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Forget About Dealing With Helaz, You Guys Should REALLY Do Something About That Monster Population Outside Of Town

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  • 06/09/2019 12:55 PM

A Game Made By: pianotm
Created Using: RPG Maker VX Ace
That Roughly Takes Around: 30 - 40 Minutes To Complete

Well, well – well – it’s certainly been awhile since my last review on here, hasn’t it? Where has all the time gone by…? (Oh yeah, that’s right…snacking and stuff…yeah…)

Well, might as well get off my butt and change that then. Can’t let all this recent laziness demotivate everyone else around here, can I? Besides - I’m supposed to be setting an example!

So a couple of weeks ago, way back in April to be precise, pianotm, being the nice guy that he is and all that, found out that it was Archeia_Nessiah’s, or Nessy or Nessiah for short, as we like to call her around here, birthday and he wanted to celebrate it in a style fitting for someone as special and as hard working as her…by…making a short, two day RPG Maker game starting the little artist who could, as well as some other RMNers, in this grandiose adventure game for the ages…

*sniff* (…How come I don’t get my very own game on my birthday like she does…? What does she have that I don’t!? *besides more hair*)

Anyway…! The game was recently released just a couple of days ago - and I had a little bit of extra free time on my hands - so I decided to review this little sucker and see for myself if pianotm chose the right gift by either making Nessiah an RPG to put a big smile on that face of hers...or was it better left spent just giving her a box of old Tim Tams from Liberty’s giant secret stash in her basement instead? Well…that’s what we’re here to find out:

The Story

(Yeah…that probably would be Nessiah’s reaction to all of that, wouldn't it?)

Deep within the frozen capital’s confines of the City of Wintervale, north of the continent of Aremenia, a young Nessiah is about to sit down at her table at her quarters to finally eat some of that cheap raman that she’s been cooking up until one of the local denizens of the city, Craze Be Crazy, barges in to tell Nessiah that local nuisance and escaped mental patient, Triple XxX Helaz, is wreaking havoc all over the place at the local graveyard where he’s announced his plans to take over all of Aremenia with his army of trolls and that someone has to put a stop him before he causes any more damage…or at least annoys more of the townspeople.

After a bit of reluctance at first, Nessiah decides that enough is enough when it comes to dealing with this idiot, so she gathers up Liberty from the war room (who’s apparently a very, very light sleeper, BTW) and recent retiree Kentona Anderson, who didn’t even get a say in the matter in whether he wanted to come along or not, because there’s not even a cutscene with him at all agreeing to all of this madness, as he happens to just magically show up in your party when you happen to leave the castle (which, I’ll admit, was pretty funny.)

After heading over to the graveyard and dealing with all three of Helaz’s troll army (really…three…?), in his defeat, he mentions something about having a “master” and that his master will get his revenge on all of Armenia for this act of treachery, as he then oozes away while repeatedly mentioning that he shall return again…and again…and…again… (What is he, freakin’ Sigma from Mega Man X???)

Concerned about this new piece of startling news, Nessiah and company believe that the best thing that they can do for everyone in town is to find and locate this master of his and bring him to justice, with the power of the all mighty ban-hammer that is. So, the three of them head towards the Misao Forest, full of broken dreams and snow, as they begin their hunt for the master…

As typical with all community games around here, you’re overall enjoyment of the plot will hinge on whether you know the whole backstory regarding Helaz and everyone else that’s involved in this game, as, on its own merits, it’s manageable enough to get through on its own all right, but not exactly the most fantasizing story in the world when it comes down to it, so it helps if you’re a regular RMN member around here.

The overall story was fine enough. But the main driving force for me that I really wanted to know about was who this “master” was that Helaz was talking about… Because if you’ve been following the whole Helaz backstory to this point, Helaz, in the last couple of years, is really the most talked about member when it comes to his wacky antics and toxic behavior and such…so who exactly could be even worse than Helaz??? I initially thought that it might have been Xand…Max McGee…maybe Corfaisus or Roden…or maybe that one guy, Kumoricloud, who was that one kid who flipped the bird at everyone and gave Red_Nova his legendary usertitle of being an all-around pr**k - that guy… I also thought, for a second, that it could also have been me, my old Silver4Donuts alias. But with my recent seven year reform over the years, I didn’t think that was going to happen…

But when you do finally meet the master of all masters and engage him in combat, I…really didn’t know too much about the guy until I recently just researched about him after I finished the game and…well - I’m confused…especially about the part that Kentona drops towards player at the end of the game that really makes you go like, “What the f**k…!?” I suppose if this game had to earn something, it might be one of the most f**ked-up plot twists in a RPG Maker game on here that I’ve played in quite some time. I mean - seriously!? Is all that stuff that he said true!?!?!?

