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Avoid the tourists.

Basic story outline
The game starts off with Ephren heading off to rescue his comrade in arms from a unnamed enemy, effortlessly disposing whatever stands in his way. With little background to what is happening the story starts off with a enigma (which is good) after the introduction the story flashes back to a few weeks before his friends kidnapping. Waking up in a inn we learn that Ephren has returned from brokering a peace treaty with the nation of Selia on behalf of his home kingdom of Larica, from there on out Ephren travels back to the castle of Cyria. Getting into scraps with necromancers, wizards and rabbits(!?) along the way to his destination.


Character Analyse
The story touches upon the themes of friendship and the lose of loved ones, with subtle hints of Ephren having a greater purpose (chosen one?). There is a strong foreshadowing drawing upon his fathers importance and the legacy that Ephren has inherited also his affection for his mother might play a large role in his development. Other than that there was no real personality trait to set him apart from other stock rpg heros, the only notable thing I did notice was the juxtaposition in the introduction and the events that transpired beforehand. In the introduction itself Ephren is murdering citizens and guards from what I can presume is people he is acquainted with, displaying arrogance and a non caring attitude. Meanwhile in the flashbacks we see a totally opposite personality to his character, this is good for the introduction because it'll bring up questions for the player to ponder as they play through the game waiting for the "aha! I get it now!" moment to why exactly Ephren is such a dick in the future.

Meanwhile the character of Match fits in more with the older brother/mentor role for Ephren, again I did not see anything noteworthy regarding his character development but he does to come across as the most experienced character in the demo. What I did find confusing was the whole inclusion of Lance underneath the monastery.
Why add him in the players party if your going to kill him off ten minutes later?
It dosn't make that much sense to be honest with you. I did have have a problem with the two antagonists that Ephren encountered though, shortly after meeting Lathram the necromancer you head straight off to another town and battle with some dude called Roland, the thing was that they looked so similar and acted in the same villainess way I honestly thought they were the same person! Lastly I loved the inclusion of a rival type character in the demo, he didn't have a name (unless it is actually ??? which would be totally hilarious!) but I can see you drew influence with the character of Gary from the pokemon series. Smell ya later!

Good
-The foreshadowing was played out well.
-Potenial for some brillent character dynamics.
-The presentation for the introduction looks awesome.
You even added a skip intro option!

Bad
-Had identity problems with the two antagonists.
-No notable character traits with Ephren, not 100 per cent sure with Match to be honest.
-Honestly what was the point with Lance?

Score 2.5/5


Dialogue
Usually I would of dealt with this category in the characters sub-section, but with what I witnessed with regards to the NPCs this deserves its own paragrapth.


Every single maid wished me a nice day :)

My major gripe with Hero I can be associated with the npcs you converse with, almsot every single one of the bastards have just one line of dialogue with nothing important to say with regards to backstory or gameplay mechcanics (unprofessionally I didn't bother to read the tutorial). In any other game the player would bat a blind eye to this sort of thing but as the quantity of npcs number in their hundreds, you do have to question the point in their daily existence. This problem climaxes in the kingdom of Cyria, with the it's 100 odd population standing in the way between you and the castle you have to reach in order to progress... It lagged ALOT! In defense of Stedar you did add a npc that can stop the lag from happening, but you have to ask yourself from a game design point of view if this whole thing could of been avoided if you cut down on all the useless characters that had no real significance other than being just pumping up the population, I know you might of wanted to create a massive town sort of vibe but there are alternative methods that can create the same illusion.

Bad
-You really should start cutting down on the NPCs.
If not then please change some of the dialogue.

Score 1.5/5


Graphics
The graphics are all typical rtp fare from what I have seen, however the inclusion of animations to Ephren and the supporting characters really do bring them to life! The extra mile you went for detail is impressive, for example if you stand still whilst controlling Ephren you'll notice he blinks every so often. This detail also extends to the wildlife and interactive events that you participate in, no complaints on the mapping either! In fact the only negative was simply the use of the rtp, but you know what that is just my biased opinion I'm a fucking graphic whore biaacccth! so I won't knock down the score for you.

Good
-Extra care in animations and detail.
-Good use of mapping.

Bad
-Even with rtp there is always room for improvement

Score 3.5/5 (Almost at a 4 but not quite)


Gameplay
The gameplay features the use of the dbs and the typical rpg style adventure format. Chests, pushing crates, fetch quests and stocking up on items are all here. What was good game design was the use of touch encounters in dungeons and random battles on the world map, if I was to have a random battle in a cave then I would proberly switched it off in digust. But saying that the encounter rate on the world map was just right...


