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Sacred Reviews: The Chronicles of Espiria


"The Chronicles of Espiria" was a turn-based RPG being developed by drassray using a combination of the Unity and Smile Game Builder engines and began development as an entry in the 2018 Indie Game Making Contest and earned the 28th spot in the rankings. Albeit the version were reviewing today is the updated version that was made available for download back in January of 2019 which was basically just a graphical update so I'll cover that more when I get around to discussing the graphics. Though that update also hinted at drassray continuing his efforts to develop this game and finish it at some point in the future. Unfortunately this never actually happened and as far as I'm aware this project has been abandoned like many of drassray's other projects on this site. Admittedly my basis for this project being abandoned is simply the fact that this game hasn't seen any major or minor updates in almost four years at the time of writing this review. At least it hasn't seen any public updates in that time. Which is rather disappointing since this game does have some potential for being an above average turn-based RPG with a rather traditional story in my opinion. At least based on the roughly hour long demo.


You play as Kent, an asteroid miner, whose been sent back in time due to magic minerals in order to save the world from a Dark Lord. A task that will require the help of your best friend who wields one of the most sensible weapons in a science-fiction universe, a magic gun that can make meteors fall out of the sky and crush your enemies. Of curse your also joined by one of the locals who wields a spear and will probably serve as a love interest at some point in the story. Admittedly the demo doesn't really set any super obvious flags for this in my opinion, but considering were dealing with a story involving effectively magic rocks. It's probably a safe bet this would have happened at some point in the narrative. Admittedly some games have avoided this plot point, but the few I can think of did so by unceremoniously killed off their only female character for the sake of shock value.

Unfortunately the demo really only lays a few story hooks about Kent and Issac wanting to return home and that the dark lord has the power to turn people into monsters. In fact, the game barely gets into the prophecy about how Kent will save the world beyond mentioning the first few lines about the chosen one falling from the heavens. To make matters worse the characters are a bit lacking in terms of characterization in my opinion since I never really did get a feel for Kent's personality beyond him being a bit snarky with him quoting the classic line of "take me to your leader" at one point.


At first glance this game appears to be a pretty by the book turn-based RPG with little going for it. After all, I've played dozens of those kinds of games over the years where you gain experience and level up and learn new skills in the process, but "The Chronicles of Espiria" does slightly tweak this system by making the player upgrade their character through the Espirsion Tree as well by spending magic minerals you gain from defeating enemies. In other words the game features a level up system that is pretty comparable to the Crystarium system from "Final Fantasy XIII". Though unlike that system each character appears to have only one tree they can upgrade with skills specific to their character.

Unfortunately this system isn't even entirely functional in the demo with certain branches of the tree being impossible for the player to fully upgrade. I'm guessing this restriction was put into place in order to ensure the player couldn't utterly curb stomp the demo's final boss, but you can still easily slice your way through him by spamming skills. So I really don't see the point in restricting Kent and Lain's growth potential in the demo.

And I'm not entirely sure the stat gains from the tree function either since your damage dealt and received doesn't seem to be impacted at all by upgrading your attack and defense within the Espirsion Tree. Admittedly your gains within the tree are only a point or two, but even if you unlock a bunch of stat gains in one sitting. It doesn't seem to have a noticeable impact on your abilities. Which is odd since your damage output and defensive abilities do go up in noticeable way when you level up. And I can't imagine the gap in stats between level 3 and 4 are all that much. And yeah this game is a bit of an oddball with the player starting out at level three.


As previously mentioned the update this game received in January of 2019 was a graphical update that switched out the 2D sprites for 3D ones. As a result this game looks like a late era PS1 game in a lot of respects. And it even includes some obvious clipping issues at times.

Though clipping issues were kind of a staple of the PS1 era in my experience. Jeez, a game that has a lot of issues with this is "Threads of Fate" where Princess Mint's hair is constantly clipping into and sometimes even through her body when she shakes her head. So this issue doesn't bug me that much. It's just something I noticed and felt was at least worth mentioning for those obsessed with graphics.


As far as I'm aware the game features an entirely original soundtrack, but none of the tracks in the game are truly memorable. Though at least the game doesn't use any background music in a way that feels out of place like some other games I can think of. So while the tunes aren't particularly memorable. They aren't annoying or poorly utilized. And I suppose the goal of background music is to be something you kind of forget about.


"The Chronicles of Espiria" has a lot of promise in my opinion for being a solid game much like "Ellie Starling's Very Long Walk" by everybear. And much like that game this game never escaped the demo stage. So while I won't recommend against this project if your curious to lament what could have been. If your only interested in completed games this is another project you can simply ignore. After all, lamenting on what could have been if this or that game was completed is kind of a waste of time in my opinion unless your looking for something to review for makerscore.