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A fantastic adventure down memory lane (except for me)

Final Fantasy: Blackmoon Prophecy by UPRC is a 2D RPG that looks and plays like the first Final Fantasy games. I've never even tried any of the games in the Final Fantasy franchise, so I didn't quite know what to expect from Blackmoon Prophecy. And after playing for almost 8 hours non-stop I can tell you that this one, without a doubt, should be a classic on RMN.

Plot
I would like to state upfront that this game grabs you by the balls, arouses the hell out of you, and doesn't let go. Or at least, that was my experience. The game's plot begins in the dungeon of Castle Branch. A foreign general was caught snooping around the castle and was brought there. After he tries to rile me up, a fellow dragoon (although less bad-ass than I) enters and starts threatening the good general will execution. The general seems to blow it off, but I'm far too honorable to do that! I rush off to Lord Adder (although he's also the King, I think), and I'm given strict orders on what to do: head on over the Water Crystal and see what's up over there.

I must admit that I fell in love with the plot and I hadn't even accomplished something that great yet! The game's plot kept me on the edge of the seat for the entire 8 hours I kept on going (I do plan to finish the game, but I was just excited and wanted to review this game). The plot defines that moment between knowing that something bad is about to happen, but also knowing that I'm going to be the one who stops it. It's a perfect blend of those character building moments, those epic moments, and those moments where I just can't wait until I get to recruit that black mage, because he's just awesome!

Graphics
I'm going to go out on a branch (he he) here and say that the game probably looks a lot like the first few Final Fantasy games. Regardless, the game's graphics just look amazing. The world map (where I spent a good deal of time finding those chobocos... damn birds) is massive. Most towns have similar looking buildings, but their setup and design differ greatly from one to the other. Each map is masterfully designed and unless I'm just wanting to make UPRC look good, I'd say that he put a lot of thought into every one of over 1700 maps. Although the graphics seem to repeat themselves now and then, there's enough detail to keep the eyes from going stir crazy from seeing the same thing over and over. The title screen looks awesome. And so does the window skin used. The battlers look great. The sprites look great. Text just doesn't float off the end. Just start up the game and you'll see how impressed I am!

God dang it, chocobos!
I can't stress how hard of a time I had finding them. Am I alone here?! Anyway, let's get down into the nitty gritty designs that the game runs on. I'm going to begin with exploration and its rewards. UPRC did a great job making exploring fun and at times, challenging. The first thing I noticed was that there was chests behind walls that looked impassable (???). Don't fret. There's a switch that will open a secret door that will lead to glorious loots! And at other times it can be as simple as just walking under the ceiling into the secret room. An odd design, but it was different than what I was use to and due to that I liked it. There's also pots that can be checked and bookshelves, too. And of course, there are chests! A good number of them. I thought the amount was just right.

On to the fast traveling part of the game. You're introduced to an animal, specifically a bird, early in the game when you're told that the so called "Chocobos" are fast mounts that can out-run monster encounters and can cross rivers. I was also told where to find the Chocobos, but I guess I forgot because I spent 30 minutes looking for them, and it was by chance that I eventually found them. But that's in the past! I think the birds are a good idea and I'm pretty sure that they're from Final Fantasy.

Dungeon-crawling! And a lot of it. This is what seems to drive this game. I'm having to do a good bit of dungeon-crawling in order to reach new places, rescue foolish girls, retrieve a dragon scale, etc. Most of the dungeons that I ran into looked familiar but I overlooked that because I figured it was something that Final Fantasy was about. Each dungeon is designed different, of course. And has a variety of monsters and rewards. The dungeons aren't too long. The bosses aren't too hard. And there's a glowing orb (pardon me if there's a proper term for them) that will allow you to save and recover before fighting the boss.

I liked these three things the best: the exploring, the taming and riding of the Chocobos, and the dungeon-crawling. But, there's definitely a lot more to this game.. You can upgrade weapons if you have the right raw materials. The battles are well-balanced. The inn system is great. It lets you save, rest, and buy/sell. Whatever you need. Each town has a good amount of shops that offer new and improved weapons, armours, and items. Most towns have side-quests available. The list can go on and on. But! All-in-all, the gameplay is just excellent and definitely fun. A lot of fun.

Music
I guess it's acceptable to use Final Fantasy music here, right? Joking aside, I didn't recognize any of these tracks. The music just seemed to fit right in along side the sound effects and other tunes of the game. Not a lot I can talk about here. The music and sounds just seem appropriate and not out of place at all.

Parting words
UPRC has put together something incredible. Not only does this probably succeed at being a successful fan-game of the Final Fantasy franchise, but it succeeds at just being an epic game. If this is what the franchise holds, then I've missed out on a lot and this fan-game has almost inspired me to pick up the most recent Final Fantasy game out there. I can't offer UPRC advice on what to improve, change, or get rid of. All of it just seems perfect to me, and that's why I'm giving Final Fantasy: Blackmoon Prophecy 5/5 stars.

Note: I like to keep my reviews short and I know a lot of people disagree and think reviews should be as in-depth as possible. I have enjoyed this game beyond belief so far, and I plan to finish it right now. Like. Now. I'll edit this review when I finish it if I think that I should.

Sorry for the testicles joke.

Final Verdict: Epic! 5/5

Posts

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UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7376
This just put a big smile on my face and made my afternoon. This last hour I'm spending at work is now awesome.

