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Today DJT Reviews... Eden Legacy: A Knight of Eden

  • thedjt
  • 05/10/2010 02:04 AM
Today DJT Reviews.. Eden Legacy: A Knight of Eden

I'm not going to lie. I played as good portion of the game never finishing it but got the feeling I had enough of it. Part of the drive to keep playing was solely to write the review which wasn't a good thing.

There were parts I liked, parts I didn't like, parts I despised and parts I wanted to see improved. I'm not going to blindly praise this game without proper reasoning nor will I stab this game to bits and insult it because it'll make me look clever. The reason I'm reviewing this is to give an honest review and give some actual feedback. So lets begin.

Plot-wise the narrative is very basic and stays pretty shallow throughout. I wasn't expecting any wild twists, turns and character development so I can't say I was disappointed because KOE isn't one of those games. While the story isn't a strong point the game's structure focuses more on grinding, leveling and exploring, although the exploring factor is pretty vague due to the sheer size and sheer emptiness of the map. It would of been better if the game used a smaller more compact world map so I would know where things were in proportion. A massive world map is impressive as a picture but in practicality it just didn't work .

Visually the game stands out instantly from most RPG Maker releases. The game is purposely rendered entirely in black and white. Not some people's cup of tea but i did not mind and in the end got use to it. What I didn't really like was the clash of sprites and while it wasn't as bad a clash as some games it was certainly noticeable when I was playing as Red talking to Final Fantasy Sprites in a Legend Of Zelda world.

The actual design of the town was alright, the interiors weren't great but I didn't mind them. The World map was visually a desert with a lot of trees. While I understand it's hard to make it visually engaging with a limited black and white color scheme there was just nothing to the design. No matter how large and vast it may of been it just felt empty and didn't give me any real reason to go out and explore it.

Another niche the game created was having no battle graphics. Some liked it surprisingly and many disregarded it. To be honest I got use to it but was there really a valid reason for not having battle sprites. I guess playing it made me imagine me punching slimes and kicking snakes for 30 minutes but apart from that it was just a bore. It made the battle less of a, 'Here we go!' feeling and more of a. 'Here we go again.'
The battles soon just became tedious and boring. I'll explain the mechanics later but the idea of just reading text and pressing buttons didn't really sell the whole feeling of a battle and just ended up feeling like I was pressing commands in a dark room.

Jumping straight into the battle system there was little to it at the start and the only unique aspect was the energy usage which came into play a lot when facing multiple enemies. At the start fighting slimes led me to just Attack, Defend, Attack, Defend for several long solid minutes of grinding. The battles weren't engaging nor where they very tactical. The only tactics I found was healing before you were going to die and defending when you had no energy to attack. Other than that it was just rinse and repeat gameplay which made it stale very quickly.

Leveling up and 'Customizing' your character wasn't really as open as I thought it would be. Simply learning skills which I'll undoubtedly learn eventually led me to believe there was very little uniqueness about my character's development as I couldn't specifically focus on being a certain style of type of fighter.

Exploring the dungeons there is still little to no rewards to be found, I had a few potions and that was about it. Battles gave me very little EXP making the mark of Level 5 to beat the boss more work than play.
The game even got to stressful point of hoping I wasn't going to get an encounter as there was only 1 save miles away. I felt that having to grind to do the very first thing you're required to do in the game just made the game draw out even more. And even when grinding and using potions I used up the potions I could of been using for the boss which even then is faster so I can't use a potion in the dying seconds.

The music was alright but not amazing, the weird record player had me worried the entire game would be filled with clashing music but it was pretty much 2 continuous tracks throughout the game.

So I'm wrapping up on the key areas so I'll run down the pros and cons I have with this game.

Distinct unique visuals
Lengthy campaign
Charming Old School Feel

Unexciting combat
Some tedious grinding required
Strict Unrewarding loot
Odd battle dialogue

The game will delight a fair few who enjoy tough grind-fests like this. The game feels to be structured to advance too steeply and simply moves in a pattern of grind then boss and repeat. While there are side quests they were pretty forgettable and involved more battles which just after a while became stale and a chore to carry on with. The lack of character variety, items and understandable abilities kill the experience. Although the game is completed it still feels like it's early stages, It still feels half-baked. There's so much room for improvement and so much space on the map to expand on there's no reason this game couldn't be as epically huge as games like Hellion or Hero's Realm. The game just needs, better battle structure and a better pace.

So.. what would I personally want to see in Eden Legacy 2?

- Better more engaging combat that is actually rewarding for the player, give them a reason to grind.
- More freedom of choice, freedom of abilities and skills. Let the player carve their own characteristics.
- Give the player variety from just battling. Use collection quest for EXP or equipment.
- Move the story along at a slower pace. Let the player soak in the areas.
- If grinding is permitted use the Town Scroll System and let the player train without restriction of limited potions in inescapable areas.
- Make the game easy to pick up, harder to finish. Many players like myself at the start were turned away by the combat. Let the player train in battle and missions to gain some foothold experience.

There are my suggestions for the sequel. Here's hoping it will improve on some of the features I ranted on.

For this game however I'm going to give it a slightly above average 3. It's not bad but it needs a lot more work in a technical and balanced standpoint. Give the player a reason to keep playing. Grinding really isn't one of them.


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You the practice of self-promotion
I commend you for at least trying to play some of it, so you could actually have some material for this review. Instead of just saying you didn't like it without saying why, you actually did give (brutally) honest opinions about it. What I liked about what you wrote, is that even though you noted its flaws, you also mention what you thought was good about it, gave some constructive feedback and even mentioned potential. That's clearly the result of the thoughtfulness you seem to have put into this review.
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
Going through the game, I must have missed the side quests, since I went straight to where I needed to go and felt that talking to people in-town would lead to nothing more than your typical "My dog is fluffy" conversations. What I mean by this is that in every RPG you'll play, roughly 85% of the NPCs will have nothing of any importance to say. If I were to review this game (redundant as all has been said), I would have given it roughly 2 stars, since it's not too terribly bad, but is far from "I may play again sometime.".

My only real complaints, which I've stated a few times before, were that the world map was far too large and empty, no battle graphics of any sort, skill definitions are nothing more than "Performs Kick" (who needs to know details anyway, right?), dungeons were large straightways with no puzzle or reward aspects, and non-engaging dialogue. I can look past the whole only needing one of the two artifacts bug (less pain = higher chance of finishing), and the curiosity-spark-turned-letdown Bandit camps, but would recommend either focusing deeper into such things in the sequel or removing them.
Thanks for this honest review!
And ugh! Maybe I should just keep adding new places to the map (for both this version and the Deluxe) on a continuous basis just to make the sheer size worth it? I 'am' only at version 1.1, so I suppose it's possible. I do want you to know how seriously I'm taking these comments for the sequel. I'm just trying to tailor it in a way that it doesn't turn off the people who didn't like the first game (meaning I'm downplaying the story connections to the first one). Your list is very helpful and has already given me some new ideas!
To be honest I think you should scrap making a deluxe version and move onto the second. Make a fresh start. An Idea I had was to be able to train in tall grass just outside the town just to level up at least once, gain some mission money, grab a shield and an extra potion or two and then move on to the actual test, the first dungeon.
Deluxe is practically done, and there are a few who refused to play the black and white one because it hurt their eyes, so I may as well finish up and release it.

I really like your idea, in the second game, however... there is no grass. I was thinking about extra exp for completing little missions though. The less grind the better!
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