• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

A cliche, but HILARIOUS and incredibly fun, ride

Difficulty: Medium

Length: 4-6 hours

Trust me, by the end, these people completely fucking decimate the 4th wall. This is nothing.

I admit, when I first downloaded this game, I didn't expect it to be anything special. The grammar on the main page, while alright, was somewhat lacking, and when I checked out the images, the game seemed like it had the rather typical sardonic RPG Maker sense of humor I've come to expect from many of the comedic games in the community. It just didn't seem anything to get excited.

Then I decided to download it out of sheer curiosity, booted it up, and found out that I was sorely mistaken. This game is absolutely brilliant.

This game is almost nothing like how I expected it to be; the characters, the gameplay, the humor, the story... it was all a complete surprise, and I quickly took a huge liking to what I was playing. By the end, I genuinely felt that this thing was worth downloading, and it was time extremely well spent. This review, more or less, is me looking into exactly why this game is so worth playing.

Story: 8/10

Yup, you read that right; she did a bunch of horrific stuff for shits and giggles.

One of the hallmarks of the game is easily the story. While there are a few serious moments here and there, none of them feel overly dramatic; they're all to the point and poignant. By and large, the story is generally laid-back, hilariously insane, fast-paced, and easy to follow. The characters, despite seeming cliche and overdone at first (the naive kid hero, his plucky comic relief sidekick, the sarcastic devotee, what-have-you), have more depth than they initially let on to. I was really surprised and taken aback by some of the developments over the course of the game, as you'll likely notice differences in everyone's personalities as things open and close.

Breeze (nicknamed Bree by Cain and several others in the game), in particular, has a surprisingly depressing past in spite of her tomboyish, goofy personality, perverseness and cheerful front. I won't spoil anything, but by the time you near the middle of the game, you'll feel for her. I really wanted to give her a hug myself.

And the game doesn't just start off insane and get progressively more serious until it's grimdark; even as you go up against really mentally unhinged villains (and trust me, there's PLENTY of them), it retains its goofy, unpredictable nature and humorous tone. I really have to give ChaosAvian props for doing his best to keep the spirit this tale introduced prominent and not subject it to pretentious dead-serious themes halfway through in spite of the developments introduced later on.

Humor: 11/10!!!

Didn't get much more than a chuckle from this? It'll get WAY funnier from here, so don't worry.

The absolute best part of the game, no doubt. The game starts off as a cliche fouth-wall breaking goober romp you've seen many times before in comedy RPG Maker games, then the game starts to pepper in a startling amount of black comedy, sexual jokes and surreal humor, and I found myself laughing my ass off at more than a few points. There's also frequent mention of TVTropes (a site I happen to visit often) and the tropes used in the game (exact names and everything!), and tons of pop culture references, which adds even more delicious layers to the humor. Despite the grammar, the timing in the events is near perfect, and once the cast settles in, you'll start to notice how genuinely messed up most of them are. To wit (you don't have to click the spoiler to understand the gravity of what I'm saying, since just playing the game for an hour or two will tell you all you need to know, but I digress):

Cain Abel, of all people (granted, he's a Demi-Child, which basically means he's a demon-human hybrid of sorts, so some irregular personality traits are to be expected, but still; the kid still acts really innocent for most of the game despite his heritage so it's still surprising), is a masochist and takes sadistic pleasure in being sexually tortured by his eventual girlfriend, Elladale (who's bugfuck insane herself), Breeze is bisexual and a womanchild, Qwen is a womanizer and semi-regularly mentions his race in one-off jokes, Seth is a perpetually calm and collected man who just goes with the flow and doesn't react beyond mild exasperation, Aclima (Cain's twin brother) is a not-so-subtly incestuous borderline-stripper that clearly wants Cain's dick despite her denial, and Aeran, a late-game party member, is desperately in love with Breeze and WENT THROUGH SEX REASSIGNMENT SURGERY just to get with her and because s/he's fully aware of Bree's bi tendencies. The aforementioned Seth and Yi-Qo are the only ones with any semblance of sanity, and even Yi-Qo notably starts to get in on the act of everyone else, though it's very subtle.

Really, don't let the generic front fool you, you WILL explode into laughter at least once or twice by the time you finish the game. I guarantee it.

Gameplay: 9/10

A typical battle that eventually leads to largely atypical battles.

