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The game that almost was

  • meh_ch
  • 09/22/2009 02:03 PM
Okay. So. Yay for my first review! Beware though, it's probably going to be all over the place. Also, spoilers.

And happy release something day! *headbrick'd*

This game starts with a normal length intro that is very, very cliche. To me it seemed like a preview of some bad charset choices and slightly below average mapping, but I suppose that the point I was supposed to concentrate on was the story. So yes. It's about a bunch of crystals and how the bad guys tried to use them for bad stuff, but the good guys did something about it. I couldn't really follow. One "20 years later" and we get to move around with our characters.

First thing that made an impression on me is that the graphics were very inconsistent. Incredibly inconsistent. I'm not sure what else to say, really. You'll just have to see for yourselves.
As I said, the mapping is slightly below average in the intro, but places like the east side of the city and the forest were okay. As for the places that were not okay, there was just too much empty space everywhere. BboyHavoc, I suggest thinking about every map like it's the only one you'll make for that particular project. I've tried it, it works. Also, check out Brickroad's super extra special awesome elevation tutorial: http://rpgmaker.net/tutorials/163/

Anyway, when it comes to dungeon design, more specifically layout, the forest is nice. Lots of different paths to exlplore and a hidden chest here and there. Another good thing is that there were no random encounters. Instead there are monster sprites that flash red and move faster when you get near them. It did look like they suddenly noticed my sprite and decided to eat it, so bonus points for that. But I often found myself thinking "Does this person have a monster fetish?" because I couldn't take three freaking steps before getting attacked. It was cluttered with monsters.
Oh, and the cave dungeon was way too easy in terms of puzzles. If you call pressing a single switch to open the door to the boss a puzzle.

The story was meh. Very much so. It was also full of plot holes and left me confused more than once. Really now, why would two werewolves kidnap a bunch of lumberjacks and keep them in a cave behind a pterodactyl statue? Scratch that, why would they keep them alive in the first place?
Moving on. For protagonists we have two hot white-haired guys and one chick, who have no character at all. The guys are soldiers of some kind, but it's not really clear. The girl steals occasionally and you supposedly know her, but once again, it's not very clear. Plooooooooot hooooooooooles.
Cough, sorry. I mean I found both the story and the characters badly written. Celest's mom's death I liked though. It didn't impact me in any way, but it wasn't overdramatic like many RPG deaths tend to be.

Next stop is the minigames. They were fun. First minigame is running timed laps for money. It gives you 100 sol if you win. Just for the record, the entry costs 30 sol and it's impossible to lose. I always had something like 5 seconds to spare. My suggestion is to make it a little harder. The other minigame was even more fun but too short. So, yes, longer.

The music wasn't very impressive. Bonus points for KH midis, cause I like them.
Even though popular game music is generally not approved of.

BUGS! And other things.
(a.k.a my favorite part of this review)

~BboyHavoc, your game has a HUGE money problem. A normal potion that heals 80 hp is 40 sol, a potion that heals 250 hp is 150 sol and a mana potion is freaking 1000 sol. Compare those numbers to sleeping at the inn for 20 sol. Please.

~While the cooking, crafting and skill menus are cool, I suggest making them accessible through the main menu as items. Really, that message box is just blah.

The land-threating loom now.

Oh, and you can access the menu through the intro.

~Throughout the game I supposedly found something like 50 copper ores, but those were actually just message boxes telling me I've found ores. No ores were found.

~Considering the fact that the player has to explore every nook and cranny for items, you might want to shorten the there's nothing message to "There's nothing."

~The BGM disappears when I exit some maps.

Btw, I'm not really savvy when it comes to balancing a game, but your game needs some of that.

~And the main dish. There's a bug right after you beat up the bad guy in the castle. I go talk to the king and he tells me "Please come back with news about those missing lumberjacks." After I've defeated a freaking Lord of the underworld or whatever in his castle. Nevermind. So then I exit the throne room and happy BGM is playing, and the butterflies are flying around and everything is exactly before I went to the forest. Except for the red screen tone. Even Celest's mom is alive. So I go on the world map and come back, and it's monster-infested again. I go to the king and he tells me about the lumberjacks. Fun stuff.

Such brave children! Look, there's even a butterfly! Oh, and if you look closely you can see that inconsistency I talked about earlier.

To sum it up, even though I didn't say many nice things about this game, it's a very good first try.
Also, no bashing of the characters/maker was intended during the writing of this review.


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Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
This is really quite good for a first review. I like how you even pointed the creator towards helpful resources. Keep up the good work.
I do appreciate the feedback. Thanks for pointing out specific issues. I will definitely fix those. As for the mapping, I'll work on that.
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