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No Potential Wasted

- Kinetic Cipher -

Concept: A story-focused 2K3 game.

Graphics: Anyone who’s not afraid to use RTP is okay in my book. Except for the battle chars, those really are awful.

Sound: Okay. Not outstanding, not bad. Just okay.

Playability: It plays like 2K3, so the field mode is fine and the battle system’s ATB is as annoying as ever.

Entertainment: Since the game is focused on story and plot development, it has a good deal of dialogue and scenes. It’s very well written and enough to keep the player interested, even though some of the scenes seemed like they dragged on longer than they should’ve. Puzzles were also good, but battles were a nuisance.

Playthrough Value: Moderately high, I’m still playing to see what happens next (lost to the pirates, though).

From the outside, this would seem like your standard issue 2K3 game. It uses the DBS and other standard features, but looks can be deceiving. From the inside, it becomes clear that it’s a very well-made standard issue 2K3 game ::). Here’s how I felt about it.
The story, which is the focus of the game, is very well done. The dialogue sounds natural and the characters are all distinct. The game explains its premise and important plot info in a way that’s easy to understand and follow. It’s not standard RPG plot #357, and it shows it through the characters and presentation of information. It creates a unique world that reveals its distinctions from the real world without overwhelming the player. I’d say this is the game’s strongest point.
The battles still feel like the typical 2K3 crap you’ve come to expect, but there’s much more to them than just mashing enter and watching bars fill up. The game offers you more options on how to fight which can make the difference between an easy battle and a visit to the “game over” screen. All the encounters are touch as well, so you can avoid fighting if you’re not up to it.
The game also features tough puzzles in its dungeons, so it’s not just walking from point A to point B. I enjoyed solving the puzzles and working my way through. Some of them really made me think! I also liked that the creator edited sprites as necessary to give the impression of what the heroes were doing (such as pushing and pulling rocks).
As before, this is a very well-made 2K3 game. The plot and dialogue are both the focus and strong points of it. It features annoying battles but balances it out with fun puzzles and plenty of incentive to keep you slaughtering your way through them. If you like RPGs in general, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t like this.