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New version draws you right in...

  • Waxius
  • 04/13/2018 04:13 PM
Rave Heart: Demo 3.0 - by Starmage

First Thoughts:
This is a demo of a commercial game, and this review covers version 3.0 of the demo, which includes a revamped intro and many other improvements from what other players may have experienced. That said, I'm blown away by how much this game drew me into the story from the very start. The graphics are top notch, and the music is exciting. I'm looking forward to seeing more!

Game Setting and Story:
Starmage has created a vast universe here in Rave Heart, complete with Sectors, Planets, Houses, and races that have their own customs and traditions. It's a big universe, and players can absorb all of it at the "Learnatorium" panels placed throughout the setting.

While the sectors have been a peace for a little while, there is still tension among the races. In order to strengthen the bond between the Human and Draconian Sector 1 with the Erran Sector 4, it was arranged that Human Prince Chad Zephyr was to be wed with Erran Princess Ellemine immediately following her Psi-Exam. Under Erran tradition, the identities of children of the royal family are kept secret until they are engaged and wed, so this is a very big day for the Princess.

You play as Klein, an young Erran bodyguard and Cipher (those who have Psi powers), and it's your duty to escort the princess to her Psi-Exam, and then to her wedding. Taken in by House Rave as a child, Klein feels indebted to protect and serve the house and would give his life for them.

Just when it feels like you will succeed in your missions, an attack happens that puts the lives of everyone Klein holds dear at risk. Can he keep the princess safe and restore honor to House Rave?

Game Play:
After a short initial cutscene, Rave Heart immediately brings you into straight into the action. Klein and his superior, Brian, are chasing Star-Raiders as you learn the games mechanics in an interactive tutorial.

While most games typically have regular attacks and skills used with magic or AP, Rave Heart puts a new spin on this mechanic. Each Character has a regular attack, skills that cost Ether Points (EP), and special attacks that cost Stamina Points (SP). EP works like your typical magic points or AP, you can use items to replenish these points or rest to recover them. SP on the other hand increases during battle each round, and when you have enough you can use the skill.

Your skills also have one of three attributes: Tech, Physical, or Ether. The enemies you face will also have these attributes and be especially weak to certain types of attacks. For example:
  • Machines/Robots are tech type enemies and are weak to Physical Attack (your normal attack is usually physical)
  • Monsters/Rats/Humanoids are physical type enemies and are weak to Ether Attacks (Klein's Telekinesis skills are Ether)
  • Slimes are entities made of Ether, and are weak to Tech Attacks (Tech Grenades and such)

At certain points in the game, when Ellemine is in your party, she can visit the "Astral Plane" (think Doctor Strange) and float around the map unhindered by walls and obstacles. In the astral plane are glowing orbs that give exp or stat increases, and there are also Astral Beasts that you want don't want to come into contact with or you'll be kicked out of the astral plane and take a huge hit to your EP points.

One super cool feature of version 3.0 is Plot Arrows. These are subtle red blinking arrows that tell you where to go if you want to advance the plot. I've never seen this before in an RPG Maker game and I thought it was genius. It basically allowed me to know that I could explore the OTHER paths, find treasure chests, and talk to NPCs without advancing the plot until I was ready. As we know, some plot cutscenes can also be points of no return, so the inclusion of plot arrows allowed me to see everything the game offers.

Graphics and Music:
From the opening scene to the very end of the demo, the graphics and music are superb. There's very few, if any, native RTP assets from VX Ace. The battle animations are very fluid and high quality. Casting Haste, recovering with the green orbs, and Ellemine's Alter spell are just a few examples of the high quality animations you'll find.

The backgrounds and mapping are well made. I appreciate small details and I really liked how the treasure chests look different in each area. For example, there's green alien looking chests in the prison level, while they are grey and blue in Sector 4. It just makes you want to explore every part of these maps.

The music and sound effects fit the scenes very well. I lingered on the title screen music as well as the opening Draconian scene, just to listen to the audio track. From there, the music became upbeat and exciting during Klein's fight with the Star-Raiders. I'm also a fan of the sound effects used when making menu selections and inputting your battle actions.

I could not stop playing Rave Heart AT ALL. It was late and I was tired, and I told myself that after this scene I would save and go to bed, but each scene kept me wanting to play more and eventually I reached the end of the demo after about three hours of game play. Ordinarily I wouldn't rate a commercial demo, but Rave Heart has enough content to rival many of the games here and I enjoyed every bit of it. I highly recommend downloading and playing this demo RIGHT NOW.


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Thank you so much once again for this, Waxius! ^_^ I have already read your review before-hand through PM, and I already told you how HAPPY I was to have received this wonderful review from you! ^_^ :)

Still, seeing this again never fails to inspire and motivate me to keep going with my game and improve it more to provide an enjoyable experience to amazing people like you once it is done!! XD ^_^ I am so so happy that you enjoyed the game!! ^_^

I am also going to finish your LP and I love how you are able to grasp every bit of mechanic, lore and world-building in the game!! That is so cool!! ^_^ :)
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