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A game about battles, battles and more battles, but I found them quite fun.

  • boos405
  • 09/23/2018 04:08 PM
  • 594 views
This is my review of World of Ruins, I cover a lot here so I hope it can help both people wanting to know what the game's like and the developer.

Story

The story is quite simple, a calamity has recently happened around this continent, and it has caused much destruction, now you, a small group of heroes, have been requested to find a way to stop the Dark Lord, the source of what caused the calamity.

You are soon told you need to collect 5 Keystones to stop him, and then you explore the world map looking for the 5 Keystones.

It's quite clear and straightforward, which is great for the player on a game that's main focus is battling, yet I wouldn't say the logic of the state of the world always makes perfect sense. For example, we aren't told how a whole city was able to survive the calamity just that it did, but granted it's the last surviving city on the continent.

Since the focus of the game is to have a story behind the reason for exploring a world map and getting into a lot of battles, this was all fine for me. All I expect is for the gameplay to be, at the least, reasonably enjoyable, which I felt was.

I am also glad that there are minor characters existing in this world that you can interact with, and all the dialogue that is in the game is very well written.

There is also a nice unexpected plot twist near the end of the game, which I liked very much and would imagine it'll come as a surprise for most players.

Characters

The first character, the hero, is given to you by default. You can choose whether this character is male or female. Then, the game let's you choose and pick between three additional characters. Since you can pick two or more of the same characters, I.e two warrior characters, with the same faceset, I do understand why there was almost no interaction between party members in the game.

However I think seacliff217, the developer, has strengths in writing interaction between party members and so, if there was a way to have implemented this feature, I would've highly recommended it, as I'm sure it would've been enjoyed and adding to the story experience.

The last three characters have there own gender attached to them already, so you don't get to choose whether they are male or female. You also get to name all four of your party members including the hero leading the team.

Gameplay

Similar to the story, the gameplay is also clear. In my experience it is quite enjoyable.

When picking the characters at the very beginning you also pick 3 classes out of a choice of 6. Your main hero character class is called Hero. They are a bit of jack of all trades, and you have to have this class as your first character. There is no mechanical difference between picking the hero to be male or female from what I could tell.

During a single playthrough,you can't change your mind and swap between the 6 classes.

I did feel it would've been better if in the same playthrough you could always change and pick different classes between those 6, and I do think having that option would've improved the game further. If we had only 1 of each class it may have also allowed character interaction between them, which I believe would've improved the game further, too.

Now, I can't guarantee picking any 2 or more combination of the same classes will always result in a fun experience, and with some it would make the game at certain points harder, while with others the game becomes increasingly easy.

I recommend one of each of either Warrior, Sorcerer, Dancer and/or Engineer, as all seem very good to me. Knight felt a lot less useful then those other four, but didn't in any way make the game boring.

Thief is the only other class there is, I think, and I've no idea what an experience with one would be like as I never played as one, so you can choose Thief but that's at your risk. I'm guessing you would get more gold to spend on items more regularly if you picked this class. So you may want to give it a try and see how that plays out.

Dancer and Engineers both have a healing skill, the Dancer gets a second very useful healing skill around a third quarter of the game. The Dancer healing skills I find the most useful since they can act first each turn with there healing. They later get Recovery skill that heals 50 percent of HP to all allies. This can be extremely helpful.

The Engineer only gets a single healing skill, but the same percentage of healing.

If you want to rely on items instead though, you'd be playing a different strategy and experience from me but I would guess with a Thief class that would work well for you.

I'd also advice against having three, or even two, Sorcerer classes. The reason is later in the game a certain boss is difficult to beat with that combination, but I always naturally presume in any RPG that let's you pick classes, not to pick the same class as many times as you can. So for me I was able to avoid this problem.

I have played a complete playthrough of the game with 1. Knight, Sorcerer, Dancer. 2 Warrior, Sorcerer, Dancer and 3. Warrior, Sorcerer, Engineer.

My favourite was the second playthrough, Warrior, Sorcerer, Dancer. Even though the Sorcerer was almost fully useless against a certain boss, it felt the most balanced otherwise to me, but the Engineer class having magic element skills that target all enemies as well as a healing skill was quite fun.

The rest of the game is simple. Explore a world map, walk into locations and battles start. There are no proper “dungeons” to explore in the game though.