Surprised you didn't point out BUGS! They're being squashed left and right, but maybe your first play of the game was after a good number of the early game bugs were already fixed up (MASSIVE thanks to everyone who has played the game and assisted me in discovering them).

Regarding chocobos, any long time fan of the Final Fantasy series would know exactly how to find them. You've given me an idea, and that's to throw in a line of dialogue somewhere that will help those such as yourself who haven't played many Final Fantasy games know where to find the elusive birds.

All in all, this was a fun read. Thanks for the nice words!
Yeah, maybe having an NPC mention where chocobos lurk would be a good idea for players who aren't used to the classic FF games.
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4690
This is a well written review, I think it's especially great for someone new to the FF series to play it. It's like they get to experience all of that nostalgia we know and love for the first time, cool stuff.

The score is well deserved, because really, what is there to hate?
Good job UPRC for completing this and for making it great along the way, welcome to legendary RM status. :)
Oblic
Once a member of RMN, always a member of RMN!
1752
author=dethmetal
Yeah, maybe having an NPC mention where chocobos lurk would be a good idea for players who aren't used to the classic FF games.

I'm pretty sure one of the NPCs early on makes some sort of mention of it. It may not have been in Branch, but it was at least within the first hour of gameplay.
author=Oblic
author=dethmetal
Yeah, maybe having an NPC mention where chocobos lurk would be a good idea for players who aren't used to the classic FF games.
I'm pretty sure one of the NPCs early on makes some sort of mention of it. It may not have been in Branch, but it was at least within the first hour of gameplay.

Yeah, I was pretty sure of that too. It might have been at that port town to the south of Branch, near the initial Chocobo Forest. There you go, you just needed to explore a bit more.

...Or in the book about chocobos in the Branch Stable area.
Seriously? You thought the plot was that good? I don't see what was so edgy about it. This isn't that great of a game. Granted, Darius is an interesting villain with some good motive and he was already twisted before he had black magic. The main character is named after the worst main character in the history of gaming. Vahn and Hans don't have too much motivation other than "the king said so". And the worst part, the boss battles aren't even boss battles. They're just slightly stronger monsters.
author=fargo294
Seriously? You thought the plot was that good? I don't see what was so edgy about it. This isn't that great of a game. Granted, Darius is an interesting villain with some good motive and he was already twisted before he had black magic. The main character is named after the worst main character in the history of gaming. Vahn and Hans don't have too much motivation other than "the king said so". And the worst part, the boss battles aren't even boss battles. They're just slightly stronger monsters.
You know..there's an old saying I believe..lol oh right, "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all." Unless of course it's meant to be helpful, then by all means! B3~
I get the feeling fargo294 is reviewing the ENTIRE GAME based on the first hour. The plot thickens, my friend. Whether it's good or not is a matter of opinion. However, I don't think you're in the position to give one since it's clear as day you haven't given the game a chance beyond the prologue.
just a minor note, how can someone know that is feels and plays like a FF game when they their-self never played a real FF game? Just asking.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7376
author=fargo294
Seriously? You thought the plot was that good? I don't see what was so edgy about it. This isn't that great of a game. Granted, Darius is an interesting villain with some good motive and he was already twisted before he had black magic. The main character is named after the worst main character in the history of gaming. Vahn and Hans don't have too much motivation other than "the king said so". And the worst part, the boss battles aren't even boss battles. They're just slightly stronger monsters.
So you played for half an hour. Cool story.

It's alright if you didn't enjoy the game, but you look silly talking about the plot when you don't even know anything about it other than "hey, this guy in black is a bit of a douche."

About the monsters, you could say the same thing about actual Final Fantasy games. Mist Dragon? Whelk? They don't even deserve to have boss music playing during their fights.
@fargo294: I smell a foul, club-wielding creature who lives under a bridge...

If you're being serious, then you must have really hated Final Fantasy IV's plot, since Cecil and Kain just went around killing things "because their king said so". And come on, Final Fantasy IV was SO easy. I mean, Mist Dragon, General, and Octomamm were such pushovers!

author=Proffessor_Buglean
I smell a foul, club-wielding creature who lives under a bridge...
The word's on the tip of my tongue! I know it rhymes with "toll" though~ :o
This game is fantastic! I love the music, landscapes, and plot very much! My only thing to maybe point out is the difficulty level - It seems a little overpowered to one shot everything(first few hours of the game still, but bear with me) and have 150+ health while monsters do 0-6 damage to me. I know there is a "beginning" difficulty level but I found that blowing through the water shrine at level 2 without using a single(incredibly effective) potion was pretty much the same as walking through it.

Let me say again, I do love this game though :)
Well I've been playing for roughly 8 hours and I don't think I'm near finishing the game yet (in the underworld right now). All I can say is that this game is brilliant and can't fault it!
Adon237
if i had an allowance, i would give it to rmn
1743
I wouldn't say you can't fault it, there are definitely some faults, but all in all, for the 18 hours I played, it was pretty amazing!
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7376
author=darkdesigngames
Well I've been playing for roughly 8 hours and I don't think I'm near finishing the game yet (in the underworld right now). All I can say is that this game is brilliant and can't fault it!


Definitely not near the end yet. I'd say you're roughly halfway through the game though!
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