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A Beautiful Demo But Many Errors And Bugs

  • Dyluck
  • 10/24/2017 01:20 AM
  • 462 views
Numina is an RPG that was made in German, and also translated to English. The translation is reasonably good, but obviously not done by a native English speaker. Therefore, it's really difficult to judge the story and characters fully, since the essence of the dialogue is sometimes lost.

Story/Characters:

One of the main features of the story is that you, the player, is a separate entity that talks to the protagonist, which is a pretty interesting concept. You will often get to choose from some verbal responses, which will influence the hero's dialogue, as well as your bond with him. Sometimes, the best/worst response will be obvious, but as mentioned, a better translation will be needed to fully get a more accurate "tone" of some of the responses.

The characters are hard to judge, once again, without a more precise translation of their dialogue. Nothing really stands out at first, and the main characters are your typical kids from a small village that somehow fight way above their pay grade. There does seem to be strong emotional bonds between them, and themes of dealing with loss was interesting. Sarah's reason for joining seemed a bit flimsy though. I did like Cassandra, and I think she brought a more interesting dynamic to the conversations.

The overall story does seem fairly intriguing, and does leave you curious to learn more about the true nature of the player's role in the story.

Gameplay:

The battle system is the standard turn based fighting, but with the added gimmick of some timed button presses for some skills. This was a pretty good feature, and made battles a little more interactive. Hopefully there will be a few more variety of actions/button presses in the final version. The battle menu looked nice as well. Characters also use a shared MP pool, which is tied in with part of the story.

The dungeons seemed appropriate in length and had a reasonable balance of monsters, loot, and small activities. However, there's a lot of passibility errors and it's often too dark (more on this later). The forest areas are also way too dense, and you can't tell where you can walk. It's often arbitrary if a same tree graphic can be walked under or blocks your path.

It's mentioned that the bond between the player and character will have an impact on gameplay. I saw only very little impact so far, but hopefully the finished version will have more. Most of the sidequests were fine and I liked the quest log with picture to remind you of the location. I didn't get the point of upgrading equipment though. Aren't they just wasted every time I find/buy new equipment?

The biggest problem with this demo is that it is full of errors and bugs. In general there are a lot of passibility errors with tiles that should/shouldn't be walked on. There's also a lot of visual errors when transitioning between maps. Often you'll find errors if you go back one screen or explore off the main path. The game even crashes just from using Escape in battle! This game needs a lot more testing before any more releases.

Extensive Bug Report Below (mostly in order):

Intro
-title page "Support Us" is url not found
-when you start playing, you can walk up the wall/entrance
-you can walk through ppl lying on the ground
-can't talk to first char you meet in intro

First Mountain
-if you head all the way to the left, the text is not translated
-first shrub/tree looks same height as you, but you walk through it
-scene were Aura gets carried, if you got to the stairs first, you yell "Aura!" without turning back to face her
-when you climb back up from underground and reach the temple, if you turn around and leave, you'll miss the cutscene, but the fancy animation will play for the next scene, which won't make sense


Leaving the Mountain
-after you get Short Sword, it's still on the ground
-in the area with the 2 wolves next to a light and a gazeebo, you can walk north off the cliff right to stairs and back into the cave
-game crashed when i tried to use "Escape" in battle

Aulin Village
-when you first reach the village, if you turn around and leave, the game crashes
-when you walk from one screen to another, especially if you are on one side of the map, and you end up on a different side of a map, your other party members will briefly appear on the old side of the map
-german text if you try to leave town right in the morning
-the item in the barrels, i was able to get it from outside the wall
-the chicken inside the fences sometimes walks on top of the right fence
-when you can finally leave the village, if you go right back, it becomes brighter
-when you go back to your room, it asks you in german text, I assume if you want to rest?

Shimmering Hollows
-when you leave south of the village, it awkwardly cuts to sky for a moment before cutting to the world map
-in Shimmering Hollows, the grappling hook/exclamation mark shows up even when you walk on some tiles near the right spot, but not on the exact spot
-at the start of battle, sometimes the word "erschlag" appears
-Inspect always shows enemy at full HP
-the note that talks about the crystal armor has some mistakes
-if you use taunt on a crystal, strange things happen. One time it died. Another time it keeps flashing red.
-medium potion doesn't disappear after you pick it up
-when you go to a new map, the previous music continues for too long and the new music starts too late
-outside hollows, top right bridge, i can walk across even when the bridge is gone

The Inn
-after the dream at the inn, if you go up the stairs and come back down, the lights turn on and your friends are gone
-in some scenes, your text box just appears and then auto disappears too quickly to read anything
-why doesn't my HP recover after sleeping?

