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This Gave Up Being Serious

  • wltr3565
  • 07/25/2013 06:16 AM
Seeing kaduki artworks often make me stay away from the game... Since they're used very often! Kinda bored to see them again and again. I even underestimated this game at the start. Well, seeing the game is featured by RMN and even a friend of mine played this, I've thought to give this a shot. Of all matters, yes, I underestimated this game. I had a good time enjoying this! Doesn't mean it's off from some faults, probably. In fact, one major thing pissed me.

Let's look at our first protagonist. No, not our self-conscious hero Falk. Give our heroine, Fate, a chance first! She's a masculine, cold-hearted angel that got the spotlight first. The intro gives a serious vibe about her past venture, before the game starts. Then everything changes as we look at our expectant hero, Falk, and Tash, the boastful damsel, playing (read: fighting) each other. Tash fades out of existence and while Falk and his other friend Cindy strives to troubleshoot this, Tash herself wants to fix her anomaly together with the cold Fate.

Random tutorial people need more attention.

Presentation of the story is a drastic change from the intro; It's fleshed out by the abundance of quirky characters! Their interaction upon each other is very funny that my tummy hurts from laughing! Like Tash hid her evidence away, Cindy's passion over cokes, Nix's awesomeness, and many more. At the same time, that's the normal reaction you can expect as you meet those characters. Believable, and at the same time, full blown odd. The result is I don't take the plot too seriously. The game doesn't really want to be serious anyway, since it is what it has given up.

The combat in this game is in its bare bones, a simplistic form of sideview traditional turn-based battle system. It proved it's fun, however. The normal battle feels lack of strategy at start, where mashing your space bar is enough to attain victory. As the game progresses, those random critters show some trouble beneath them. Thanks to its simple to approach battle system, quick pace of battle, and a great choice of battle soundtrack, the normal battle is enjoyable. The small amount of the enemies' HP does contribute greatly to the quick pace, making the most mindless encounter a passable drag, at worst.

For Coke!

New skills are attained by investing in respective characters' skill tree. Each investment worths for its use. The interface and accessibility (switching characters while in the menu with Q and W keys) are pretty dreaded, with the difficulty of reading things like the skill's name and effect. I find it hard to glance at the skill's name! Alas, upgrading isn't hard. Their use is evident in combat. Skills attainable differs between characters, of course. Each character has their own sets of build for them. Isn't much, but they have quality, and that's very crucial.

The boss battles are very worth to note about. They really need some strategy to beat and not frustrating in terms of length, simultaneously. A boss nuking all the members while his mobs bully you? Paralyze him! You can just do it. Another boss regenerates its HP? Burn him as he writhes in heat! The fact that bosses are afflictable with some status ailments is very welcome for the boss fights alongside elemental nuking. Even if you lose, you don't have to watch their cutscene over again. The game can let you retry the fight with your used items intact! It relieves frustration from fights.

Innkeepers don't usually read books... Do they?

If you want to pay attention to the interface, the windows are very simple; black, frameless window, of all things. But it adds to its simplicity and intituitivity of the interface. A simple example to look good without being too flashy. The menu interface is ye olde layout as we see everywhere. A little boring, but at least it's easy to access. But of the entire menu, the skill tree menu and the quest menu are to mention for their difficulty to read. I've covered about the skill tree menu. The quest menu, I can say that it's a hassle to navigate. You have to confirm which one to see the progress? Why can't we read it at the empty right side? The progresses are written from the top of the screen with little fonts too. That is pretty inconvenient.

As for the areas, each place are vibrant with details. Haystacks, running children, visible loots on the road, and much more. Each place doesn't feel the same. They're filled with weird NPCs too, worth the time to interact with them. Ranging from random tutorial people to very realistic people which complaints when you talk to them. Even the party members react from their oddness! You'll crave to search the entire town just to see their weird babblings.

But to mention the game's progression, I feel it's pretty linear. It's true that you can backtrack. But I can't goof off to another place that I want till further away. Feels like the game locks my freedom of goofing around. I see that it's related to the story, but to safe areas? Isn't it fine for me to wander around there?

Impending doom can be as bad as this...

Still, the dungeons are very fun, and the most notable element is their variety. The puzzles in the dungeon don't look the same. They have their own mechanics to follow. There's a dungeon that's about pulling switches. Another one is to push boulders. More of them involves you to use some of Gummi's awesome gadgets. The gadgets add variety of what you can do, and they do work! One of Gummi's gadgets can let you zip through faster than what you can be. You can hit some switches far away with one of them too. A very satisfying experience as you use them and hail through the puzzles with your wits.

Not to miss is the sidequests. I did tell you how (not too) horrid is the quest menu. The sidequests, as you can expect, particularly about fetching something and beat some butt around. Most of them have worthy rewards and does have an interesting, err, humorous background. Buying a kid a teddy bear, fetch some rare items for new skills, and robbing a snobby girl's house... They worth not only the rewards, but the interaction they have. Some quests are problematic, even confusing to progress. After all, you don't have to do it to clear the game! And if you rant about traveling between places, a fast traveling facility will be available as you progress the game. Rest assured!

Sadly, the characters use RTP and kaduki graphics, mostly, with some ripped sprites. The use isn't bad, even wonderful. But a shame that the game should be able to flesh its personality even more with custom graphics. But face it, it's out of the developer's reach. Nevertheless, the places are pretty, complete with weather effects (even still apply in battles!). They hold good details too, like a book-reading NPC and some cracks in an empty house. They're pleasant to look at. Each area feels distinct too, thanks to varying environments.

The use of the soundtracks is favorable as well. The battle theme used fits very well with the game's light hearted presentation. Dungeon themes support their respective places' feel. Most soundtracks fit with the situation, so you'll rarely feel they're out of place.

For the thing that I hate the most about this game, I really hate the cliffhanging ending! I'm fine about cliffhanging endings, but I didn't get my deserved finale battle! Only as I enter after I'm done with sidequests, then... It ends. It feels like the game isn't complete yet! Now we're expected to wait for the sequel, or rather, the second volume of their saga...

In roughly 15 hours of gameplay, the game brings enjoyment as the game gives a lighthearted feeling rather than being heavily serious. Those 15 hours are worth it, but to not play this yet is an option too, as we wait for the entire saga to be fully completed and we can savor the entirety without any delay.

Score: 3.5 / 5


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Thank you so much for the wonderful review!
In all honesty, I wanted to add a final boss, but I couldn't see how It'd fit in. The split between Serathium and The Isle seemed like the most convenient place to make the split. So, technically, there is a duo final boss... I guess? :P
But oh wells, that's certainly not happening with the sequel and I'm really pleased I can work with the brilliant comments and feedback made here.
I really appreciate it! :)
We pretty much have the same review. xD

Yeah this game didn't win me over on the story, but the cliffhanger is what save this game in a way. The last scene where everyone gets together, and decides to go Serathium is really when the game truly starts.

The fact that the game is 15 hours long if you play casually is proof of that. The only way to make this better is to re-release the whole game with both parts. Unless there's a third part to this story.
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