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

Don't blink! You just might miss something good!

  • Oblic
  • 05/27/2013 12:26 PM
  • 1902 views
Of all the games I have ever played, I have never experienced anything as unique as Dhux’s Scar. It is by far the most difficult game I have completed in recent memory, but every frustration and struggle was well worth it. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I have played a game that made me feel such a wide array of emotions. There are villains that are beyond despicable, heroes that undergo some serious changes, for better or for worse, and NPCs that are both entertaining and worthwhile talking to. Every bit of the story will immerse you so deeply, it will difficult to get back out!

WARNING: Although I will try my best to avoid it, there MAY be some serious spoilers throughout this review. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Story:

Every 500 years or so, the infamous and evil Dhux returns to earth in the form of a human child, spreading hatred and ill will to the world. Although Dhux harnesses some of the greatest power ever known to man, it usually uses its ability to manipulate the people around it to do its terrible bidding. Luckily, Dhux was cursed by the earth’s creator with a terrible scar on its forehead, allowing people to identify it easily.

In order to capture this villainous being, the church has placed a sizable bounty on Dhux’s head, dead or alive, and a reward will go to anyone with any information on Dhux’s whereabouts.

Elijah, a cowardly traveling merchant, doesn’t much believe in the rumors about this demon known as Dhux, but would love to get his greedy hands on the reward money if he could. And, as “luck” would have, after a mishap with is one-manned airship, he crosses paths with the infamous Dhux, in the form of a young girl who calls herself Celliann. This is where things start to get interesting…

Since Elijah wants to GUARUNTEE himself the reward, he decides to take Dhux directly to the capital city of the church, Jehridan, collecting the reward directly from the source. He “tricks” Celliann into coming to Jehridan with little effort, but unbeknownst to him, she has plans of her own. Claiming to be looking for her grandpqrents, who just so happen to live in Jehridan, Celliann is really looking forward to wiping out the leaders of the church in the hopes of destroying its faith with them.

Along the way, Elijah and Celliann must fight some despicable demons and evil men that stand in their path to the capital. Fortunately, they meet an old friend of Elijah’s, Faye, who is immensely powerful and willing to help them reach their destination.

I won’t go much more into what happens in the story, because any more would ruin some of the more interesting and entertaining secrets of the story. Depending on how well you manage your PE (Points of Endurance, which I will explain later), you may learn about the true nature of the tale that has been masterfully woven in this game (HINT: the more you have, the better off you will be!). Trust me; if you get the “bad path”, it is well worth fighting your way to the good path later on.

Like I said earlier, there is so much to experience in this game, it’s crazy. At the very start of the game, there is more gore and violence than most other games put into their entire project. Although I would normally consider this excessive, it is done in such a way that it helps paint a much grander picture than just a display of blood and guts for shock value. On the other end of the spectrum, there are also many warm and light-hearted moments that relieve a lot of the tension from the messier parts of the game. Never have I cringed so hard in one moment and laughed so hard in others while playing a game!


First 10 seconds of the game… NOM!


Much later on to lighten the mood… HONK!!


Gameplay:

Dhux’s Scar is actually a pretty good example of a game that can be pretty frustrating, but still feels pretty fair. I say feels fair for a reason; even though every part of the game is beatable (if I can manage to beat this game, anyone can…), there is definitely a luck factor involved. There are bosses that will continually revive familiars, other that can drop your party to 1 HP, and even others that can drop half of your party with a single attack. But, they are all absolutely beatable. For the most part (especially in the first half of the game), you will feel like you are barely scraping by each area, praying that you killed enough monsters to pay for a stay at the next inn. Eventually, your party seems to grow a pair and you can finally start decimating enemies by unloading some of your more powerful attacks. This significant increase in chutzpah is balanced out by some pretty nasty bosses, though. Also, if you are struggling with any of the early boss battles (the ones where you have died about 20 or so times), there is a little move that Celliann has that will crush ANY enemy party… at a cost.

Remember the PE I mentioned earlier? Time for an explanation! You start your adventure with 50 PE. Every time you go to a new area on the map, you lose 1; every time the map shifts to a new region, you lose two; finally, every time you use Celliann’s super nut-crusher move, you also lose 2. Most of you may be thinking, “Who cares?” Well, think of the PE as ticking time bomb. Remember, Celliann is the all-evil Dhux! She could kill your entire party on a whim, but not without draining herself considerably. And since she needs to get to Jehridan unnoticed, it’s better that she not exert herself to the point of exhaustion. But, if she runs out of patience (PE = 0) she will wipe the floor with you without thinking twice (basically, GAME OVER)!

Not to worry, though! 50 PE is plenty to get you through to Jehridan, even if you do decide to resort to the super attack! But, don’t forget about the special surprises waiting for you if you manage to hold onto as many of those PE as possible. And even if you don’t manage to get them on your first try, Erilex (the game’s developer) was nice enough to give you a… “hint” to getting a few extra PE on your next go around!

There isn’t much more to say about the gameplay, other than to repeat that BATTLES ARE HARD… but beatable. Take advantage of Celliann’s skills outside of battle; “sixth sense” can get you some much needed items and “visceral terror” can get you through some really tough spots! Also, spend money and items wisely! I can’t stress how hard money is to come by in the game. Definitely buy stuff, but don’t upgrade everyone’s equipment “just because you can.” And SAVE OFTEN!

