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Good game with captivating story

  • Casia
  • 06/19/2014 05:32 PM
  • 1780 views
I still remember finding this game by accident and trying it out for the first time. It was interesting, fun, immersive, and... frustrating at times, to be honest. However, when I finished the game, I was left with a mainly positive gaming experience. That's nothing to sneeze at, right?

Gameplay

The feature that first catches your interest is the battle system. You basically confront enemies on the map and fight them on the spot by using various buttons for attack, guard, items etc. The system works well, but can be very difficult to use. Frequent damage means that you need to heal often, yet healing items are few and far between. Enemies sometimes move really fast and pressing all the necessary control buttons to fight is a challenge in its own right. However, despite the difficulty, it is possible to learn a proper technique to make the battles easier. Although enemies become tougher as the game progresses, the fights actually feel easier near the end, after you have properly grasped the battle system. There is a steep learning curve, but it's doable. In any case, the challenging battles were not a turn-off for me. I find it quite funny that after all the trouble I had with the first battles, I managed to beat the final boss without dying once!

A definite weakness of the battle system is that everytime you press enter, you automatically attack. This, in turn, drains some of your stamina (yes, there is a stamina system implemented in the game). This is extremely frustrating when attempting to examine things on the game map. If there is no event before you and you press enter, you attack empty air and waste stamina for nothing. This becomes worse as you receive bottles that automatically restore your stamina if it drops too low. They're supposed to help you in battle, but since everything happens on the game map, you may waste these bottles by examining objects of interest and attacking thin air while doing so.

Story

This is where Natura truly shines. The strangely captivating story was what kept me playing even after the multiple frustrating battle deaths. I really wanted to know what would happen to the characters and where the story was headed.

You could say that if you're playing the game with the hopes to make sense of the story at some point, you will be disappointed. The story never really explains itself, merely revealing some assorted facts about the backstory throughout. Regardless of this, the story holds itself together. My favourite part was the ending, which was both unexpected and dark... two qualities I enjoy in a RPG.

The characters are interesting and the protagonist is surprisingly relatable, even though we don't know much about him. Or perhaps that is precisely what makes him so interesting? The other characters have very distinctive personalities and individual secrets surrounding them. Again, some characters you can never make sense of, even at the end. This didn't bother me at all. Instead, I found it nice to have some mysteries remain after I closed the game. The full Natura experience includes both the game and the speculations afterwards.

Visuals

The graphics of Natura are gorgeous. The usage of RTP material is very creative and there is some fantastic mapping in many parts. There are plenty of tricks used to create strong effects in maps, most notably superb lighting that turns 2D maps into immersive locations. Definitely one of the strong points of the game.

Audio

There isn't much to say about the music in this game. It's not very memorable, but does contribute to the atmosphere. Sound effects are used fairly well and they really add to the overall feel of the different areas in the game.

Overall

Pros
- Great story
- Good graphics
- Atmosphere
- Not your usual RPG Maker game - lots of custom scripts and features

Cons
- Battle system is hard to master
- Battle commands overlap with those used for exploration and examination

Overall, I loved Natura. It has its problems, but the story is very creative and suspenseful, and the fantastic mapping adds to this. The battle system is basically frustration in a can sometimes, but once you master it properly, it becomes a lot of fun. All in all, I would recommend this game to anyone who appreciates a great story that keeps you thinking even after the game itself is completed.

Posts

Pages: 1
shayoko
We do not condone harassing other members by PM.
515
Good review,but i dont think the battle system is difficult at all.
note should avoid many enemy types to succeed
train/grind on ones that area easy to kill w/o taking damage
note most if not all enemys drop items
the snakes for example drop eggs which are a light heal early game
but you really want to stock up and save herbs and crystals for later.

currently im stuck as noted in the forums if anyone can help.
J-L
"I cannot complain when your icon of choice is a penguin"
1791
I cannot believe I hadn't logged in this website for so long to miss this review! I'm very grateful that you put such dedication into writing this.

A very fair and constructive criticism, and I'm very glad to hear that you enjoyed its story as much as we enjoyed coming up with it. I really hope I can pull everything together and finish Natura 2 in the future.

A question though; did you play the Director's Cut version, I assume?
I don't know actually, what's different about it?
J-L
"I cannot complain when your icon of choice is a penguin"
1791
Well, the title screen should tell whether or not it's the DC's version. Also, the DC version has an intro where you can see the three most prominent characters of the story, whereas the original doesn't have it. That's the easiest way to tell I suppose!
I suppose I had the DC version then, cause the characters were in the title screen.
J-L
"I cannot complain when your icon of choice is a penguin"
1791
I meant after starting the game, but it's most likely you did. Thanks again.
Pages: 1