This was random.

There were a few twists to the formula though, the demo utilized a mission system that gave you a grade depending on how long it took you to finish a quest. However I did not know this fact and took my sweet time in visting towns and completing (non-optional?) story segments, once finishing the quest I was presented with a F grade for being lazy. Another notable thing that happend in realtime was the time of day cropping up on screen, the flaw with it though was how the whole screen turns black with the time appearing in a window box. I would suggest to get rid of the black screen and replace it with a borderless window box or somehow try using pictures because there was a many an time where I got confused if there was a cutscene taking place instead. One cool feature that cropped up once made me sat up and paid attention...


Thats right! Freedom of choice!

Presented with a good and evil dilemma I ended up choosing to aid the peasants, however I do have to question why they are wearing turbans. Are you making a polictical statement on the Wests generalisation of the middle east? I was proberly overthinking that part. There appeared to be no real consequences for my decision besides one guy telling me to piss off, I would suggest that you add more of these scenarios because they do add more variety to the rpg template but obviously add some significant consequence other than having one angry church goer telling me off.

Good
-The Mission system is a nice touch.
-Nice breaks in the formula with regards to exploration.

Bad
-Relies too much on the tried and tested rpg template.
-Needs more consequences for your actions.
-The time of day pop up is confusing.

Score 3/5


Overall
This was actually pretty enjoyable, however I wouldn't say this game is for me per say. But I can see how it can appeal to some other players, if you like to play a classical rpg with sweet animations and some interesting mechanics then this would proberly be suited for you... Just beware of the NPCs.

Final Score 3/5 (This review will be revised once the game has been completed)

Posts

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Good review, agree with the bad dialogue NPC part. I am surprised there was no mention of the unfitting music that came in randomly (some anime crazy jrock that abruptly came into the intro destroying the atmosphere or any tension the audience was supposed to feel).
Oh man, I took a note of that as well. Have to admit the music montage at the beginning provides a really weird contrast compared to the rest of the demo, there was like five songs in the introduction alone.
Thanks for the review! I'll keep everything you said in mind next time I crack it open and work more.

author=Darken
Good review, agree with the bad dialogue NPC part. I am surprised there was no mention of the unfitting music that came in randomly (some anime crazy jrock that abruptly came into the intro destroying the atmosphere or any tension the audience was supposed to feel).


author=StarSkipping
Oh man, I took a note of that as well. Have to admit the music montage at the beginning provides a really weird contrast compared to the rest of the demo, there was like five songs in the introduction alone.


Oops. Tales of Vesperia music for the loss... I wasn't really sure what to with intro music, so that's what it ended up being. Should I stick with something like two themes? I kinda wanted an epic track playing during certain parts but finding epic rpg music isn't exactly all that easy. Thanks for letting me know though!
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
The average of 3.5, 3, and 1.5 is 2.6666: closer to 2.5 then to 3? I thought the game was pretty good but 2.5 seems more adequate, to me, as an overall score than 3.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
He rounded up. : )
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
Allright, the risk is : where is the rating going, if every one "rounds up" this way?
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7633
author=chana
Allright, the risk is : where is the rating going, if every one "rounds up" this way?

Exactly half a star.
author=chana
Allright, the risk is : where is the rating going, if every one "rounds up" this way?


You're looking too much into it.
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
I don't know, to me 2.5 is different from 3, and 2.5 id definitely not bad! (I've also just seen, going through the games, quite "absurd" ratings.)
benos
My mind is full of fuck.
544
The maids are the Hero I versions of nurse joy and officer Jenny, they are everywhere. the theory of them they were cloned.
It seems NPC dialogue is going to get a revamp next release X)

And the 2.5/3 discrepancy doesn't bother me personally. It's just a little beta demo with a chunk of story and some areas to play around in :)
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5363
Uh, the average of 2.5 (story), 3 (gameplay) and 3.5 (visuals) is 3. He didn't include NPC Dialogue in his final score, which makes perfect sense, because as he said, it's really part of story.

This is a nice, thorough review. And the game looks like a pretty good game, from reading the review. I might try it out.
author=LockeZ
Uh, the average of 2.5 (story), 3 (gameplay) and 3.5 (visuals) is 3. He didn't include NPC Dialogue in his final score, which makes perfect sense, because as he said, it's really part of story.

This is a nice, thorough review. And the game looks like a pretty good game, from reading the review. I might try it out.


Thanks for stopping by :)
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