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A pleasant experience, marred only slightly by a few hiccups

  • Muninn
  • 07/11/2012 02:19 AM
Lost Dreams: The last Magus is an RPGMaker XP game produced by the team of adeleineko, Bart_Sol, and VGMusic_4_LIFE.

Two thousand years after magic has been banished from the world, classmates Steve, Jake, and Lucy are given an assignment regarding the biology of the old world. To complete this assignment, they must enter the forest outside of town, take pictures of some wolves, and report on the similarities between modern-day wolves and ages-past werewolves.

Story: Somewhat interesting, though I fear the expansion of some things in the full game.

Taking just the summary above into account, Lost Dreams: The Last Magus would be a rather nice short game. A story about students completing an assignment is a nice change of pace from the usual "The fate of the entire world hangs in the balance" fare, and is quite fitting in scope for a game that only requires roughly an hour of gameplay. The Last Magus is not, however, a short stand-alone game, but the demo to a longer work that is still in development, and I could already see a few things that might trouble me about the eventual story.
- The main characters are in high school, yet are apparently just learning that magic existed long ago, given their reactions during the classroom lectures.
- The lecture scene also contains shades of "Everybody just blindly accepts that magic was EVIL, and the Main Characters alone are smart enough to question the truth of it"

The ending of the demo release may also be considered problematic by some players, although I didn't feel particularly strongly about it one way or the other. In fact, it is rather effective at making me want to play the next installment, which I'm cautiously optimistic about.

Presentation: Would be rather good if not for the constant inconsistancies.
Lost Dreams: The Last Magus is plagued by little inconsistencies. Moving to the next screen requires a button push (Except when it happens automatically). moving from the town entrance to the field outside is accomplished by moving up, but so is moving back into town from the field.

Not particularly the worst thing I found that could be put into this category, but the thing that caused me the most problems was the decision by the developers to defy the convention of indie games to use "Z/X" for "confirm/decline" and instead use "C/X".

Aside from the little inconsistencies, presentation was fairly good. The graphics were fairly average, but used well. The music was above average, and at times could even be said to be great.

Gameplay: Very problematic, unless it isn't.
I am not as well qualified to talk about the gameplay as I would like to be. I was prepared to come into this review with a rant about the massive amount of grinding required before characters are capable of surviving in the forest (reached at level 3, can be survived (in the earlier screens) around level7).
However, many of my complaints may be rendered inaccurate, as I rechecked the shops, discovering that they had several advanced equipment choices, as well as the ability to purchase special abilities (by default, characters have only an "Attack" option). Thus, my complaints shall move to the topic of how I was just barely able to afford a full set of the equipment in the shops (meaning that obtaining it would require all of the grinding anyway, but it would involve less dying for one who had been purchasing bits and pieces along the way). This equipment isn't really optional, either.

The game crashed at several (seemingly random) instances of my playthrough. The first of these errors was "Script 'FmodEx *' line 313: RuntimeError occurred.
FMOD Ex returned error 36"
I did not write down the following errors.

Final Verdict: Quite a good experience, even as a standalone game
My unfortunate experience with the random crashes and underpowered equipment aside, I had fun with this game during the times where I was properly armed for the location I was in. I'm tentatively looking forward to the full release, but even in the intervening time, this is a game worth taking a look at.