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Another's Thoughts

  • Ephiam
  • 10/15/2014 02:39 AM
A little while back a member of the community, Unity, played Heroes of Tsufana upon request, and here's what s/he had to say:

"Dragon Fantasy: Heroes of Tsufana by Ephiam is an old-school type RPG. My first RPG was Dragon Quest 1 (or Dragon Warrior 1 as it was called on the NES over here at the time), where grinding, finding treasure, and exploration based on hints you got from NPCs were core gameplay mechanics. Heroes of Tsufana brings back the feelings of those days and those early RPGs, and does it well.

An upfront warning: if you're used to more modern RPGs, be warned that you're going to have to grind for EXP and money, and that rather than having a clear next step in your quest, you're going to have to explore and pay close attention to hints given by NPCs about where to go next. Some may find these to be detriments, but they were a part of the experience in early RPGs.

I found the game a lot of fun to play, and I liked the callbacks to old Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy games. While you start off with just two characters, you get your full party of four pretty early on, as well as a ship so you can explore the world.

Opening up most of the world so early can be a risky move, and some may be turned off by the slew of places that are now open to you, but I found it interesting. It brings me back to old games where if the monsters in an area are outright destroying you, you're probably not supposed to be in that area yet.

The heroes each have a nice variety of abilities fitting their classes, and the game makes exploration feel very rewarding. I've really enjoyed the experience, and will most likely be continuing it after I've finished playing the rest of the game.

I didn't find a lot wrong with the game, but I will point out a few things:

-First, there's no wrap-effect on the world map, so you can literally sail to a corner of the world and the game will stop you there (See my screenshot here). I'm not sure why the wrap option wasn't chosen, which would fit the emulation of the early NES games.

-Second, some towns lack space for you to travel to a single line of tiles. If NPCs are in that line, you have to painstakingly wait for them to move (see my screenshot here, where, if I want to go west, both pathways are blocked by NPCs). This was indeed a feature of old NES RPGs, but not a welcome one, and providing bigger areas to walk would make navigating through certain towns a lot easier.

-Third, the graphics used in dungeons were repetitive. The ones I encountered came in two flavors: caves that always look like this, or interior dungeons that always look like this. Even Final Fantasy 1 went to lengths to make varied locations, using different tiles to make dungeons look somewhat distinct. A little more variety would certainly be welcome.

All in all, these are ultimately small complaints in what's a great retro-style game. Well done! I've liked this one.

Also, as an added bonus to the content of this blog and a little something for you to look forward to in the future: Heroes of Tsufana will (eventually) be remade using VX ACE. When? After I've completed Dragon Fantasy REMADE. I've already laid the groundwork for when I do get to it, but that day is at least a year down the road.


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Oooooh, your step into VX Ace, eh? Excellent! >;3
I am indeed! And I have to admit that it's a lot more fun that I thought it would be! I suppose it's just the thought of using a new (and the most recent) maker, but there's so much customization when it comes to enemies, weapons, items, etc. compared to the older versions! And THAT'S what I love. Well, that and the ability to utilize a few handy-dandy scripts and the like =P
If the remake needs a few mugs or custom sprites, let me know ;)
That would be WONDERFUL, but I don't think I'm going to be doing anything too "custom" for that project. It's more or less going to be a way for me to familiarize myself with VX ACE and to get something out there that was made using that maker. For now, I work on it on-and-off; while I mainly work on the events and script for DFR, the HOT remake is for when I want to take care of gameplay-related stuff.
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