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No Wonder He's Forgotten

  • Dyhalto
  • 01/28/2014 09:29 PM
  • 570 views
Preamble
Boy, did I come in with high expectations for this one.
As soon as I chose New Game, I was met with the kooky dialogue of a tongue-in-cheek storyline, a clunky but playable action battle system, and a concept which set my imagination up for a sprawling comeback tale with a Breath of Fire 2 style City Building sidequest. "I was psyched" is an understatement.
So what went wrong.....

Visual: 1/5
The use of custom graphics in an indie game is usually cause for unconditional celebration. Here, they're actually done to a fault. Sure, the sprites and BGs themselves are passable and get the job done. Problem is, there's a very limited amount of them, the effect of which bleeds over into the gameplay experience.

To make my point in a single sentence, there is only one enemy type in the entire game. As I enter the proving grounds, I begin fighting vicious blue blobs. This is the world's most famous first enemy-type in RPGs. Following tradition, I expect to fight bats, wolves, ghosts, mummies, golems, flaming skulls and fallen angels.
Instead, the next enemy type is a white blob. Then I fight red blobs, which are tougher. Gold blobs drop lots of gold, obviously. Then we're back to blue blobs again, but much stronger which I discovered via Game Over (I thought they were 1st level blobs).
And bosses.....


Instant Boss : Just Press the + Key


Audio: 4/5
The highest point of the game. The BGM is surprisingly catchy and fun. There's only a few tracks, but they're used well to foster a lively environment.
Peculiarly, there's only one sound effect throughout the entire game, and it's recycled for everything from sword slicing to sleeping at the Inn. I don't know why more effects weren't used, especially considering the abundance of supply from various RPG Maker software, but we can put that mystery alongside the decision to feature only one enemy type.

Storyline: 2.5/5
If you read the game's synopsis before playing it, you'd think you were entering a complex world of kingdom rivalry, demonic pacts, chivalry, savagery, and the legend of a man who fought against it all.
Nope.
As mentioned, the game's tone is an irreverent one, as if the novella of an introduction is just groundwork for the big gag. The first two people our king-to-be meets is a patronizing mom and pop pair who don't quite believe in his Divine Right of Kings, but join him anyway for lack of anything better to do. This tends to be the running motif as Thomas, our protagonist, sets about recruiting scattered individuals into his slowly expanding fiefdom.
But that's about where the good ends.

Slowly, after bringing in a few new citizens, the realization begins dawning that there really isn't much to the game besides this. There is no locked doorway to an apparent final dungeon, or a dreaded beast that must be slain. Once you've recruited everybody there is to recruit, you're met with a dialogue box from the creator saying "Well, you've got everybody now. That's pretty much all there is."
You can still wander around, but it's just as the message said : That's pretty much all there is. I've seen incomplete demos end on more climactic notes.

So for all the witty dialogue and zany cast of characters, like the ambiguously gay barbarian and a satanic pile of poop, it's hard to walk away with a feeling of accomplishment. There's no victorious flag raised or coronation ceremony held, no staff roll, and not even a "The End" scrawled into some corner. Phooey.

Gameplay: 1/5
Keyboard only. No joypads allowed. That irked the heck out of me, but I got over it >:(

Your weapon, when swung, has a cooldown period. Pretty normal for an ABS, but during the cooldown you're forced into a slow walk. The original intention was probably to prevent hit and run strategy abuse, but the final result is a hit and get hit in the back strategy. This is especially galling because the enemy, the only one in the game remember, has an erratic movement pattern and is often hard to hit.
With a little time, you'll develop a striking pattern to squish those blobs while taking minimal damage, but because those are the only enemies in the game, you've practically conquered it already.

Speaking of the word Weapon, it's there in the menu as one of the options, but the funny thing is, you never actually equip anything else. There are no alternatives, and the menu option stays forever inaccessible. Technically you do buy a "Golden Sword", but it's an unusable quest item, so nix that.

And for some reason, there's a button that you hold to walk. This is another one of those concepts that sent my imagination overflowing with possibilities. Would I have to use this otherwise pointless feature to navigate narrow cliffs or tread a rickety bridge? Maybe to solve a complex time-based puzzle in a castle? Nah, of course not. It's just completely useless.
At least it wasn't made into a hold-to-run button, with walk as the default speed.

Overall: 1.5/5
Contemptible as it makes me feel to say it, I liked this game better before I sat down to play it. The cheeky humor and original concept won me into the fold, but I've since walked away with a major feeling of want.