Most locations will have you fight two different battles in a row and then sometimes a third boss battle.

As I stated just above, they are not "dungeons" in the game in a sense of exploring fields, caves, forests and such other things, just one world map with many events.

Each location will tell you what level you should be before entering it. There is a dungeon for level 1, level 2, level 3, etc and it's mostly easy to find. However there can be some complication around the point you unlock access to the second boat that looks like a raft. I did find myself having to check multiple locations before finding the right next level location at this point in the game, but saying that, this is the only point in the game where I got a bit confused, and it was only for a very short while.

Each dungeon at your right level is well balanced with physical skills, magic skills, healing skills, etc. Both on the party members and the enemies. As long as you pick a good combination at the start of the game you should be fine and find some enjoyment with the battles.

There are also item shops and two different equipment shops for you to stock up on supplies. I didn't really use items until near the end of the game with all three of my experiences, so I can't comment on there prices, but for the most part I enjoyed the equipment and the gold you got seemed reasonable with what equipment you could purchase from them. You could get both higher stats new weapons and higher stats armours as well as later some unique accessories.

My favourite accessory was the MP regenerating ring for the sorcerer. I did feel most of the accessories could've had a boost in what they did, as I didn't find the ones that enchant the guard effect that useful, as I'd hardly use guard only when it was used for strategy against certain bosses.

Though, I did like seacliff217's idea to enchant guard with certain accessories.

I did find it fun strengthening my characters with better equipment a couple of times during the course of the game.

At the end of the game I felt I had more Gold then knowing what to do with, but a majority of the game that wasn't the case. I felt I gained enough Gold at a fair right for the equipments I was buying.

You also had option to buy a weapons that could change stats on your classes more than one way, and I love seeing that in games.

For example, the Sorcerer could equip, I think it was daggers, that would increase there attack but reduce there magic attack or staffs instead that had the opposite effect. This made the most sense with the Hero character, who had both early access to attack and a magic element ability. So you could choose which of the two to increase.

Saying that, both Hero skills, Power Slash and soon later Flash, didn't feel that different from one another to me. Perhaps there could've been something more done to them to differentiate them from one another a little further.

Most of the skillsets for most classes kept me interested. You've gain new skill upon certain levels right up until near the end of the game, and I thought this was one of it's strength. I really enjoyed seeing what new skills the classes would get and testing them out in the battles.

While they are mostly very simple and basic skills, the combinations for the most part worked well.

I felt there was some more creativity in the Sorcerer class, in that it didn't just gain new skills with new magic elements but skills that could reduce the MP cost for instance.

The same with the Dancer and Engineer class. Skills were simple, yet interesting choices with what mixed together.

Battle-wise. There would be around 1-2 different type of regular enemies that you would face every other dungeon. I felt more variation could've been done here, or instead give the enemies that were there more different skill combinations. I felt this could've been thought out better. A lot of them would deal either a physical attack or a magical attack. But there was some variation.

As three examples, there would a regular enemy that dealt poison, a regular enemy that gained a defence buff and a regular enemy that drains HP. They mostly did have one skill variation, and that was good, but I couldn't help feeling they could've either done with a few more, or had more different enemies.

Some may have actually had two, I'm not certain, but even if they did it still felt very limited, yet still way better than a lot of RPG Maker games I played.

Bosses were good however, as they did have that right amount of variation to them and each of the boss had something unique about them, this all helped keep the game interesting.

As three quick examples. There is a few bosses where using one of the Hero's skills to reflect damage is useful on certain turns and for another quick example there is a boss that weakens the HP you'd receive from, I think, both healing and item skills for a few turns. Then there is a boss that lowers your attack rate.

You get the point, some strategy exists here and it's quite fun and interesting to discover. Yet it would've been nicer if they had a few more skills, and less chance of using the same ones as often.

Just to give the game further depth. For both the regular enemies and bosses, only slight increases with both, yet more so with regular enemies than the bosses.

Mapping & Graphics

Mapping-wise, the game was made for a one map challenge and the developer choice to make a single world map with that challenge. On further inspection I now realize the challenge states you can only use a few events, which is more limiting. Oddly enough I think more than that were used here. Still, I'm reviewing a game taking into consideration it had it's own restrictions for a challenge, not whether it meets the requirement of the one map challenge itself.

