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I'm rating this demo because fuck you <3

  • Liberty
  • 02/18/2019 03:32 AM
Venaitura is fresh off the presses and it looked pretty interesting so I grabbed it and gave it a spin.

Visually, the game is very colourful and most definitely retro-inspired. The tiles are, I believe, fully custom and they look great with the sprites used. One weird but interesting part of the game is that all the sprites are deliberately used multiple times to show the various classes and heroes, and it ties into the story a bit. That said, I do feel like special characters like Morgan and Merlin should probably have their own sprites (or even recolours) to set them a bit apart from the NPCs.

Where on Venaitura's green globe am I? Strike that - WHO on Venaitura's green globe am I?! Which me is me?

One thing I appreciated a lot were the monster sprites. They were cute and creepy - just as they should be - and wonderfully designed. I really liked them and thought they looked great.

Ah, yes, the training dummy. The most deadly of foes!

The music can get a little repetitive at times but overall does a good job of capturing the feel of old school games. The sound effects also did a great job of recreating the nostalgic feel of ye olde retro games, though I could have done without the bumping-into-walls sound, which was pretty aggravating.

The gameplay was very much old jRPG-esque. You chose a group of unlikely heroes to save the world with, picking from a few classes, then learn skills over the course of levelling up (and sometimes via scrolls) that help you in battle.

Mans' best friend is also mans' best party member!

There weren't really any puzzles in the game, though there were some optional areas you could go to get some extra treasures, and there were hazards scattered around to stop you from taking shortcuts (or to dissuade you from doing so, at least.)

The bodies of the fallen - Venaitura's finest banking system.

I do have a few things I didn't like about the gameplay - the slow walk speed, while very much a part of the nostalgic effect that the game aims for, was aggravating as all hell, as was the constant banging sound when you hit walls and doors and random NPCs. Just because something was a way it was in the past doesn't mean you can't update it a bit to be more fun to play, guys. Faithful is all well and good, but giving a bit more speed isn't going to break the bank, and removing the god-awful 'I'm a moron who just threw myself into a wall' sound effect won't kill the immersive feel and nostalgia trip, I promise.

That aside, let's talk writing, easily my favourite part of the game.

The plot is pretty interesting despite being the old cliche 'save the world' - Venaitura is a world that is recreated over and over and each time it is created new heroes are sent forth to find and destroy the six whosits working for the BBEG. Now, it might sound like a pretty small twist to add, but honestly, it works out well - you can talk to the previous heroes before you begin your journey to get tips and the down-low about the world being remade over and over.

You pop out in a cavern and make your way through, learning the ropes from a wandering adventurer before heading to the closest town and meeting the various NPCs there who all have to talk about the latest worst love story since Twilight was published. Everyone is downing on the great mystical mage Merlin's current bf choice and you, as heroes who have nothing better to do, decide to stick your nose where it isn't wanted and ruin a perfectly good relationship. Nice going guys!

But seriously, though, I was very surprised by some of the very dark turns that the story took at times. There's plenty of death and sad stories to go around and I ended the game feeling kinda bummed out over the experience - not because the game was bad, but because the story up to that point was a goddamned downer.

But despite that, I really liked it. It felt like something fresh and new thrown in with something old and retro. Don't get me wrong, I know that DQ tended to have some darker storylines at times (Ruby Tears anyone? That whole game was a crapshoot, I tell you what.) but somehow this went a little further.

This guy? On my shitlist. Forever. No, seriously, fuck this guy.

I will say, however, that the game could have done better with leading you where you needed to go. You never really knew what your next task was supposed to be. I went back and forth through some of the dungeons before realising I needed to trigger x or y plot point before I was supposed to be there. The last dialogue with Merlin, for example, was really annoying as there was no indication that you needed to talk with her 4-5 times, and this is something the game suffered from a fair bit - lack of clear direction. A lot of times I just stumbled onto the places I was supposed to go by accident. It got a bit annoying, tbh.

That said, the best thing about the game is the story and I heartily recommend that people play it if only for that reason.

And to make a team of dogs to destroy evil with. I hope that's possible. That should be possible, right? If not, what's your problem, dev?!

Seriously though, Ruffle can weild a freakin' Greatsword. Can your pooch do that? Didn't think so!

In this section is a few things I think the dev might need to look at. Contains story spoilers because fuck you <3.

- some of the items aren't named correctly when you get them, such as the first treasure chest/s in the game.
- please, for the love of god, nix that fucking bang sound orz
- that whole isabelle shit just made me sad man
- and merlin
- fuck morgan, seriously what an asshole
- I'm not overexaggerating how annoying the wall bump is btw. i've never seen why people put that shit in, it's just dumb.
- walk speed is even worse with wall bump because for some reason you get caught on the wall if you're really slow??? so multiple bumps occur often
- the plot pointing issue got me lost a bunch of times. i ended up in all the places I wasn't supposed to go. I went through the forest five times before I needed to actually go there, and it took me forever to find dog kingdom because none of the npcs would tell me where it was at the point of hte story when I needed to go there (saying "Merlin went to the forest and Morgan split off from her to go south" made it sound like he went south-west and not straight south, so I got super confused).
- was a fun game, just has some issues is all
- still fun
- dogs are great
- dancers might need a little something to make them more viable as party members. only two of their later skills are useful and they can't really do much against bosses aside from try not to get killed. she couldn't even hit Morgan for one point of damage with a crit and I was about level 8-9 at that point >.<;
- doggo village made me heckin sad ;.;
- you're evil people


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That was, uh... incredibly fast! You're truly a marvel, Libby. I'm definitely going to look into all the grievances you experienced throughout your brief adventure. There's still a little tweaking left to be done, it seems! But this is the perfect time to catch all the small things before they combine into one (or several) major thing(s)!

I loved reading your comments regarding the story. Especially the disdain towards Morgan. I'll take that as a job well done? :P
Game looks fancy. Might check it out. (and will be sure to talk to people multiple times)
Awesome! I hope you do. The current version is one wherein I took all of the criticisms into consideration while making my edits.
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