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It's just like an old RPG! ...Which isn't always a good thing.

NOTE: I played the non-updated version of this game. I won't complain about the issues that were fixed with the update, like the incredibly slow ATB, but I can't comment on anything of the added content.

If you're on this website, there's a small chance you might like RPGs. You've probably even played a few of them. Maybe a few of you may even remember playing really old RPGs, such as Dragon Quest, Ultima, and the original Final Fantasy. Whether all of these games have stood the test of time is a matter of opinion, but they all have a kind of charm that's very hard to match. Generica's objective, though was an ambitious one - to try its best to match that charm. To this end, it uses plenty of old-school resources and game design. I was interested because it seemed like it might be a fun retro romp that I could play through quickly and easily.

Graphics: 3.5/5

I wasn't incredibly amazed by this game's graphics, but they were very competently put together. As far as I could tell, it was all ripped from the Dragon Quest series, and none of it clashes because of that. It does give the game an empty feeling at times, though - battle backgrounds are completely nonexistent, and character animations in battle are also limited due to being ripped from a game that doesn't have a side view battle system. The overworld, however, was just fine, and the Dragon Quest tilesets were used fairly well for that purpose. I'm just disappointed that there didn't seem to be any original graphics in here, but that might just be me.

Sound: 2.5/5

This is probably the most sour point of the game. Like the graphics, everything's ripped from the Dragon Quest games, but all the music is in MIDI format to cut down on file size. Some of the tracks still sound good even in MIDI format, but others are noticeably worse than the original songs - the battle theme and overworld theme come to mind. I know there are issues with it, but I just wish the music could have been in a slightly better format. The sound effects, on the other hand, seem to be perfectly fine, and are fitting for their chosen purpose.

Story: 3.5/5

It works for what it is. Considering this game's retro theme and the fact that it was made in a week, the storyline is surprisingly fleshed out - the Slayer King is being a douche, so you have to find a magic sword to kill him to death and save Generica. It sounds simple on its premise, but it actually has a plot twist I didn't see coming that I don't want to spoil in a review. I will say this, though - if you want to play this game for its story, you'll be sorely disappointed, because it almost does too good a job at mimicking the retro games that inspired it.

The plot also sorely lacks characters that hang with you. Out of the characters I saw, the only ones I can remember off the top of my head are the Fisher King and the Slayer King. Due to your party being entirely made up of custom characters, they also don't have any personality either. Part of me wonders if this was the intention, considering the game's literally called Generica, but I'm still a little disappointed either way.

Gameplay: 3/5

As I mentioned above, this game has a party of custom-built characters. By custom-built, of course, I mean based off of eight different templates. Due to me only playing the game through once, I'm only going to comment on the balance of the game with the party I had, which was a Soldier, Freelancer, Priest, and Paladin. The other classes that I didn't choose are a Monk who can randomly buff stats, a Thief that steals things, a Mage that uses attack magic and casts multiple times per round, and a Straken who fills the "weird dude that doesn't fill any defined role" slot.

I'm going to say it right now - the characters are unbalanced. The Paladin feels fairly well-balanced, with decent attack and defense power and a little bit of magic keeping her from being a healing juggernaut, but the Freelancer is the worst member out of all the characters I chose. You'd think that a class that uses heavy weapons and armor and can cast from both types of magic would be the jack of all trades, right? Instead, he just sucks at everything and is nearly useless for later parts of the game. The Priest feels alright, though she's best to turn into a defensive tank and some of her spells are worthless, and the Soldier just rips and tears through everything and becomes incredibly OP at later levels by attacking multiple times per round.

The enemy balance felt just fine, and I don't recall having to grind except at the very beginning to get equipped. There were a couple of difficulty spikes, though, namely whenever enemies had decent group attacks or had decent status attacks. It was a shock when I encountered an enemy group in one tower area that immediately put my entire party to sleep before I got to do anything and wiped my entire party by spamming a group Thunder attack. Despite these issues, I out-unbalanced the game with the sheer power of the Soldier. Giving him a weapon that attacks three times to be multiplied by his 3 or 4 attacks per round and an accessory that gives him a permanent double attack buff, and basically nothing will survive more than two or three turns of his wrath.

The game's structure fell in line with the retro games it was inspired by - go here, listen to a short speech, go here and get the thing, go back and listen to another short speech before you get the thing, then move on to the next town and watch the cycle repeat again and again. Despite this, though, some of the dungeons managed to have interesting mechanics, like the floor tile puzzles that everyone loves and a darkness effect in caves that is only defeated by a torch or by casting Radiant.

All in all, the gameplay is pretty much what I expected. It manages to capture some of the retro charm with its simplicity, but I wouldn't say it was spectacular. Still, considering it was made in a week, I have to give it credit for having workable balancing and passable dungeon design.

Overall: 3/5

In the end, it ended up being a fairly decent RPG Maker game with a few flaws stopping it from really being something great. I've heard there is a sequel that I want to try out to see if it's improved from the original, but just by judging this game on its own merits, I think it deserves this score.


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Thanks for the review! All excellent points. I mimicked the games of yore almost to a fault. And I have a bad habit of underpowering my mage classes (which was also something that I noticed in a lot of older Dragon Quest games, so I will blame it on that!). I'm a sucker for those old chiptunes though - no regrets there.

Thanks for taking the time to play the game and write a review!
I mean how much more can you expect from a game that was made in a week, called Generica, and mimics Dragon Quest. That fact that it is three stars is super impressive to me, but then again it is Kenton so I am shouldn't really be surprised.

Well written review! Now I might actually add this one to my ever growing and never decreasing play list because like many gam devs who has time to play games?!?!
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