As far as gameplay goes, Esper Wing Chronicle bears the typical play-sauces found in many RPGs; side-view battle system, world map, numerous weapons/armors to choose from, and fantasy gibber-jabber. However, it's still brilliantly done regardless; the game heavily encourages at least some iota of strategy in most battles, since while a good portion of the normal battles can be won through just button-mashing your way to victory, you WILL need to think during tougher enemy encounters and most of the bosses (particularly early ones), or you'll quickly get your ass handed to you. Cain is RIDICULOUSLY powerful if used right, especially when the timeskip happens near the 3/4th point of the game and you get to attack twice with him, Breeze generally uses a gun with a wide array of bullet types that will END anyone in her path, etc. Generally, just use tactics in most battles and you'll be fine.

The enemies start out fairly by-the-book, but soon you'll come across turtle-like monsters, robot gods, devils, unicorns and other crazy shit. By the end the game is far from just Final Fantasy-fodder despite what's presented at first (and the game even pokes fun at the series' aspects several times for good measure!).

Battles progressively become much more fast-paced as well and much more attention-demanding. During the battle against the Captain General, one of Satan's men, in particular, EVERY turn counts; you must find a way to counter everything he does and deal as much damage as possible, since he can go from bring everyone down to half their health, or worse, to healing almost 2000 of his HP, which, by that point and given the circumstances, is quite a bit. The game remains at a fairly even challenge throughout, but some battles are still very hard regardless.

Mmmm, world mappppss... *Homer drool*

The most relatively normal thing found in the game is the world map... and even THAT'S stretching it. Rocks frequently block the path of where you need to go until you complete certain events, and characters will ALWAYS lampshade when they're gone, usually with Yi-Qo not knowing what the hell they're talking about. Other than that, what I found interesting was how you can only reach land on a certain terrain depending on the vehicle you're in. On your ship, you can only get off on bridges, and on the airship you get late in the game (called the Cursed Pagoda), you can only land on craters, which is an important thing to remember when trying to enter the last area in the game. Some might find it makes traveling and finding places to land more tedious, but I personally found it pretty cool.

Overall, the gameplay is VERY well done despite it following typical RPG conventions. You'll have loads of fun, trust me.

Graphics/Mapping: 7.5/10

Evil lairs; just the way I like 'em.

Not much to say as far as visuals go; they're pretty good. NPCs generally are nice to look at, and the mapping's perfectly fine. I was rather bothered by the fact that the game used Ace-faces at first (since I'm not the biggest fan of them personally), but I quickly grew used to it, so it's no biggie.

Overall, nothing to exactly write home about in this department, but still very good.

Music: 10/10

OHMYGODSOCATCHYYYY. I fell in love with pretty much every track in the game, particularly IceDragon's and Galv's, and ESPECIALLY the final boss theme. There's a healthy balance of rock, over-the-top battle themes, opera, etc, and it's all fantastic. I can't think of one track I didn't like, honestly. Oh, and there's Shin Megami Tensei music! The series is yet another thing the game pokes fun at, which is both awesome and hilarious.

Bugs/Flaws: 5/10

WHERE DA WHITE WOMEN (and his protege) AT???

Yes, believe it or not, this game has some flaws, unfortunately. The bug shown in the screenshot, for one; occasionally, when party members die before a battle ends, they don't show up when brought back to life and healed up once you enter the next battle for whatever reason. They'll magically reappear once they start attacking and whatnot, but it's still rather odd.

Another bug is that the game will often freeze whenever I try to escape random encounters. No idea why that happens, but it's rather frustrating, meaning I'm forced to fight many enemies, even when I'm finished grinding and am satisfied with everyone's levels.

That's about it as far as bugs go, really. As far as everything else, though...

The aforementioned grammar; nothing major as far as words go, most of them are spelled correctly. However, there's a rather large lack of sentence flow, commas, apostrophes and the like, and a lot of the dialogue seems to happen all at once with little regard for timing expect for a few rare occasions. I enjoy the fast-pace of the game and whatnot, but less rush would be nice here and there. It's nothing that fatally crippled my enjoyment of the game in any way, of course, but it's just something I find in many games on this site, and it's just kinda distressing that a game as high-quality as this falls victim to it as well.

Also, some battles, such as the Captain General battle, are VERY hard unless you level up a lot. I love challenge, but I recommend a few of the bosses be toned down just a bit; don't make them piss-easy or anything, just change around their attacks a bit and maybe nerf some stats.

The game is rather linear. There are several things to do outside of the main adventure, but you probably won't notice them at first glance. It's more a nitpick than anything, though.

Buuuuuut that's about it, really.

Despite the game's small handful of weak points, however, it's still golden as far as I'm concerned. For every one thing wrong or not up to par, the game does at least 5 things right, and that's legit right there. Despite seeming like a typical RPG Maker game in most regards initially, it's still VERY much worth playing. I'd gladly play it another couple times, or maybe even 10. Hah! Just that good.