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Here There Be Dragons

  • pianotm
  • 08/07/2018 07:16 AM
  • 240 views
Name: War of Two Worlds

Developer: MarkC

Story: You play as Kersh, a young orphan living in the village of Mika with your friends, Tristan and Griffit. Accepting a wager from Griffit's friend, Cam, you gather a group of people to visit a remote island called Dragon's Hive. There you find an egg that could be the last living dragon. Fearing the repercussions of the ancient war led to the apparent extinction of the dragons, Kersh is banished from Mika and is now pursued by agents that want to use the egg for their own, nefarious schemes.


Judging by your facechip, you're twelve.


Writing: The story takes its time, ensuring careful character and plot development that's quite compelling at times. It's a neat story, but admittedly the writing has some pretty major faults. Dialog tends to drag and repeat itself, long outstaying its welcome. Although the game has a classic feel, the story is poorly paced, favoring excessive banter and pointless exposition. Many of the details make no sense. The War of Two Worlds is an event that occurred 1000 years ago, yet it's so fresh in the memory of the people, a civil war seems like nothing. Yes, the game actually says that in the opening scenes. People know and talk about the fact that the whole reason for the war was because people saw the dragons, who they lived in peace with, as a hindrance to technological development. These same people become murderous savages when they see a dragon egg. Also, things that should be common knowledge are a complete mystery to the main characters. If you want something to be mystery, at least come up with something less common than “gemstone”, and if you carry a sword, I promise that the notion of a double bladed sword isn't rocket science!

Virtually nothing is done with dragon egg except talk about it. It's the absolute definition of an useless MacGuffin. It's the reason the soldiers are attacking you. It's the reason you're traveling all over the place. It doesn't seem to serve any other purpose in the story. Granted, I'm only at Mayfield, so maybe it'll hatch at a relevant point, but absolutely nothing has been done with it to make it relevant to the story. It's literally just an asshole magnet taking up space in your inventory. The only story it provides is people talking about it and plotting around it. We don't see Kersh wonder how he should handle it. We don't even see an effort made to take care of it. All anyone does is occasionally show it around. Should we maybe learn about dragons? Well, they go to Balthazar and he basically tells them dragons aren't really extinct. Really? No effort to do some research? I hate it when this super important story element ends up being nothing more than an inventory slot! Can I delete it from my inventory? I'm pretty sure the game wouldn't know, or care.

Characterizations are very well done. Although the story isn't very original and drags quite a bit, it is at least compelling and it's easy to care about the main characters. The characters that join your party are the interesting ones. All of them seem to have tragic backstories, which can get dull, but it's pretty easily explained by the civil war, although, I'm not sure this actually is a civil war. Based on the descriptions, it seems like most nations just don't have an army, and the nation of Marnek just decided to take over, one day. The story is good, but it is in desperate need of editing, revising, and polishing. Surprisingly, none of the problems really hurt the story too much. If you can get past the cutscenes, which vary from overly talkative to excessively obnoxious, the story is worth following.


10-15 minutes in, first battle, and the game still won't shut up!
WOULD YOU PLEASE LET ME PLAY???


Gamplay: It's a straightforward JRPG with random encounters, leveling, and fairly basic magic system. Encounters are turn-based and very well balanced. Unfortunately, it's mostly a button masher, with only the bosses offering any real variety in combat. That's not too much of the problem except that random encounters get really annoying really quickly. The encounter rate often becomes Final Fantasy VI and VIII levels of annoying. Although this is a JRPG, it doesn't allow exploration. The only places you can visit are places you've already been and places the plot immediately requires you to go. This prevents you from wandering aimlessly, uncertain where to go, but makes the game pretty railroady. As much as I hate it when a game doesn't give clear instructions and forces you to wander whiled doing a plot essential quest, I think I prefer that to a game that doesn't allow you to explore.

This game has a very nice mechanic in the form of the alchemist. Monsters drop a number of items that can be crafted into useful weapons, items, and accessories, and additionally, some equipment can be upgraded. Also...fishing minigame, incoming.

Graphics: They're very nice, although I'm not sure where they're from. There does seem to be an issue with several of the area tiles. Mountains don't seem to line up very well, leading to noticeable tiling errors making the tile grid visible wherever the mountains are found. Otherwise, the mapping is really great. The towns look absolutely amazing, though they tend to have a very repetitive layout. The sprites look great, although that victory pose in combat looks a bit...eh...umm...awkward is a good word. It's literally the walking sprite facing down with the arm flipping up and down. Is this some sort of strange cult salute? Looks like it could be. The body is stock still with the arm going up and down like one of those waving Neko Cat toys.



Your definition of "pub" greatly differs from mine...


Music: It all fits very nicely. I'm not sure where it's from, and I can't really speculate, but has a very distinct Nintendo sound to it. I'm sure I recognize some of this, but I don't know where I've heard it.