Graphics and Mapping:

Holy hell is this game pretty! There a ton of animations, both in and out of battle, all of which are spectacular! There are also tons of picture cut-scenes (see HONK above) that really immerse the player. I honestly don’t think there is a single piece of art that is not custom made for this game. This in and of itself doesn’t make it good, but the fact that it’s superbly executed helps quite a bit!

I am pretty sure that most of the tilesets were made from scratch as well, further helping the imersiveness in the game. To be perfectly honest, I am much fonder of a unique look than something that may look nice, but is used too many times to count. Again, it helps the player get into the game; if a game ONLY uses RTP, it is difficult to get completely immersed due to the fact that it can be easily confused with so many other games. This game completely avoids that by using mostly custom assets. Even if some of the tilesets are used in several places, they are still unique to the game itself.

Your eyes will definitely thank you for playing through this artful masterpiece! (Unless, of course, the sight of blood makes you squeamish…)

Music:

Another great aspect of Dhux’s Scar! Although I am fairly certain that not all of the music was custom made for this game, there definitely is some custom music, and the rest still fits into the game very well. I can’t think of a single point in the game where the music didn’t fit the mood. One of the best ways the music can fit into a game is by not even noticing it is there! If, for one reason or another, you start to pick up on the music and think about it, the mood is most likely broken.

The only time I can think it is good to notice the music is for epic battle music. Although I wouldn’t really call any of the battle music truly epic, it still sets the tone for whatever you are about to face. The normal battle themes (it changes after a certain point in the game) are relatively fast paced, but not particularly threatening. The various boss themes are a bit more amped up, more so for the more decisive battles. Finally, the only two songs that I might classify as “epic” are for the 2 major battles in the game. Both of them have a pretty long build up to a very tense orchestral piece. The finally boss music isn’t particularly wild, but I honestly think it works great as it is. Since the final boss battle will easily take you 10 minutes or more to finish, having a longer, more methodical rhythm fits much better. It also seems to have a feeling of dismay and hopelessness, another very fitting aspect to a very difficult (and seemingly hopeless) fight!

What else…:

- The art style for the face sets and the characters in general is great! They change with the mood of the moment very well.
- Considering my record, I have to mention the grammatical errors. This game was made originally in Spanish and then translated to English. Some people actually made a game of finding the objects within the game that didn’t get translated (I think my count was 4). On the whole, most of the mistranslations didn’t affect my playthrough. They seemed to pop up in the most innocuous places, leaving the overall story intact. Don’t get me wrong, I did cringe from time to time, but that’s most a reflex.
- The massive amount of gender confusion in this game borders on the ridiculous, but it somehow seems to fit the absurdity of the game. I have nothing wrong with it, but I doubt this many people with identity problems would just bump into each other on some cross-world journey!
- Taking my religious affiliation (or lack thereof) into consideration, I really enjoy the image “the church” is given in the game. At its best, it is poking fun at modern Christianity, and at its worst, it is straight up mocking it. So, I guess what I am trying to say is, be forewarned that there is a not so flattering light being shown on religion here.
- The weird font issue gets annoying to fix/unfix (it makes ALL fonts on your computer look odd). Not a really huge deal, since I can pretty much do it in 5 seconds now, but it is still tedious.

Overall:

Like I said before, I have never played a game as unique as this. It is a completely new flavor of story, gameplay, and art style, and I am glad to say that I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was definitely not without its faults, but they were few, far between, and easily overlooked.

That being said, I can easily award this game a…

4.5 out of 5 stars!

This is the highest score I have ever given a game. To be honest, I was torn between this and a 5 out of 5, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger… But, if I were to make a list of RMN games to play this summer, this would be at the top!

Now, if you haven’t played this yet, go download it and start playing. Seriously, I don’t even know why you’re still here. The amount of praise I have given it throughout this review should have caused you to at least START the game by now! GO PLAY IT!!!


Posts

Pages: 1
(This game is rated PG13...right?)

Anyways, very nice review (and don't be afraid to pull the preverbal trigger and give this game a 5; with all the praise that this game gets -- it deserves every star).

I haven't played Dhux's Scar in a few years, but I may give get it another try when I get some more time on my hands... Again, excellent review.

Oblic
Once a member of RMN, always a member of RMN!
1752
author=Addit
(This game is rated PG13...right?)

Anyways, very nice review (and don't be afraid to pull the preverbal trigger and give this game a 5; with all the praise that this game gets -- it deserves every star).

I haven't played Dhux's Scar in a few years, but I may give get it another try when I get some more time on my hands... Again, excellent review.



Thank you for the kind words! And PG-13 may be an understatement... guess I should have mentioned that somewhere!

I wanted to give it a 5, but there were definitely things that bugged me (like the font fix thing and the missed translation spots). They were minor on the whole, so I only docked a small amount. To give a better idea of how I felt on a wider scale, I'd give it a 95ish out of a 100, but I generally round down (I guess I'm mean like that).

Again, thanks for the support!
Pages: 1