I guess this sort of thing is kind of fitting and all that considering the recent Abrupt Ending Party event that we have currently going on and all that, but….honestly, I was kinda hoping for a more memorable villain towards the end than we got. *sigh* Oh well…

Dialogue was pretty good…especially whenever Kentona and Helaz is on screen. My favorite line from the game is in the Misao Forest where when Nessiah decides to fight a giant Ogre because there’s a treasure chest behind him and she wants it, Kentona tells her “No” and then when she decides to fight it anyway he still says “No.” Heh, heh, heh.

The Gameplay

Well…apparently I would sleep in my own bed, but the game won’t let me for some reason.

Age Of Archeia is pretty much what you would expect in a short, two day community game with only one real dungeon to speak of here (The Misao Forest) and seven different enemies to fight, including all of the bosses (which are just three of them) . You can pretty much whiz by this game in less than an hour without breaking too much of a sweat here, so that’s good if you’re looking for something incredibly short to play like I was.

The battle themselves aren’t particularly that challenging, thanks to how hard your team hits and the fact that battle encounters on the overworld are all touch-based, so you can avoid most fights easily if you want to. The only three minor things that you’ll have to deal with in this game are in regards to a few things:

First off, before heading over to the Graveyard to kick Helaz’s ass for the umpteenth time, make sure that you visit the weapon and armor shop in Wintervale and purchase three Mithril Caps for all of your teammates to wear, as it will increase your overall defence by a lot and you’ll start the game off with more than enough gold to buy it no problem (…assuming that you didn’t blow any of your money on buying any items, did you?). For you see, if you don’t take the time to either buy these Mithril Caps, or at least gain a level before heading over to the Graveyeard in the Misao Forest in the first place, the troll enemies there can do quite a lot damage to you if you’re not fully prepared. Although not too bad to deal with either way, it helps to have these caps equipped for a much easier time.

Secondly, in the Misao Forest, you’ll often encounter groups of goblins that, admittedly, aren’t too bad to deal with on their own, but they can cast a nasty fire spell that can do some moderate damage to Liberty if she happens to get hit by it. Nessiah and Kentona don’t take as much damage from the spell themselves, but Liberty can suddenly take a pounding if the little shits start homing in on her - which leads me to my next point:

Liberty is from Australia, right? Well…besides venomous creepy crawlers and beer that taste like p*ss over there – what else does Australia have that other places don’t? Oh yeah, that’s right… It’s freaking hot as hell over there! So if anybody should have a bit more of a resistance to fire based attacks, it should be Liberty… Kentona is from the province of Saskatchewan in Canada, where it’s freakin’ cold as f**k over there in the Winter time. HE should be the one that REALLY feels the heat.

And the third annoyance in battle that you’ll have to deal with is in regards to those mushroom enemies in the Misao Forest that LOVE to use their Pollinate ability to poison every one of your teammates. You better stock up on a LOOOTTTT of Antidotes before you come to this place, because none of your teammates, including Kentona, who’s a Paladin (who does have some access to some nice healing magic), will be able to deal with poison unless you use an Antidote item. So stock up and make you stock up good!

But, either way, you really shouldn’t have that much to worry about in this game as long as you win every single encounter and make sure to stock some on some Antidotes before you leave town. Even the Final Boss isn’t particularly that challenging.

As for your star-studded squad, despite their large pool of moves that they learn throughout the game as they level up, you really don’t need to use any of them besides Kentona healing the odd character with his healing magic and Liberty’s Cleave ability to hit multiple targets at once, and…that’s about it... I find it oddly amusing that Nessiah, who the game was made for, for her birthday, is probably the most useless character in the game, as, although she has access to place elemental attributes on her weapons for a greater effect in combat, they really don’t give her that much of an attack boost compared to just using her basic weapon in battle. And besides, each one of her elemental additions costs a ton of MP’s to use, so you’re better off just having her attack normally instead.

I also found some odd oddities that could have used an extra playtest or two to iron out all of the kinks, as some of the enemies on the overworld, such as in the Misao Forest, won’t engage in combat with you unless YOU press the confirmation key to fight them, not the other way around where they just run into you like with most encounters in the forest. There’s also a piece of equipment that you can find after defeating one of the Ogre’s called the Mystic Armor - which is supposed to raise your overall vitality stat - but it ends up just lowering a character’s overall HP totals down to diddly-squat, so it’s not even worth using it at all.

Also, when you happen to run away in battle (not like you would, but I was just curious and tried it out), you’ll then be teleported back to the map’s entrance with everyone in your party fully healed and what not... Not sure if this is also what happens when you get a Game Over in battle as well…but I just thought that was really strange to have happen in this case.