I had no issues with the world map visually, as I think they are basic MV RTP graphics from what I could tell. Nothing looked ugly to me, mostly the combination of tiles are what I'd expect to see placed together for a world map. It is a simple world map and gets it purpose and job done ok without looking bad.

There are custom graphics with all the characters, both major and minor ones, and with the battlers as well. I enjoyed these, it made a nice change to what you'd expect to see. I think the battlers come from the DS version of RPG Maker, but I'm not certain on that. Either way, they are visually good and differs from MV's RTP.

Audio/Music


I don't think any MV RTP tunes were used here. During my playthroughs I did not recognize any of the tunes. seacliff217 since explained the music came from a Japanese website where the owner intended for there music to be used in RPG Maker games.

Another reviewer said it may have been ripped, but that is not the case.

Music-wise, it all fitted in the game. At times the chosen music for battles felt like it was encouraging you to try and beat whatever you were facing. I didn't really have a comment one way or the other, but I was definitely was not put off by any of it. It was fine for the game.

Originality

Most of this is very basic and simple. There is a nice short surprising plot twist to the story and each boss battle has it's own custom skills. More thought was put into your Sorcerer class and some of the other classes are interesting when combined together.

While the music may have been made for RPG Maker, I have not heard it in any other game before and I have played a lot of RPG Maker games.

Conclusion

I'll just summarize the few main ways I think the game could've improved. I don't have many, as for the type of game this was meant to be most of it is has already been done by the developer and covered well.

Improvement Ideas
1. The ability to switch between all the available characters, and perhaps also being limited to 1 class per the 6 character. This makes more sense to me with the direction this game went in, as the way this is, picking two of the same classes, with some classes, could either make a certain boss a lot harder, or the whole game experience a lost easier.

It would really escalate the difficulty in one direction or another depending on the classes you pick, so just having the option to pick one of each class would've resolve that and made it a more fair experience for all players. I also feel swapping between them would've been nice as the player could experiment further in a single playthrough what they'd like to pick without having to repeat the game a second time.

This also fits well with point 2.

2. Now this point I feel could only have been done if point 1 was done as well. Having the party members interact with one another during the course of the story, even just a little would've been nice. It's understandable the way the game turned out why this did not happen, but I believe the developer has strengths here, there writing is very good and it would've added to the game experience for sure.

3. More variation with regular enemies, perhaps even more with bosses too. With enemies, you could either have had more of them or given the existing enemies a couple more skills. I think it would've added a whole extra level of fun if it was done with proper balance as I feel more skills than just 1-2, not always, but usually, can be better for most enemies and bosses.

4. Perhaps try different combinations with the Knight class, as it felt a little weaker than the others.

5. Somehow variate the Hero's Power Slash skill with the Flash skill, and implement a little more advantage and disadvantages against different enemy troops between them. I don't think a lot would improve the game rather have the opposite effect, but a little with some enemies and bosses would've been nice.

Lastly, recommendations.

If your looking for a game that takes a few hours to beat, which is 85% about battles, 10% about exploring and stocking up on equipment and 5% on following a rather simple plot, but with a nicely done plot twist, I think you would enjoy this game.

If your looking for anything else other than this, this is probably not the game for you, yet even if you think this isn't the type of game that normally appeals to you, I'd say if you do like battles, be open to the possibilities you may be surprised.

If your unsure, I'd give it a go and see what you think of it. I've seen more positive comments from people who have tried this game then negatives, and so I'd assume most players would react that way too. I certainly did.

Hope this review can help both the developer and any players curious about it too.

Posts

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Thank you for the review.

Have not read it all quite yet, but I think I should address the music after accused of being ripped from other games. It's from a Japanese website titled 'ontama-m' and was created for use in RPG Maker.

Found out about him/her because his tracks were used in the demo projects in the First Seed Material Reimagined MV tilesets. I might not use his work again unless it's a project directly related to this one, but their nice slower tracks compared to what other sites offer.
You're welcome!

I'm sorry about that, I didn't mean to imply it was ripped, but with the accusation out there I could've worded myself better. I've edited and updated the Audio/Music section of the review, hopefully it's now clear you didn't rip it from another video game.

If you enjoy using resources from ontama-m, and feel they're worth using in any of your future projects, then sure, it sounds a good idea to add them, since they're your games and you like them!

