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

Seems awfully familiar...

The latest Crazegame, made by Craze with a little help from Craze! Special thanks to Craze!

You are given control of ten warriors who have a bone to pick with a guy called Talon. He is in a place called the Hellgrounds, to the north. Your quest: go forth and slay the evil Talon. That's pretty much all the game tells you you need to know.

Balance 2.5/5:
Saga Mara Talon is wholly and unapologetically devoted to its combat, to the extent that pretty much everything else in the game was just taken out back and shot. You command an army of ten characters and can switch them in and out of battle at any time. If you’ve played Demon Tower, it’s a virtually identical set-up. The main difference between the two is Saga Mara Talon’s encounters are random as opposed to Demon Tower’s event-based encounters. Enemy groups can be quite vicious and you’ll often have to switch out a downed member if you get hit by one too many cheap shots. The system is based heavily on Shin Megami Tensei, so learning your foes weaknesses and capitalizing on them is very important. You also must learn to quickly identify the largest threats. Letting certain enemies live too long means your entire party could get wiped by a single attack

The game does not use default battle scripts, but an altered battle script created by Yanfly which allows you to see when debuffs/effects have been applied to a target, as well as to review your commands before committing to them at the end of a round. This final “review” step seems completely unnecessary and just adds an extra button press between entering commands and engaging in battle. I suppose other people might like this step but I personally don’t care for it.

At various points you will encounter bosses which you must face to continue your quest. You often have a choice of what boss you wish to face which in turns leads you to a completely different area of the game world, so you aren't railroaded often.

Crazehumor is a copyright of Craze and “Krazuman”. Violators will be punched into Oblivion.



However, the bosses tend to be very brutal, often taking three to five actions per round. All at once. This feels less like the boss is acting strategically to make for a greater challenge, and more like the boss is just artificially raising the difficulty by taking a bunch of cheap shots at your party that you can’t do anything about. Compared to the bosses in Demon Tower, who felt like epic confrontations, these bosses just seem like annoying obstacles. They also tend to require a substantial amount of grinding to get past, meaning even though you can see where you need to go, you can’t do it until you pass an arbitrary point of development. A good rule of thumb to follow in an RPG is “As soon as I can get to Boss X, I should be able to deal with Boss X without having to do anything extra.” Grinding or finding awesome treasure can make the battle easier, but shouldn’t be required. Here, I felt like I needed to spend time getting stronger to face these enemies. Then again, maybe I just suck at the game.

All in all, the random combat in the game is nicely balanced, you can annihilate most encounters easily if you know what they’re doing but they can still pose a legitimate threat if you let your guard down. The bosses unnecessarily impede progress with what I felt were unfair tactics.

Level Design 2/5:
The most immediate and glaring flaw with this project is it all takes place on a single map. I am not saying it was necessary to have elaborate towns or dungeons in a project like this, but having so many events and objects on a such a sprawling map wreaks havoc on the game’s framerate. Even running at highest priority, this was by far the laggiest RM game I have ever played.

That said, the game is laid out as a sort of “Gameboard” according to its creator. I am not sure I agree with that comparison but I can oblige. Basically you wander the map looking for fights and treasure, you can find towns to sleep or shop at as long as you have the money. But on the various spaces along the game board you will sometimes encounter unusual events which will reward you with money or items. Sometimes these places are obvious, but sometimes they look like perfectly ordinary, mundane squares. If you want to find everything you’ll have to manually examine every square on the map.

Characters 2/5:
The characters are, unfortunately, fairly lifeless. There was some attempt to try to give them some sense of personality, but most of them are extraordinarily generic, or ranging from just plain boring to comically and obviously evil. The only really interesting banter takes place during battles, and even then it seems forced. All in all, the stand out character here is the Butler, Gerald. I am not sure what makes butlers inherently awesome, but they are.

I got the sense that the dialogue was supposed to be purposefully bad as some sort of parody, but even as parody it ends up not seeming very great. Overall, it is pretty easy to see why Craze is really at his best when working with Karsuman.

Make it stop.



Storyline 2.5/5:
I am pretty sure even the creator would say there’s no real story here, so I’ll be brief. There is no real sense of narrative above and beyond the necessity to defeat Talon for…reasons, I guess. The game doesn’t take any pains to explain anything to you, so you’ll often find yourself journeying through odd places and fighting bosses for unexplained or even nonsensical reasons. Again, I think this was meant to be some sort of parody of traditional jRPGs, but it lacks the finesse to make for a very effective one.

That said, the game is highly non-linear and you can often choose what path you will take to explore the game world, so it has some variety. But all in all, it really feels like by the time you’ve played the game for twenty minutes, you’ve experienced almost everything it has to offer.

Music and Sound 2/5:
Entirely RTP, the music is used mostly for some sort of ambience as opposed to establishing any real mood. I don't mind RTP, but since I didn’t feel like most of the songs were used terribly appropriately, it dragged this score down. However, the boss fights here and there at least had more appropriate music, that raised the bar a little bit and was effective at setting the tone.

Overall 2/5:
Overall the game has a lot of downfalls, and really feels more like a prototype or a demo than a truly finished game. However, for what it is, a timewaster RPG focused entirely on battles, it isn’t so bad in that respect. So if you liked Craze’s other projects, this one might have something to offer you, because it is very similar to most of his other projects. But I wouldn’t expect it to win over any converts.

Posts

Pages: 1
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
18257
Hmmm, that boss music was RTP? That is fairly surprising. I am not terribly familiar with VX's RTP. I shall correct this mistake.
Craze
why would i heal when i could equip a morningstar
15170
In other news, I finally have enough MS to not have to delete anything while uploading another project. Thanks for the backup space!
Craze
why would i heal when i could equip a morningstar
15170
I agree entirely with this review, and chaos. This was my incredibly failed attempt at making a worthy sequel to EMDE!2 - oh well.

Thanks for the honest review, Soli; I can't say I have any problems with it, except that there is no NG music. It's entirely RTP.
LouisCyphre
can't make a bad game if you don't finish any games
4523
Gerald, you classless peasants.
I agree with one valid point...

Gerad the Butler needs his own game right now.
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
18257
What Chaos said, basically.
LouisCyphre
can't make a bad game if you don't finish any games
4523
Demon Tower is basically this game with finesse, a likable cast, incredibly tight battle balance, and far more entertaining bosses.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9159
So this game is bad for every reason everyone thought demon tower was great?

o_O

I don't know how I feel about this review. (Have not played the game in question or maybe I'd have a better idea about that.)
LouisCyphre
can't make a bad game if you don't finish any games
4523
Please tell me you thumped Alexander (or at least got horribly murdered by him).
Pages: 1