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The Chronicles of Screwing Around in Town

  • Caz
  • 07/15/2012 10:27 AM
The start of this game was actually pretty nice, as I got to choose what kind of character I wanted. Because I'm so fond of mashing things to death with my fingertips, I naturally chose the Lumbering Brute type. There were 8 other builds, all very tempting and all with their own advantages and disadvantages. I was forewarned that I'd have crap agility and I'd be about as intellectual as a brick, but I was prepared for the sake of fast battles.

The story started out in a pretty empty map outside of a house. This house was very, very small, especially when you consider how huge it was on the inside. I think the house could have been used to take up a lot more of the blank space on the exterior, and maybe a few details here or there wouldn't have gone amiss. Interior mapping wasn't quite so bad, but it was stretched out to the edges of the entire map which could have been reduced to make it feel just a bit more homely and natural.

The story took us back outside where an evil tree had popped out of the ground, and my main character inexplicably started beating it to death. I guess the prologue explained this with the whole backstory about oak trees springing up and causing evil, but it didn't really give much depth to the situation. Having not seen what these trees can really do, it was difficult to empathise with the characters and their feelings towards seeing this tree, or indeed why you would beat a tree to death. I feel that perhaps if I was given a bit more than just "they're evil and that's that," I might have understood what was really going on. During the prologue, there shouldn't have been much text to explain word for word what was going on, and instead it should perhaps show a cutscene involving a tree eating humans or something dastardly like that to really show WHY they're bad. Obviously, trees eating humans looks a little silly, so maybe something a bit more terrifying would work..

"Look out, he's got a gun!"

I was told I could go adventuring if I so wanted, or I could advance the plot as soon as possible by heading east. I headed south instead and became witness to two thugs beating an old man to death. The old man requested whiskey as his dying wish, which.. although I thought was strange at first, I'm sure I would probably also request that so props to him for a realistic way out of life. In town, I found the thugs and beat the living hell out of them. I then found a guard and told him all about it, so he went to the pub to apprehend them.. only, I had already killed them. So he walked to the stools and said, "you're coming with me!" and the invisible corpses obliged before teleporting away sneakily! Tsk, those corpses and their foul play!

"Well citizen, I went to arrest the corpses and they rolled away before I could catch them!"

Now you might be able to see in that picture a pretty little cat on the right there. Well I thought it was pretty too, so I naturally went on over to give it a petting.. when it scratched me! It actually scratched me! I looked at my health, and it had gone down by 2! I was pretty curious at this point.. I stepped over to the cat and started mashing space, constantly getting scratched and losing health, and.. yep, that's right. You can die by cat scratches. I got a "game over" because I received MORTAL WOUNDS from a cat. "Curiosity killed the cat" comes to mind, but I can't think of a way to work that around to my current situation..

I explored a bit, but came across instant "game over" screens in some places and locked doors. I chose to go to the west this time and saw some guards killing a girl. They saw me and said they were going to attack me for observing them, but instead they sort of just started to dance around me.. it was kinda weird..

"Dazzle him with your choreography, men!"

I was impressed that there were certainly a LOT of choices in this game which would affect the way people reacted to me, and in particular there were a lot of quests. Quite a few of the quests didn't really mean much to me, like "get a lizard head". In relation to the game, I wasn't quite sure where I'd even find such a thing or how rare it might be. I said yes anyway and went on my way, hoping I might find it on my travels.

I was slightly concerned that some people were joining my party without any real reason or motivations. Some girl called Lyddia pretty much threw herself at me with no given explanation, shortly followed by a guy called Gundy. I had no idea who these people were, why they were with me or what benefits having them with me would carry, but I decided to take them along for fun times anyhow.

"What do you think you're doing?! Thinking is a CRIMINAL OFFENSE!"

This was a pretty decent game, I just lost my way here and there. Sometimes I'd forget where I was meant to be going and would have nothing to remind me, so I'd have to explore everywhere. Here are some things I noticed:
- Night time didn't really do much other than close all the shops and make people go away.. I thought maybe certain people would come out at night and there'd be some rewards, or maybe it'd be bad to be out so late, but my characters just seemed to press on without sleep at all times.
- I loved how I could get EXP outside of battle by completing quests and saying things to some people. This was a really nice touch for people who wanted to go down more of a pacifistic route.
- The storyline was a bit jumpy, and the chancellor sure liked to move around a lot. He was never given much explanation for why he traveled so much, and it was a bit of a pain to keep following him around.
- Perhaps with a game as large as this with so many things to do and distract yourself with, it'd be nice to have a journal to keep your own main quest information. This would remind you where you had to go if ever you got lost like I did.
- Gundy was pretty pathetic and never got any skills, so I think it'd be nice if he actually had something going for him..

This was a really fun game though, and I would like to see the future installments of it as it was such an open game with so many routes to take. I feel that maybe some more large routes need to be put in though which would change your gameplay experience entirely and put in more replay value: maybe like joining one of two warring factions, or getting certain jobs, anything that would make you seem more important and unique as the player.

Any boss fights I came across would destroy me, too. There was a necromancer who could kill me in three turns, or a mimic which instantly obliterated me. Pretty much most battles I came across were devastating and overpowered, and I couldn't tell if they were important towards the storyline or not so I didn't really know if I could live without doing it.

Other than that, my only real issue was mapping. Most maps were pretty unrealistic or too squared off. I found that towns were mainly made up of very, very small buildings which were lined up to perfection. I just found it quite unnatural, although it did help to get a better feel of where everything was because it was so easy to remember.

I think this game deserves a 3/5 overall for what it is. I mean, it was a fun game for one which is something of a rarity with RPG Maker. I just felt it had a few issues that needed to be ironed out in future releases.


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I'm very late with this response, but thanks for the review! I made a point to go back and change some things based on your feedback - I added some new dialogue for Gundy and Lyddia so they don't just "throw themselves at you" anymore, and I also added some new dialogue to explain the chancellor's traveling.
As for the intro to the game - the oaks aren't intended to be anything more than evil, as they're just enchanted servants of Xavier. I didn't want to give too much away at the beginning so I could more easily build tension as the plot advanced. I did add a few more lines to the tutorial section, but I'm not sure if I'm going to do more with that.
On the funny bug you experienced: I just fixed it, so future players won't be able to experience that awesomeness, haha.
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