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"Do not call me Cindy." "Art thou certain?" "Whatever."

Jay's Journey is one of the classics to come out of the first few years of rm2k. It's hilarious, reasonably well balanced, and well paced to boot. It might not be the most visually appealing RM game of all time, but the humor makes up for it. I played quite a lot of it in the past, so I decided to revisit the game for a bit to polish up my memory for this review.

Graphics and Sound
First and foremost, I wouldn't call this a visually appealing game. I have nothing against the RTP when used well, but here the graphics are fairly minimalistic, at least in the beginning. The details do get better over time, especially once you reach the Cliffside region (or thereabouts), but I can see a lot of people getting turned off by the bare maps early on.


Dat mapping.


Honestly, we've reached a point in the RM community where a game like this would probably not be accepted based on the two maps above. Map details have sort of become an important element of the game...and it's games like Jay's Journey that make me reconsider the mapping standard when talking about comedy games.

With that said, the RTP music is used well and there's even some voice acting (yes! voice acting!) which adds to the humor. You never know when a random voice line is going to appear, and it's fun to see the sound bites used in different ways. BTW, the fire mage is not called Cindy. I like to call her that anyway ;)

For the record, Max probably has the best voice acting, just for being so silly.

Story
Jay's Journey is all about humor. Yep, it's a comedy game. It basically wrote the book on what an RM comedy game is all about: minimalistic maps, acceptable gameplay, and lots and lots and lots of humor about self-aware characters in an RPG world. Square Enix should make a game like this for the Star Ocean saga...(-=runs=-)


Back when this sort of humor was fairly original in an RM game.


The humor is what allows this game to make the grade, and like I said before, it's augmented by the little voice acting snippets and things like innocent innuendo, evil overlord parody, and so forth. This is one game where I actually LIKE to talk to the NPCs. The characters are enjoyable and actually some of the best in the RM world. For a comedy game, they are fairly well developed.

A quick note about the introduction: this sort of thing usually gets an F in my book (the whole fake out thing), but considering this was a comedy game from 2002, I have to give it a pass. It was a highly original bout of sillyness for the time.

Gameplay
Jay's Journey features plenty of dungeon crawling, town hopping, and default battles. Leveling isn't too much of a chore, but you better grind a bit to take on some of the harder enemies in the game. Early on, there is a skeleton boss that will wipe the floor with you if you're not prepared. There are very few save points at that portion of the game, too, so if you're not careful you'll end up backtracking a ton. Game design has come a long way since 2002...

There are a ton of party members at your disposal, and each one brings something to the table (as with any RPG). RM2K's default system is understandably limited, so the battles don't really reach the same level as the humor, but at least the game is playable.


I love puzzles, so this made me a happy panda.


On the whole, the gameplay is borderline serviceable but not great, and it's certainly not the highlight.

Overall
Without the well written humor, this game would probably get a 2 for being a well polished but super bland game. Although the pacing itself is perfect (dungeons don't overstay their welcome, cutscenes are just the right length, etc.), the quality of the dialogue elevates this to a whole new level. This game is recommended, but only if you want a few laughs at the expense of some self-aware RM characters who also like to make fun of cliches...

Posts

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Professor_Q
"Life is a riddle I wish I had the answer for..."
3237
Good review. I actually enjoyed the writing in this game, but I think the author went a little overboard with the switch puzzles. Puzzles are good, but variety is better! The cast of characters was another strong point - each of them had their own quirks and attributes, even if some of them came close to being "stock" characters. I'd agree with your rating (3 - 3.5 out of 5) but in my case it'd be the annoying "team members split up and hit switches until something happens" gameplay that dragged the rating down.
Yay! Finally the game got a review. I'm so happy. ^.^

I've loved this game since I first played it way back in the early 00s and I've always pushed it at people when asked to recommend a decent game. Sure, the mapping isn't great - considering it's from 2002 that's pretty much a given. At that time in RM history maps weren't fussed over as much as they are nowdays. They were serviceable pieces of land on which a plot occurred.

Which is why you have to be lenient with games of this age - the times they were created in were pretty interesting in-so-far as focus within the community went. Most of the time 'it' was all about systems and exploring what the engine could do - pushing the boundaries of the software. It wasn't until Ara Fell came out that (most) people started 3-tile ruling and focussing on being pretty. Yes, this game predates the 3-Tile Rule.

Anyway, it's neat to see this finally seeing some love. Thanks for that Decky. I'm really glad someone who knew some of the history reviewed the game instead of someone who would judge it on today's values. It's a relic, yes, but it's an entertaining relic.

Also? IT'S ANTIGRINOT!
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