for all who play my games.


You're welcome! This was actually my first time playing a game made in MV and I was also surprised by the way the files were packaged. It felt and looked very weird compared to other makers. I'm glad to hear those issues were just caused by a debug plug-in; they were a major source of frustration for me during gameplay. Keep up the good work on improving the game!
KrimsonKatt
Proud winner of the "Worst RMN Thread of 2019" misao.
1860
Also from now on I'll be using Ace, problem is the Char Gen is so bad and all the alternatives are in Japanese, and google translate can only do so much...
Pages: 1