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Well-executed demo

I decided to give this one a look as it promised to be short and story-based. Exactly what I enjoy. Okay. I wouldn't recommend bothering to download if you insist on action and can't enjoy dialogue, if not a story. This is especially true as the download size is 120 MB. That's a bit much to ask for a twenty minute story demo. That might explain why this has so few downloads.

This portion of the game centers on the character Teign, and him talking with people. The dialogue is well written, though a bit overly melodramatic. Much better than a lot of games I've seen though, especially from a non-native speaker. The dialogue goes on for some time, but it was engrossing enough to keep going. If you're a TL;DR person, skip this game. But as for the characters themselves, most of them aren't very developed (expected with this sort of demo) and defined by a single trait. Teign himself is sort of irritatingly self-pitying, though this is probably a spillover from "drama." Passable. The story itself isn't anything original, but at the minimum it's engaging and well-written. It might just be constrained by the time or genre requirements. A lot of proper nouns fly around and without a coherent introduction to the terms it's sort of confusing.

Graphics and environment are well done.There are lots of NPCs fidgeting about, and it's a nice touch. Many of them are interactive and move around. Especially enjoyable was the interaction of Olivia and Erich. Graphically, there's weather and fog and lighting everywhere, and the overall effect is neat. The nature of the story seems to conflict with the idiotic VX RTP-style sprites though. Maybe I just hate VX RTP and it's humongous heads. Oh well. Face graphics are recolored Fire Emblem... Nothing unusual, not impressive. Still, it's evident there's been a lot into making this game look good, and it shows.

Music is okay. A few enjoyable orchestral pieces help the mood, but for some large portions of the game there is either no music or music so soft it was inaudible. Also, a couple Uematsus. I was expecting more from a game with 70mb of music. SFX are fine except for very annoying grunting sounds during combat.

Gameplay is a basic side-view system. Mash spacebar for melee attacks. Okay, fine. This isn't centered around gameplay anyway and there are maybe four battles total. Does not bother me.

Overall, I'd say this could probably be turned into a decent game. It's on the right path, but it most likely needs an overhaul of the plot. Unless the demo terminated right before things turned interesting, the story was fine but a little slow-moving to get to any original parts. The characters are okay as are, but show a lot more potential. For instance, the slave girl Howling seems to have a reputation building, but meeting her almost ruins the mystery. It's almost as if this game is well-executed and planned but lacks that hook that will keep people playing. I was ready for a break as the demo ended. I'd excuse the slow start if it was followed with an engaging Chapter 2 in the same style. I guess it's too early to judge.

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Oh, and specific points that need attention... I've posted my notes on minor points that could use some attention. Nothing serious, just random thoughts for the author to keep busy with.
1. Corner cliff graphic abnormalities in introduction
2. The intro scene with children gazing at the moon would be a lot nicer if the camera weren't stuck at the edge of the screen.
3. Guy with mustache in combat introduction scene has an obnoxiously large head. Actually, they all sort of do. Never mind.
4. None/soft music during first dialogue.
5. Same scene, Sam uses "it's" instead of "its."
6. Same scene, Teign uses "who've" where "whom" is appropriate.
7. Russeau's dialogue, its/it's
8. Walking upwards through doors should result in walking upwards in the next room... not walking downwards out of a door. Minor.
9. Sam and his "army" of nine soldiers seem out of place in a stormy courtyard.
10. Howling's dialogue, it's v its
11. Possible to walk on a lower left patch on the pub exterior.
12. Horses appear out of place as they're double the size of the hero
13. Craven is very rarely used as a noun.
14. The Helios face graphic is that of Tanith, a female pegasus knight from FE9/10. Looks sort of out-of-place on a male.
15. There are a few spots in the later cutscene where characters enter doors without the doors opening.
16. Characters randomly screaming incantations is sort of out of place as well.
17. The FF batlte graphic looks out of place.
18. I'm guessing Simone must be Italian; otherwise Simone is a girl's name.
19. A few soldiers hike through a tree in their "charge."
20. Don't claim 30hrs gameplay on the project page when currently there is .5 hours.
Thanks for the review wombats. I appreciate you taking the time to play it. One thing I'm kind of confused about is your points about some of the music selection being too "soft". What exactly do you mean by this? Is the volume too low? Or did you not think the music had enough "oomph"?

Anyway, I kind of had some difficulty with the demo. I have this very large world with it's own history and I didnt want to make it a scrolling wall of text or something, so I opted to have the most important points of the lead-in story as a playable prologue. The following chapters will have a lot more gameplay.

Also, about Helios having the Tanith sprite. He is supposed to be incredibly feminine. So yeah.

Anyway, thanks again!



By soft I mean the volume was too low, yeah. I played through the game with lousy speakers and thought there were empty spots. When I went through the music folder with headphones I noticed a few pieces with lower volume... So I'm not quite sure where music is missing vs quiet. One place where volume was definitely the issue was the pub, though. (Unless it was background noise and not music?)

This beats scrolling text wall by far. As long as the following story is engaging, it's passable.

Heh, feminine Helios, okay. I was more concerned you had no idea the face was supposed to be feminine but failed. I more found it amusing than problematic.
The song in the pub is a french vocal song. The musical troupe is supposed to be "playing" it. Since there's a lot of dialogue in the pub, I didn't want to have the vocals in the song too loud, as that could make it distracting.

Anyway, thanks again. I really appreciate the feedback,

Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
The song in the pub is a french vocal song. The musical troupe is supposed to be "playing" it. Since there's a lot of dialogue in the pub, I didn't want to have the vocals in the song too loud, as that could make it distracting.


Just piping in randomly here on a months-old comment, but this is quite a concession to convenience, and atmosphere is giving a lot of ground. What I mean is: have you ever BEEN in an actual pub?
Well... Though I don't agree with much of the criticisms regarding the storyline, I do have a couple of complaints.
1)Few grammatical errors, but as this is a demo this is very minor.
2)Some of the face graphics clash with the sprites, (I'm with psy on the hating VX sprites)
3)In the pub when the NPC leaves he walks through the on top of the wall before disappearing.
4)In the battle on the road to the palace, the archer in front steps forward of the cliff he appears to be standing on when attacking.
5)Theres a house in the Chateau grounds where attempting to open the door doesn't bring up any dialogue. (This is only weird since there are other houses that are locked that reveal dialogue from Teign. There are also lights on in the windows.)
7) In the Odeus center map there are several trees sprouting up in the middle of the stone slate ground.
8) I believe this was already pointed out, but the cliffs on the balcony in the scene with the doctor and king alone.
9) Vines inside the pub are out of place.

I hope this helps! Other then these minor things listed here I thought this game was great! Very professional.
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