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Here There Be Dragons

  • pianotm
  • 08/07/2018 07:16 AM
  • 820 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"?
7278
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.
I'm currently playing the game for the second time (my first playthrough was years ago), and I noticed something during the detective side quest. Lorelai's investigations concerning Siddon (third entry) offer a different perspective on past events:

Lorelai says: "I guess there was some sort of attraction between them (Siddon and Sarisa) and then... ya know..." This means: Sarisa didn't want to cheat on Drake (she was most likely afraid of him even then), but she was attracted to Siddon nonetheless. If they hadn't been "caught in the act" by Granheim, Sarisa probably wouldn't have struggled against Siddon's advances. Yes, the game is vague, maybe even contradictory when it comes to this "affair", but the game doesn't provide anything that would support the "attempted rape theory". Siddon is still an egoistical traitor and a scumbag (he mainly wanted to sleep with Sarisa to get back at Drake, who - after his coronation - demoted Siddon in favor of Granheim), yet he, at least, isn't a sex offender.


Another question entirely is if someone who saved the world should be allowed to rape as many women as he wants. Daring question in this metoo age. :D






It's pretty clear from Sarisa's conversation about this topic with Siddon after he joins up that these advances weren't appreciated. And, while saying he's a potential rapist might be going a bit too far. Reducing Siddon's crimes down to sexual harassment doesn't make him that much better in my opinion.



And Siddon's response to Sarisa telling him that she doesn't think she'll ever be able to trust him again doesn't make things better either.

Siddon is still an egoistical traitor and a scumbag


Well, at least there's something we can agree on.
I have not played this, but from what I'm reading here, Siddon response to Sarisa is not giving me any reason to trust him.

Does he really back stab the heroes three times though? I mean sure he could change dramatically at some moment in the game as an believable excuse to look past it, but otherwise what's the excuse to have him part of the group?
Does he really back stab the heroes three times though?


He only manages to technically back stab the heroes a single time, but he does get in their way in order to aid the villains on several other occasions.

I mean sure he could change dramatically at some moment in the game as an believable excuse to look past it


The problem is that Siddon never really does change. He just finally comes to accept that Drake and his minions are never going to allow him to rejoin the fold. As he such he offers to let the party kill him for his misdeeds, but for some unfathomable reason Kersh decides to offer Siddon a chance at redemption because they think he has really changed his ways at this point.

what's the excuse to have him part of the group?


That's my question as well, since Siddon really doesn't bring anything to the table besides a lot of baggage.
author=thesacredlobo
Does he really back stab the heroes three times though?
He only manages to technically back stab the heroes a single time, but he does get in their way in order to aid the villains on several other occasions.

I mean sure he could change dramatically at some moment in the game as an believable excuse to look past it


The problem is that Siddon never really does change. He just finally comes to accept that Drake and his minions are never going to allow him to rejoin the fold. As he such he offers to let the party kill him for his misdeeds, but for some unfathomable reason Kersh decides to offer Siddon a chance at redemption because they think he has really changed his ways at this point.

what's the excuse to have him part of the group?


That's my question as well, since Siddon really doesn't bring anything to the table besides a lot of baggage.


Yeah does not sound that well thought-out to me from first glance. But this type of character when done right can leave the player with a great experience. So if Siddon had a much stronger motive and development to turn from an enemy to an ally it would have made a huge difference I'm sure.

But, by the sound of pianotm review about the 1000 years ago war, it seems there a few parts of the game that weren't well thought-out.

Still it sounds like it has a few charms and character dialogue is a strong point. Is that all correct?
But, by the sound of pianotm review about the 1000 years ago war, it seems there a few parts of the game that weren't well thought-out.

Oddly enough they do explain why humans have fought so many wars with the dragons over the years. The reason for this is because who ever can gain control of most of the dragons will become the Dragon God and have the ability to usurp Aura and become the supreme god that rules over all of creation in the game's universe. In order to prevent this people have waged war on the dragons time and time again in order to make sure there would never be enough dragons around for anyone person to control in order to meet the requirements for this power.

Still it sounds like it has a few charms and character dialogue is a strong point. Is that all correct?