I know a lot of sites offer strong/heavy rock music, so I am following what you are saying.

If you wish to comment on anything else with this review in future, you can comment back here or send me a message. I'm happy to reply and consider any points you have.
author=boos405
I'm sorry about that, I didn't mean to imply it was ripped, but with the accusation out there I could've worded myself better. I've edited and updated the Audio/Music section of the review, hopefully it's now clear you didn't rip it from another video game.

You're fine. Could have worded that better myself.

Anyways, I've read the majority of the review now. And I'll comment on the points that have been on my mind myself.

Characters-
I asked RMW that if I were to do a sequel, should I take the teambuilding aspect in the DQ3/Etrian Odyssey direction where you can recruit as many characters as you want, or have a defined individual character for each class. This segment definitely answered my question.

I personally like classic Western RPGs like Wizardry or Ultima where you create tons of custom characters with no writing behind them, as the imagination part is fun, but developing a game like this wasn't so much fun for me to write.

Gameplay-
I personally don't care too much for tanks in turn based games, and maybe Knight being underpowered simply reflects that I don't understand the best way to utilize them in that environment. I feel like if I were to tackle Knight again, I would redo a large part of her skillset.

I still like the concept of having a quirky stat on each boss, but the Earth Guardian probably had the least creative stat, and as you said completely makes the Sorcerer class useless in that fight.

I see your point with more enemy types. I only recently remember Yanfly's guide of having seven enemy types per a dungeon. Probably shouldn't be that many for this type of game, but there could have been more.

Mapping-
I actually really don't care for making world maps, but I think I can improve here. I think my current issue with the game, in retrospect, is that it was hard to guide the players between locations without them checking each of the dungeons recommended levels.

The game only used one event and two common events. The event used variables to keep track of the player's location and execute an action based on the player's coordinates. It's a pain to navigate the event page, but it feels good to say I was resourceful there.

If I didn't have that limitation, I would use a plugin that displays text above an event to show the dungeon's name and recommended level automatically, I'm sure that would have cut down a bit of tedium.


However, I'm not the kind of person to obsessed with making a game perfect. Throughout releases of Flip Dimension's demo I was obsessed with rewriting earlier scenes, unfortunately, I don't think they always turned out better and I wished I kept copies of the original script for scenes I want to change back to how they were.

I rather leave the game in the state that it is and improve on the concept in a sequel or something. But from that perspective, this review is equally, if not more, helpful in figuring out how to fix the game's current flaws.
author=seacliff217
author=boos405
I'm sorry about that, I didn't mean to imply it was ripped, but with the accusation out there I could've worded myself better. I've edited and updated the Audio/Music section of the review, hopefully it's now clear you didn't rip it from another video game.
You're fine. Could have worded that better myself.

Anyways, I've read the majority of the review now. And I'll comment on the points that have been on my mind myself.

Characters-
I asked RMW that if I were to do a sequel, should I take the teambuilding aspect in the DQ3/Etrian Odyssey direction where you can recruit as many characters as you want, or have a defined individual character for each class. This segment definitely answered my question.

I personally like classic Western RPGs like Wizardry or Ultima where you create tons of custom characters with no writing behind them, as the imagination part is fun, but developing a game like this wasn't so much fun for me to write.

Gameplay-
I personally don't care too much for tanks in turn based games, and maybe Knight being underpowered simply reflects that I don't understand the best way to utilize them in that environment. I feel like if I were to tackle Knight again, I would redo a large part of her skillset.

I still like the concept of having a quirky stat on each boss, but the Earth Guardian probably had the least creative stat, and as you said completely makes the Sorcerer class useless in that fight.

I see your point with more enemy types. I only recently remember Yanfly's guide of having seven enemy types per a dungeon. Probably shouldn't be that many for this type of game, but there could have been more.

Mapping-
I actually really don't care for making world maps, but I think I can improve here. I think my current issue with the game, in retrospect, is that it was hard to guide the players between locations without them checking each of the dungeons recommended levels.

The game only used one event and two common events. The event used variables to keep track of the player's location and execute an action based on the player's coordinates. It's a pain to navigate the event page, but it feels good to say I was resourceful there.

If I didn't have that limitation, I would use a plugin that displays text above an event to show the dungeon's name and recommended level automatically, I'm sure that would have cut down a bit of tedium.


