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

A spectacular adventure in GamingWorld

GW Chaingame 2022-2023: The Maker's Mark Legacy is a chain game (doh!), a single adventure created by a collaborative effort of many developers: Dosmaen (heh in the review of Project1 I told I was waiting for this chaingame!), Pigeonade, Decky, PianoTm, Bitmap Kid, Sidewinder and OK_CPU are the authors of the various chapter of this bizarre adventure. Let's start by explaining that this is not only a chain game, but also a community game since it's about the old rpgmaker games site called Gaming World (popular in mid 2000, then started to phase out in 2008-2010 and later became SaltWorld, in fact the currency in this game is salt!)

The game starts talking about an ancient land known as "Gaming World", where a powerful relic called "the Maker's Mark" was found. This item was used to create new worlds using their imagination. Then the Ghastly Darklord emerged, bringing the Age of Destruction, but in the end of a war he was trapped beneath the Earth along with the Maker's Mark.
Many years passed, and now an explorer arrives, attracted by the legend of the Maker's Mark...

The real game begins with two choices: the first is the difficulty (Story Mode or Original Mode), the second is how to name our protagonist (default is Dada, the last who kept Gaming World running).

What? LYSANDER! Cool, let's ask him about the Line's End... err well no, that's not a good idea (but will happen anyway)!

Now what kind of battle system would use a game that's an homage to classic rm2k and rm2k3 games? Well, the classic rpgmaker 2k/2k3 system of course! Each character has different abilities, for example the protagonist is the modern equivalent of an elemental mage (so look at the enemies and exploit their weaknesses!), Baggy is a knight, Talan... well he has the same abilities than in the original game, only difference he is far more powerful now. And the others... well I'm not going to spoil who are the other party members, this was enough, anyway each of them has his/her/its dedicated weapons and equipments (besides some accessories usable by everyone) that are unlocked chapter after chapter, most of them are also found around in some chests, but since you do not have to spend a lot in consumables feel free to upgrade your equipment when you can.

Wait, why did I say that there is no need for consumables? Well because aside for some items that can cancel a negative status (like Confusion, Sleep, etc) the consumables/healing items are found in some chest and automatically restocked after resting at a statue. Anyway there is a catch! Resting will heal the whole party and restore the consumables BUT will also restore some of the enemies scattered around the level! In any case you won't have to worry about resurrecting characters since after each battles the fallen party members are revived immediately after the victory (with 1 hp) and if you are beaten you will be revived at the nearest save points, anyway combat is surprisingly balanced despite several different devs took part to this project, maybe on the easy side (I am cautious) but there are some challenging bosses, like the one at the end of Chapter 4.

OUCH! These guys hit hard! Luckily we know someone that can learn their cool attacks!

Clearly there isn't only combat: there are puzzles, riddles and parts in which you have to find the right item or unlock the right ability to progress. I admit that maybe it's me but there are a couple of parts I liked a bit less, and it was the cave with the slimes section (chapter 3) and the riddles (chapter 4) for different reasons: the first situation has some cool puzzles and tasks but also requires some thinking to figure out what you're supposed to do (do not fear to interact with things more than once!), the other part has some classic riddles but I knew one of them with a different answer, so I had to google to discover the right one (google is your friend here!). I may also say that also the puzzles in the final part are clever but veeeeery long, and take a lot of time walking around and watching cutscenes (you will also earn lots of salt but uhm that's not a great use for it at that time! I also do not understand the reward of doing some things, but uh ok!)... on the other hand the cutscenes are animated very well and the puzzles are cleverly implemented.

Visually the game is a classic rpgmaker game but there was a particular attendion to the details: enemy sprites use all the same style (except when the heroes step inside a particular dimension, but that's understandable) and same is for the charsets, mapping is always good and the locations are all competently made, no matter the chapter, I really didn't see many differences. Oh and speaking about maps remember to explore and look for hidden items, since you can earn some bonuses if you, like me, like exploring and interacting with everything you see hehe! Anyway mapping aside there are also artwors by Dudesoft, Madolah and Josephseraph... but let me also mention OK_CPU for the excellent animations of the charsets in the final cutscenes of the game. They were simply awesome.

Oh making a chain game is not easy at all! Anyway Chapter 5 is... really indescribable!

And now an important part, the music and sounds! There is some music by CBoyardee and Ragnar, and I liked those catchy themes, if I am right some are also used more than one time during the story, but the best music award goes to 047 and the song Knight Baggy! That rocks, it's awesome.

Now the story: it's...quirky and bizarre with references to A Blurred Line (of course) and other classic rpgmaker games, popular videogames like FFVII The Matrix, Star Wars and with the cameos of some real life figures such as Lysander (developer of A Blurred Line), Don Miguel (Rm2k translator), Jimmy Wales (co-founders of Wikipedia) and... someone with a name similar to Melon Tusk... I can't remember! (LOL). Anyway the plot is a bit more coherent compared to other chain games I played due to the return to places previously visited, for example, the GM planet (first map) and its dungeon is often revisited during the various chapters, like few other locations like the offices (in other chain games the assets and maps varied wildly, unlike here!).
In the end it's almost like each chapter could have been its own single game, since each one has its own merits, and despite that they all together not only contribute to create the single main story, but also the (pretty cool in my opinion) backstories of two of the companions central to the asdventure: Knight Baggy and Talan.

YES! I got the ultimate power! And if you know who is the person sitting on that throne we can be friends!

Errors and bugs: unfortunately this cool game is not without some issues and I'm going to mention the most evident: Chapter 1 has some mapping errors like invisible walls in the upper level of the very first map plus some passability errors inside the dungeon, in Chapter 4 there is a typo for the slime vendor inside the offices (says something like "sloem" instead of some), Chapter 5 has a cutscene in the Reddit zone with four party members even if you've a party of three and you still have to get the fourth. Ooook anyway there's actually nothing game breaking or problematic, so let's finish this review.

Final Verdict
I'm sad because I never experienced the good old Gaming World community, STILL I remember playing the old games (GW was also the origin of Barkley’s Shut Up and Jam Gaiden) and I am also fond of rpgmaker chain games (such as the Alex series, but also some non rm2k/rm2k3 chain games I played and reviewed) because, like in this game, I see how each dev put something personal inside the chapter (for example Decky's mapping and puzzle style of chapter 3, the art of PianoTm in chapter 4, the spaceship and sci-fi setting of Sidewinder in chapter 6, etc).

Ok, this review is probablyt too long, anyway I did my best to avoid spoilers, in fact my intention is to recommend this game. Normally I'd give a 4/5 but since this was a group effort with all the difficulties of the case (like the deadlines and efforts to make something coherent) I'll give a little more for the quality of the final result. In three letters: FUN!

Hey hey hey... in the end THEY DID IT!!!