The character bits are rather good early on, but the game really starts to hit the drag shoot after a while. So much so, that I actually had one person tell me that they couldn't even watch my Let's Play for this game anymore.

And this is a really long game too. I'm over 75 parts into this game at this point and I'm still not done. And each of those episodes is generally between 20 to 30 minutes in length.

And the game has two dumb stats. You don't actually get any benefit from raising your mind or defense in this game.
author=thesacredlobo
But, by the sound of pianotm review about the 1000 years ago war, it seems there a few parts of the game that weren't well thought-out.
Oddly enough they do explain why humans have fought so many wars with the dragons over the years. The reason for this is because who ever can gain control of most of the dragons will become the Dragon God and have the ability to usurp Aura and become the supreme god that rules over all of creation in the game's universe. In order to prevent this people have waged war on the dragons time and time again in order to make sure there would never be enough dragons around for anyone person to control in order to meet the requirements for this power.

Still it sounds like it has a few charms and character dialogue is a strong point. Is that all correct?

The character bits are rather good early on, but the game really starts to hit the drag shoot after a while. So much so, that I actually had one person tell me that they couldn't even watch my Let's Play for this game anymore.

And this is a really long game too. I'm over 75 parts into this game at this point and I'm still not done. And each of those episodes is generally between 20 to 30 minutes in length.

And the game has two dumb stats. You don't actually get any benefit from raising your mind or defense in this game.

Oh I see, that does sound better thought out then my first impression. Still I'd need to see it in the game itself to know if it played out good. Did you think the reasons were played out well?

Sounds like the game could do with more work with both mechanics and at least Siddon's character arc development, from the impression I'm getting it sounds like it has more cons than pros overall, but still has some good points, which is good at least.

I do not like the sound of heavy amounts of backtracking though, is it really bad in that aspect?
Did you think the reasons were played out well?


It felt a bit sloppy in my opinion. Since, apparently the main method of learning about the Dragon God is from reading an ancient texts/scroll that are just randomly laying about in Aura Forest and other areas in the game. Which raises all kinds of question about how these texts have managed to survive over the centuries. After all, these ancient documents appear to be written on regular old paper and are merely carried all over the world by being blown about by the wind and what have you. At least, if they were comprised of stone or something like the poneglyphs from "One Piece" I could understand how they've managed to survive. As it stands, this feels like a really bad plot contrivance.

I do not like the sound of heavy amounts of backtracking though, is it really bad in that aspect?


Yes. It does try to lesson the strain of this issue later on in the game by allowing you to quick travel through enemy filled areas you've already cleared if their isn't anything plot related going on. But even so, you'll spend large swaths of this game traveling back and forth between certain towns and forests.
author=thesacredlobo
Did you think the reasons were played out well?
It felt a bit sloppy in my opinion. Since, apparently the main method of learning about the Dragon God is from reading an ancient texts/scroll that are just randomly laying about in Aura Forest and other areas in the game. Which raises all kinds of question about how these texts have managed to survive over the centuries. After all, these ancient documents appear to be written on regular old paper and are merely carried all over the world by being blown about by the wind and what have you. At least, if they were comprised of stone or something like the poneglyphs from "One Piece" I could understand how they've managed to survive. As it stands, this feels like a really bad plot contrivance.

I do not like the sound of heavy amounts of backtracking though, is it really bad in that aspect?


Yes. It does try to lesson the strain of this issue later on in the game by allowing you to quick travel through enemy filled areas you've already cleared if their isn't anything plot related going on. But even so, you'll spend large swaths of this game traveling back and forth between certain towns and forests.


Yeah I agree completely actually, stones would work best. Even if the paper was reproduced many times over the years, or that forest is enchanted and can somehow protect the scrolls to live that long, even an idea like that would've work way better then just it blew by the wind and remains there for huge amount of years. But I guess the developer must've overlooked that then.

I have played games before though where I accepted magic scrolls as ancient text, but they were more game mechanics than related to plot devices.

A little bit of backtracking in games I can put up with if there is a good reason to backtrack, like proper new content, hidden rare items/equipment, new side quests or optional bosses maybe? But is none of that in this game then?

Thanks though for giving me some insight and views about it from a nearly complete LP experience with the game! :)
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