However, I'm not the kind of person to obsessed with making a game perfect. Throughout releases of Flip Dimension's demo I was obsessed with rewriting earlier scenes, unfortunately, I don't think they always turned out better and I wished I kept copies of the original script for scenes I want to change back to how they were.

I rather leave the game in the state that it is and improve on the concept in a sequel or something. But from that perspective, this review is equally, if not more, helpful in figuring out how to fix the game's current flaws.

Characters-
Definitely with this game I would've recommended having 1 of each class and being able to swap between them.

Games where you can choose between any classes of your choice I'm sure can be fun as there are a lot out that there certain audiences do love.

If you are planning to make another game almost identical to this one here, I would still advice having options to change classes, as with all the events you have going on I really think it would work best.

Otherwise, with the setup of those games you still like, perhaps the option to rebuild any/most of the characters without losing the levels and exp would work instead?

Ultimately it's up to you, you do have strengths with writing interaction between characters, but if you prefer the style you have here and you think you'd enjoy developing a game like that a lot more, go for what you enjoy most doing as that will keep you more motivated and game you enjoyed making is more likely to turn out better then one you don't enjoy at all.

Not everything in game making is enjoyable always anyway, but that advice above is still true.

There is also the third option of making the gameplay one way or the other without the writing aspect. So, just try to consider everything carefully and see what makes most sense to you from there.

A game that's very similar to this one, again, I'd still advice what I said in the top sentence, but there's nothing wrong with experimenting with a different approach if you strongly feel you should.

Gameplay-

Tanks can work well when they are done right. A tank class with high HP or higher defence that can take a few more hits for the other party members can be fun to play with. That's the main rule with them, making sure they can cover other party members for a few turns.

With the second setup I choice, having the sorcerer being useless in a single fight was ok to me since they are a lot more useful in other fights. A system where different classes are needed against different bosses may turn out fun for some players. Personally I'm unsure on it. However, in World of Ruins, when you can't change between the classes and you have the option to pick 3 Sorcerer, I can see players not liking it.

The bosses are otherwise fine imo, just could still be improved further. i.e. With a couple more skills that create ways to change the strategy a little more in battles for the player.

I'm sure Yanfly's comic guides are good, I forgot what Yanfly has covered now, but yes 7 enemies can definitely work well. I'd say here just 5 in this game could too. But you don't have to make the same patterns with each of those 5-7 enemies in each dungeon. I.e. They don't have to all end up being “Fighter, Mage, Warrior, Tank, Healer” for example. Dungeon 1 could be “Fighter, Mage, Mage, Warrior, Warrior” and dungeon 2 could have “Warrior, Healer, Healer, Mage, Tank” as quick examples.

Mapping-
To be honest visually I don't see a problem with the world map. But yes clearer labels for the dungeons would've been handy, and it's understandable under your restrictions you couldn't do that. Under the restrictions I would've advice seeing where the player is likely to walk next and make most dungeons near the other.

When you want a dungeon that's there to return to in future, I'd still keep the next level dungeons on the same area/continent/island and give them the boat after clearing those. That would've reduce the confusion. For me who checks every location it was a little confusing at first but I got over it pretty quickly.

I think it's incredible you only used one event and two common events, I wouldn't get the X and Y positions right easily if I tried that!

Writing it understandable, I think a lot of writers can experience what you have said here. Sometimes the first draft is better, but it is right to check and see if anything needs polishing. It probably takes some practice to know when something is and isn't better.

If you have to redo the entire balance of game to implement new mechanic improvements that's also fair enough too. I just leave it as a list of improvements, developers can take that advice with where it fits in a new game, or redo the old ones, or if they really don't like anything and think they have other ideas that could work do neither with it. While I write every review so far the way I do, I always feel it's clear I'm leaving it fully up to each developer with what makes sense for them, so yes if it helps you, just take the advice into consideration with a new game.

Hope that answers everything, if any new questions arise with this review, let me know in future.

Best of luck with any further games you plan to make.

All your battles were more fun than a lot of RPG Maker demos and first games that I have played. Ones from many years in the past and now more recently, but I think this advice is still mostly solid and everyone should take some of it into consideration when making battle in RPG Maker engines.

Even with everything default and no additional scripts/plugins, people can do a lot more to make them fun just by getting the balance right and variation with skills, and people don't normally realize it.
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