• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

The Hero(?) Stands Tall

Been a while since I've done one of these, yes? Eh, that happens every time I write a review. I really ought to play more RMN games. The last time I offered up a review was for Pilgrim's Road, and still a fun game at that. However, sometimes a game doesn't need to be long or serious to blow me away.

That's the case with Awe Vs Ozzy, a short-but-sweet misadventure between our top-hatted Awe and our scheming villain moderator OzzyTheOne. Although the game won't take more than a half-hour to see and do everything, what we do have is a real fun time with good effects galore. In short, a spectacle.

The Story
...is most of the game, really! This is no visual novel, but given each run's length and the focus on two fights (and the first is one you're evented to lose), the story has a bigger impact. The tl;dr is that Awe is up to mischief and causes said mischief, Ozzy shows up and drops the (ban)hammer on him, and a true fight ensues after.

What is key to this is the sheer presentation Awe has put into everything. The SFX cues work well, and the stage is set in a snappy and expedient fashion for the battle against Ozzy. The map looks like a single street, but is presented well. I dig the sprites concocted for each RMN member who pops up in-game, and the cutscene pictures for each ending are well-made in Awe's simple-but-effective art style.

Lastly, Awe's movement across the map are well-animated, showing great proficiency in 2k/3 eventing. Everything is smooth and feels lively. Not to mention the dialogue is just as effective and quick too! Because of this, I will put some of my favorite bits I caught in a spoiler at the end of this review. Stay tuned for after the credits, kiddies!

As the story is all an auto-running event, there are only two bits of gameplay: selecting a bit of dialogue for Awe, and the battle itself. As I said prior, the first fight is one you automatically lose, but the second one is the real deal. Awe's four moves work well for a lack of items, and you only get those moves. Thanks to RM2k3, functions like Attack and Item don't exist in Awe's options. You're able to heal, afflict a status ailment, boost Defense (which stacks, as it often does with what it's named in-game), and your basic attack that started it all: a poke that afflicts existential crisis.

But Ozzy will come at Awe with the fury of a moderator scorned. As the fight progresses, Ozzy unveils different moves to unleash upon Awe, progressively more dangerous to deal with than the last. The fight isn't difficult by any means, let's be real. That said, each animation is as punchy and fun as the rest of the game, making good use of both sound effects and images.

Let's be real. I'm not a great critic. I have a better time talking about things I adore than things I don't, and constructive criticism isn't easy for me. As this was made for the 1.44 Floppy Disc Drive event, the game is aptly short and sweet, made to fit a 1.44 MB asset size "budget" like RM games of old. Thus the only downside that isn't a spoiler is this. It isn't long enough; I want moar.

But I am inspired by the fact that it's a short-but-sweet community game. There's been plenty of community games attempted in recent years, but very few finished these days. Rather than create a long-winded adventure, Awe Vs Ozzy offers this idea to devs, intentionally or not: what if community games could be episodic? As someone who feels she should create episodic games herself, Awe's fun little game is inspiring.

Overall Thoughts
Due to the length of this game, I'm hesitant to give it a 4 out of 5. A solid eight-outta-ten. But I think back to a review I did for Bedtime Adventures and I'm reminded of something. Just because the game isn't long doesn't mean it isn't a well-polished and fun experience. A good RPG Maker game doesn't need to be an hours-long adventure, nor does it need one metric eff-ton of items, equipment and skills. After all, the community appreciates smaller hobbyist games, right?

What I see in Awe is someone who pushes himself to improve as the days go by, a passionate guy who I'm proud to see get better and better at his art and hobbies. Someday Awe might be a powerhouse in the realms of Gammak, mark my word. Keep on keepin' on, Awe. I tip my non-existent hat to you, my top-hatted hero.

...though in this game, hard to tell if you're truly a hero. Feh. Two sides to every conflict. ;3

"Post-Credits" Spoilers!
Because the game is so short, here's bits and bobs I liked that shouldn't be viewed unless you've played. Find a lunch break (or make your own) and play this, dammit. I'll wait.

- Ocean's represented as one (1) water tile. Wow.
- He yeeted my pal Waka from existence. Awe why ;-;
- Through LordBlueRogue's cameo, Awe has called us all out on so many levels
- Artyfarty is Awe's self-healing move; I adore that as much as his art which is to say, very!
- There is a shoutout to Calunio's magnum opus, Therapy: Mind Manager, in the good ending
- That secret ending. My word. My only qualm with this is that Awe gets bodied by Ozzy's supermod-privileged punch above and beyond the game over screen, and this is supposed to set up for a sequel? Huh. Curious what'll happen.