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An hour in the world of Catharsis.

  • Irili
  • 07/06/2012 10:09 PM
  • 440 views
Catharsis (demo) is an RPG set in a fantasy/steampunk world.

Story:
The demo opens with an emperor and his struggles with the neighboring country's queen and ends with a girl and her problems with fitting into a society that refuses to accept her. The dialogue suits the characters though I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's the most amazing writing I've ever seen. However, it is easy enough to gain a sense of the main character's personalities through their interactions with others and story progression is logical and easy to follow.

I enjoyed finding journals and newspapers to read throughout the demo. It provided interesting background to the story and helped to make more sense of the story as a whole. For example, the boss at the end of the demo seems completely random unless you read a particular journal.

The demo gives the player a little taste of the story, ending quite suddenly, leaving me as a player wanting more.

Graphics:
Character art is styled like the RTP so it meshes well with the default graphics. However, I mostly want to talk about the maps. They are beautiful. They are well thought out and put together, easily explorable, and rich in detail. This game is an excellent example of what parallax mapping can do for a game. That being said, there were a few places (the physician's house and one area of the mossy, underground cave as examples) where there were mistakes in the mapping that didn't get caught. Just little things to iron out before the release of the game.

I am also a sucker for good animations. And this demo had more than enough to make me happy. There were little balloon icons above the character's heads to emphasize what they were feeling, giving some conviction to their words. You saw, rather than were told that Moshi pulled a knife on some thugs. Every time Leiko pulled her pistol out, you didn't just hear it, you saw it. I love seeing this in games and I hope to see more of it in the final version of Catharsis.

Music/Sound Effects:
The music suits each environment, adding to the atmosphere. However, it's the sound effects that stand out. You hear the little clicks of machinary. You hear Leiko cocking her pistol. Dripping noises in an underground cave, howling in the distance; everything makes the scene feel more real and creates a sense of immersion.

Gameplay:
This is an RPG, so there's plenty of battling. Battles aren't the usual attack button and repeat. Skills are useful and necessary if the player wants to utilize the combo bar properly. The combo bar is a wonderful little thing that will give you random bonuses as you deal more hits to the enemy. A regular attack will only do so much; so skills (most especially multi-hit skills) are necessary if you want to level up that combo bar during battle.

That being said, I did find myself using Leiko's regular attack more often than not while using Moshi's multi-hit skills.

Exploration and treasure hunting also plays a role in this game. I was drawn to every nook and cranny, searching for every treasure chest and fighting extra enemies to get the blocked off treasures (which are totally worth it by the way).

Other Stuff: Other features of the game can also be seen in the demo. The journal system is accessible through the menu and gives the player a basic run-down of what they need to do. This is always an important feature in rpg's that have a longer run time (I'm still cursing myself for not writing down what I was doing last time I played Wild Arms 3).

There is a relationship system that purportedly effects gameplay and story. You can see this briefly in the demo where you may make one choice as to what to say to Leiko when entering the first dungeon.

The demo gives the player a peek into the equipment system. As per usual RPG, you've got weapon/head/armor equipment but then you have Devices which augment your weapons, and a slot for Books which allow characters to learn different skills. I imagine this will be especially useful later in the game for when you switch out characters but need certain skills.

What I liked:
- Balloon icons above characters heads
- Character animations
- Mapping
- Combo bar
- Journals and newspapers providing background information
- Gorgeous mapping, full of details

Overall, this is an awesome start to what will hopefully be a wonderful game. Battles are fun and interactive, don't last too long and aren't too short. The systems such as equipment, skills and relationship seem easy to use and master. The graphics are lovely and draw the player into the world and the story so far leaves me feeling intrigued.

Posts

Pages: 1
The trash monsters in the game might need some of their health reduced, while increasing their attack power on hard mode.
I don't like spending too long on random monsters, unless there a miniboss.
This isn't a huge problem at all, but I thought it might be a good idea to bring it up.
Thanks for the review! The map errors that you mentioned should be fixed up for the next release of the game.
Will the relationship system add anything new to the characters other than cutscenes?
Just curious.
author=Clareain_Christopher
Will the relationship system add anything new to the characters other than cutscenes?
Just curious.


Different endings, extra backstory for some characters, maybe some extra sidequests and other little things too
Pages: 1