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Fun game, despite bland maps and dull enemy diversity

  • maia
  • 04/28/2010 03:04 PM
  • 938 views
Intro
I have put at least eight hours of my life into this game. It is full of a compulsive fun that draws me to it, despite how incomplete it feels.

Story
The story is based on a novel by the maker himself. It is no memorable plot by any means, but this is not the strong point of the game.

Design
There are huge ups and downs with the design. The huge ups are because the maker used maps that came with Enterbrain's RPG Maker VX. The dungeons are decent enough, but the huge downs are when the maker tried mapping himself. Towns are very cramped and seem to get cut off abruptly like the map should be bigger to have a town border. Everything seems very incomplete for a complete game, staircases go no where because they are inactive. Open doors into houses do not go into the house. The overworld map is very cramped as in you do not have to walk more than 4 paces until the next area. There is also a bank in the game, although it seems a little pointless considering that you do not gain interest and when you die, you restart from the last time you saved.

Presentation
FireHeart uses the default RPGMaker VX graphics, sounds and music. The music choice for certain maps is very dull, sort of like it was an afterthought that the music in game could be changed. The game starts off with some nice drawings which are a highlight. Some of the brief and sparsely used cut scenes have great visuals such as the Orc attack with the sword in the back as the village burns down. The village that is strangely unscaved when you visit.

Gameplay
This is where the game goes right and you can get a lot out of it. With its side view battle system, battles go as every RPG should, each character has skills, there are plenty of weapons and items. The only fault is there could be more variety of monsters to fight. There are also different gameplay gimmicks in caves that make things interesting, such as the cave where you are poisoned and unpoisoned. Finding missions are easy enough, but it could have been improved. The local guild house carries quests, but it really could have been set up easier and the map could visually aknowledge what tear sheet missions you have completed. There is one notable frustrating thing though, instant death traps with no warning that send you back to the last time you saved.

Conclusion
It is worth playing from the start, because FireHeart makes use of Enterbrain's maps, but beyond 2 hours of gameplay it all goes downhill from there.

Coaching
I have given plenty of tips in the posted comments.

Posts

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whew, what can i say? i have to practice more, though. not all writers can be great game developers, you know... (especially one like me...)
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