I mean…none of these issues are extremely game-breaking or anything like that…well, except for this one:

In Yanflyton, there’s a weapon and armor shop where the game reminds you to save your game first before coming inside here (as you definitely should, for reasons I’ll explain). When you then come inside the store, you’re then greeted with an empty store front with tons and tons of gear that, when examined, Nessiah will comment about how amazing this shit is compared to all of her old stuff (hey…wait a minute, what about your own teammates’ stuff, Nessiah – don’t you care about what they have, you heartless witch???). You’ll then get the option to take the gear or not. If you do, then…

…this will happen and the game will then crash and you’ll then have to restart again from your last save point.

I’m not sure if this crash was intentional or not...but if it isn’t, this definitely should have been fixed before releasing the game... Luckily, pianotm - at least - warns you before coming in here, so it’s not so much of an issue compared to more extreme cases of other gamebreaking bugs that other games have had. But still – I WANT THAT GEAR!!!

The Soundtrack


So…apparently, the music used here is all RTP and stuff, the typical fare - but not quite what I was expecting - as they’re all – mostly – remixes of the classic RPG Maker 2000 tunes with a few other songs thrown in for good measure. The boss fight music, for example, when fighting Helaz and the Ogres in the Misao Forest, is straight outta RPG Maker 2000 with a rock cover to it that sounds something straight out of Mega Man X. This shit is AWESOME…! Even the Misao Forest song, “Strange New World,” isn’t too bad for a place like the Misao Forest. All in all, the musical selections here are quite good…with the only one in my opinion that, although sounds fantastic, is a bit jarring for the situation here in regards to the Final Boss and all that. But, all in all, I really can’t complain.

Sound effects are your typical RTP fare, nothing special that I haven’t heard from before, and, well…I’m not going to complain about that.

Actually, come to think about it, I know that pianotm only attended to work on this for only two days and all that stuff, but…given the size of the game here, I REALLY wish that Nessiah, Liberty and Kentona and, maybe, the rest of the RMNers that are involved here would have lend their voices to do some voiceovers for the game to add more to the hilarity. But…whatever I guess.

The Aesthetics

Jeez… What a dump!

Graphically speaking, I think the game looks fine, barring a few oddball visual effects here or there that REALLY could have used some more additional padding to fix some of those issues. But for the time limit given here, I really can’t hold too much against pianotm for this, as some of the RTP maps here look great.

However…in regards to the character portraits that appear on screen during certain cutscenes, like when you decide to run away from battle or, initially, during the War Room sequence with Nessiah and Liberty where Nessiah tells Liberty to get some sleep, seeing half a portrait pop up with a gaping hole that’s not entirely covered up correctly looks a bit sloppy and a bit jarring in my opinion... There are also some maps, like with the weapon and armor stores, that look a bit on the plain side that could have used some more interior decorating… There’s also a minor passability error in the War Room in regards to having the ability to walk through the two book cases on both sides. And when you fight against the Final Boss, and defeat him, you can see his sprite right underneath Nessiah before it disappears, and when he’s supposed to teleport out of the battlefield after summoning his flame spell, he’s still standing there with Liberty saying something stupid about that he’s gone now but, technically, he’s really not - he’s still standing there! These little things are noticeable enough that they stand out a bit too much, like that one coffee cup scene in that Game Of Thrones show, lol.

I do like the enemy designs, thought, as they almost have sort of an Earthbound / Shin Megami Tensei kind of look to them that looks great. Heck, even Helaz’s form is kinda cute in battle as well. Nice.

The End Result

Oh, come on now, it’s not THAT bad!

For something that was whipped up in two days for a friend as a nice gesture of faith, Age Of Archeia isn’t what I would call the highest of standards when it comes to community games around here…but it’s still an enjoyable enough romp that’s worth your time if you’re in the need to play one of the countless community games that we have on here. The game has a few bumps in the road that could have used some more additional polishing before releasing, but it’s a good time for anyone here who’s a regular RMNer to try out.

Now, would have I have liked to have seen more in the full package? Well…absolutely...! But then I’m reminded of that old phrase that you shouldn’t kick a gift horse in the mouth…and I guess that’s probably true here.

- Happy Birthday there, pumpkin!

3 / 5 - C ~ Just Makes The Cut


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The TM is for Totally Magical.
Oh! Thanks! I see you didn't play the fixed version. I did it on your recommendation, you know. Or did you already write the review when you made that post and it just took that long for this to post?
Yeah, I wrote and submitted the review days before you happened to upload the fixed version; it just happened to take a while for it to finally get approved, that's all.

- And it's nice to see my name back up underneath the latest reviews section again. Sure has been a while...
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