Forest
-painting of a frail woman event is on the floor and not on the wall, so i don't have to face the wall to examine it
-blocking bees when they attack doesn't work
-pull a sword or something out of a stone, but didn't get an item or anything

Costal Tower
-same grappling hook bug as before, but this time you become permanently passable through walls
-diary notes have mistakes and repeats

Caelum
-in some of the houses, the stairs go nowhere
-the inkeeper text is in german
-dangerous poisons book is on the floor, not on bookshelf. Same with all other bookshelves at academy
-blue orb statue in academy is german
-when Purists appear, if you walk back inside, it snows inside
-german text when vincent sneezes
-church altar and treasure room text is in german
-after using statue to activate secret passage down to sewers, there's an invisible event 2 tiles south of the sewer entrance that resets a switch/variable or something
-when you enter sewers, the lighting effects don't change until after fade in (this probably happens in other places too, but i didn't bother to note it)
-when Arc joins, the hole in the floor has wrong passable
-after leaving Caelum, if you press Enter on any random spot on the world map, you teleport back to Caelum


Issues:
-graphics are nice, but no need for everything to be so dark
-too many lights flying around and animations happening and sprites moving fast all at once in some scenes. Can't tell who is shooting/casting what at who.
-lots of passibility errors: walking on walls, and can't walk on some ground tiles
-just show character names right away so it's less confusing about who's talking
-the first battle doesn't tell you anything about the timing mechanic, even though i had tutorial on
-I can't switch to Raph to break Barriers right away, so there's no strategy with that. I just have to wait until his turn to use his Axe skill
-stop putting enemies right next to entrance/exit of maps, especially in Shimmering Hollows
-in settings, text speed 9 is normal, and 10 is instantaneous. Text speed 1 takes like 1 minute to read 1 single text box. Nobody needs text this slow. All the speed settings from 1 to 7 is unnecessary.
-party members walking around is kinda nice, but sometimes they walk over npcs you're talking to or walk or walls or strange things
-too many long bright white flashes against dark backgrounds and settings
-forest maps are too dense, hard to see and can't tell where you can walk
-when you are all alone in forest of memories, there are too many enemies per encounter and battles take too long


Graphics/Audio:

I haven't really played RMXP games, so I can't fully tell which resources are RTP or custom. For the most part, it has some nice looking mapping, what I assume are some custom weather effects, and some beautiful animations in cutsecenes, which all look very good. The indoor houses looked good as well. Some of the major scenes were especially cinematic, with custom anmiations of moving objects, like the last scene in Caelum. The main menus and the battle menus also look and feel very nice.

Some of the smaller cutscenes were a bit confusing through, like when people shoot spells at each other suddenly without "casting" so it's hard to see who's doing what. Some scenes are also cut weird though, like with people moving way faster than normal, or suddenly doing quick actions without focusing attention on them first, and like the first shot of the home village for 2 seconds before cutting away.

One problem is that the brightness differences are too extreme. Some places like dungeons and night scenes are WAY too dark, that you can barely see anything and strains the eyes to explore. Then there's the opposite, like the first Mountain full of white fog and clouds. It was ok at first, but when other things started glowing and flashing all over, it was just too much piercing white light filling up the screen. Some scenes also tend to flash to a blank white screen for too long, which is bad for the eyes. There also a huge contrast sometimes when the locations are so dark, but has a few objects emitting sharp white light, or some really bright animations on dark backgrounds.

I did pass the brightness test at the beginning, but even if I didn't, honestly no one wants to adjust their monitor settings every time they play the game.

The regular battle theme was good and music was pretty nice in some places, but I found some of them to be just atmospheric, but not melodic enough for this type of game. Along with the dark maps and eerie music, especially in the beginning, it feels like it's trying to be a horror game rather than a JRPG type of game. Maybe it's just my own preference, but I feel like some melodic/adventurous music would be better here.

Summary:

This demo so far looks visually beautiful, but has some issues with brightness/darkness. The story and characters are fairly good, with some unique 4th wall breaking, but needs a more precise English translation for a better experience. The battle system has a few interesting timed button press mechanics so far. However, the biggest concern is that there are way too many errors and bugs that need to be fixed, and much better testing needs to be done for future releases.

I will not be giving a score for this demo.