• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

A game that needs an anime series to go with it!

  • cosette
  • 04/04/2018 08:22 AM
I have been following this game’s development since the first demo was available up to its full release, and I am amazed at how much it has improved.
Early in its development, it had a few flaws such as game balance and story execution. It had the long and text heavy intro, which has now been broken up and spread out across the game so that the first time player wouldn’t get bored reading about the lore.
The game’s balance was a major issue, when you had 1 vs 3 early in the game, but now it’s 1v1, 2v2, or at least you are outnumbered by 1. It seems the maker has listened to player feedback well and completely eliminated these flaws, and the game now plays like a polished gem.

Story and characters (5/5).
This is where I think the strong points lie. The game has so much lore and mythology behind it, that you can make several games from it. In my opinion, the characters, the interaction between them and how the story unfolds are what make games successful. Journey to the East uses these elements well and consistently right to the end.
The game’s protagonist is female. Most of the characters that join the party are likeable. There is one guy who later joins, and as an animal lover, even a dog joins the player, which is a definite plus for me. I might be wrong, but I don’t think many games have animals that fight for the MC, and it’s a breath of fresh air.
The story has a very Sailor-Moon-esque plot set in a fantasy world. If you don’t know what Sailor Moon is, it’s a very popular 90s anime about a bunch of girls protecting the moon princess, discovering their past lives and fighting evil who threaten humanity. People who love the show or anime in general, will definitely love the game.
It starts off with your average dumb-as-a-rock female hero with zero ability and no knowledge of the world, waking up in bed. She later discovers she has powers that she never knew she had. She ventures out into the unknown world, but the country she lives in is invaded by a more powerful country. The game’s main objective is to survive and escape, but what sets this apart from your average story are the political and religious undertones. These plot elements might put some people off, but I think it deepens and enhances the plot even more because it makes world-building interesting in a unique way.
The heroine, even though she starts off as a cry baby, matures throughout the game and becomes ridiculously strong at the end, (cough) Super Saiyan (cough). The ending will definitely put a smile on your face, however there are several loose ends that weren’t tied up, as though a sequel is needed. But I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t played it yet. Overall it was a satisfying ending.

Music/SFX (4/5).
I’ve looked at the game’s folder and holy mackerel, the music almost makes up half of the game’s size. Music creates atmosphere and mood, which the game has plenty of. You have happy scenes, creepy, sad, nostalgic, tense etc, and this moves it away from being monochromatic.
To my surprise, during battle scenes, the characters and some bosses have voice over, which gives me a clear idea of what the characters’ personalities are. We have the cutie MC, Risa, the calm but snooty Karys, and the playful and charming, Rauf. Their voices don’t get annoying because the characters are likeable enough already and not 2-dimensional.

Graphics (5/5).
The game uses a good mix of RTP from RPGMaker MV and custom graphics. The maps are done beautifully, with a good attention to detail, being not too large and not too small. Some parallax mapping has gone into this, such as the forest and the lighthouse, which gives it a less generic look.
There are plenty of cut scenes and I could tell a lot of effort was put towards making them. The one with the evil light is my favourite.
I really like the user interface. It’s not intrusive to the player, and everything that is necessary to ensure smooth game play is present on screen.

Gameplay (4/5).
The game play is not complicated and anyone can get into it, including older children. It’s not grindy so you’re not stuck in the same place for a while and the story’s pacing becomes natural.
The battle system is simple and you start off with one skill then gradually build up until you have several and become spoilt for choice. You have a choice of weapon that you can stick with all the way to the end. These are: Sword, rapier, gun, glove, bow and dagger, which come with weapon skills that you add when you reach certain levels. I love the chain combos, where you input commands and deliver more damage.
The psychic duel battles are something that I would’ve liked to see more of, but it was only exclusive for the guild quest that you get later, however, they were short but sweet.
There are a good variety of puzzles in the game ranging from simple “push the block” puzzles to opening a door that is connected to the in-game clock. There are riddles to solve and Indiana-Jones-style traps to avoid such as the room with the 4 chambers.
There are no random encounters and enemies can be seen on the map. The line of sight system with the exclamation mark when the MC is detected, reminds me of Metal Gear Solid. This brings stealth into the game play, if the player wishes to play the game that way instead of fighting all the time.

Conclusion (5/5).
I would most certainly recommend this to anyone. Very engaging story, likeable characters and fun battle system. Everything you would want in an RPG.