Glitch:I found just one glitch. In the inn in Winding, if you stay the night outside of advancing the plot, the game plays the inn music, hiccoughs, and plays it a second time. I was afraid I had hit an infinite loop.

Conclusion: For all of its problems, the game is mostly good, and absolutely worth your time. You can do a lot worse than War of Two Worlds, and giving it some thought, yes, I would recommend it. It's interesting, even if it drags a bit. The gameplay choices are all mostly good ones. In spite of the obnoxious random encounters, they are very well balanced and I have no issues with combat (although those salamanders giving two different statuses is pretty excessive.). JRPG fans will probably enjoy this.

Posts

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Frogge
"nothing can beat the power of gay"?
6460
I lost it at the pub's interior. Good review tim!
Actually, the game does get around to explaining why the dragons are important, but it takes the game over 20 hours to get around to that point. Sort of like it takes around 30 hours to reach the point in the game where you actually get the ability to change your party members.

And one of the party members your forced to take and use in this game is an attempted rapist. Or he probably would have attempted to rape the woman in question if he hadn't been caught before things could get that far.

And, I suppose it does raise an interesting question about the morals/ethics of the heroes if they'd allow such a person to join their party.
Let me get this straight: You wouldn't increase your chances of saving the world just because of one - not even completed - rape?
You wouldn't increase your chances of saving the world just because of one - not even completed - rape?


There are multiple reasons why I don't want Siddon around. So, I'm just going to list the bullet points in no order of particular importance.

  • He's guilty of backstabbing the heroes on three separate occasions

  • He's an attempted rapist

  • The woman he attempted to rape is another member of the party

  • And he's tried to kill the heroes on at least one occasion

  • And he shares the same element and thus spells with another member of the party so he doesn't bring anything interesting or unique to the team
That's a lot to deal with, but still doesn't matter if he saves or helps to save the world, right? I mean: You could still punish or even kill him after the world has been saved.
I seriously doubt the party is going to kill him after the world is saved. If anything, my best hope is that he's forced to sacrifice himself for the greater good at some point.
Well, the world would still be saved then and the woman still wouldn't be raped. Could be worse.
And he forgot to mention that his reason for attacking the woman in question is because he was pissed off at her husband for demoting him.
Emo badass who used to murder innocents in the name of the empire wants to redeem himself? Welcome aboard!

Guy with past sexual misconduct? Get out!

I kid, of course.


Also, nicely written review, Piano!
I mean, personally, if I had a party of heroes and one of them attacked the other (or attempted to attack the other) while they were allies on the same side, making that other character feel unsafe, and was a traitor to the group three times I think I'd boot them out and go hire a mercenary to take their place.

Just saying that some asshole who has stabbed us in the back a few times attempting to rape a member of the group who has been loyal the whole time... I think I know who I'd kick the fuck outta my gang. No-one is irreplaceable.

Besides, from the sounds of it you get more than four characters so booting one out wouldn't cause a problem when it comes to gameplay, unless they were stupidly broken, but even then, fuck that noise.


All of that aside, good review piano. I appreciate that someone is going around giving some of the older games some love. I haven't played this game in a while but I remember it being a good one when I did (though I stopped playing it after a few hours for some reason).
Emo badass who used to murder innocents in the name of the empire wants to redeem himself?

I'm not even sure Siddon wants to redeem himself. Since he only joins up with the party after realizing that he'll never be accepted back into Marnek. Because of this, I'm more of the opinion that Siddon only offers to team up with the heroes in order to get petty revenge. And while their is a short bit where Siddon offers to let Kersh and company kill him. It's pretty obvious that Kersh and company don't have the backbone to kill someone who's merely asking for it.

After all, this is the same group of heroes that allows one of Marnek's commanding generals to live. Only requiring him to promise that he'll never get in their way ever again.

Besides, from the sounds of it you get more than four characters so booting one out wouldn't cause a problem when it comes to gameplay, unless they were stupidly broken, but even then, fuck that noise.

You get access to eight playable characters if you include Siddon. So, if he was thrown out of the party you'd still have access to seven characters. And as I mentioned previously he shares a spell list with another member of the team which makes him even more disposable.

All of that aside, good review piano.

I kind of wish he'd had finished the game before doing this review, but I can understand why someone wouldn't do that in this case. After all, this game is readily over 20 hours in length. And only gets longer if you want to go chasing after all of the best weapons and accessories. And gets absolutely absurd if you want to devote yourself to farming large amounts of stat boosting items.

(though I stopped playing it after a few hours for some reason).

Probably because the game features a really tiresome amount of backtracking. This is especially bad in the early game, but even continues in the late game as well. Add in the fact that the game has a nasty habit of repeating itself and your left with game that suffers from really bad pacing at times. And, it's especially annoying when the game repeats plot points that were just discussed less then five minutes ago. Something that I've actually complained about on multiple occasions during my Let's Play.
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