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A strange review for a strange game...

I am torn... for the first time!
Because Under a Crimson Sky is a game that I cannot define. Looks average, but has some characteristics I like a lot, others that I hate. But it's not your boring, average fantasy Jrpg, anyway if I have to add everything together, the final result is an average game. I could say mediocre, but the truth is that it's not so bad that I stopped playing, on the contrary, I kept playing to see wat happens next, because I was involved by the storyline!
But let's start with the review:

In the beginning... I was disappointed!
I started playing and well... I wasn't impressed! The main characters walks quite slowly and mapping is no more than decent, as most maps are huge and empty, and there are some errors (you can walk on the walls on several spots). Most chipsets used are the standard old Rmk2000 stock sprites, quite boring. The items of decorations and the fornitures of the rooms are also non-interactive, not even a message when you try to interact with something.

Writing is mixed. I find it ok, well there are some typos ("ASSASIN") and dialogues are ofter very long. The game is in fact a sequence of cutscene and dialogues, then dungeons with combat and then cutscenes again. Nothing else, but...


"...You bastards!!!"

In the end... there's still something good here!
Combat: there are random encounters (except of course for the mandatory boss fights). I did not mind at all combat itself, as it's the usual side-view combat with the (ugly) standard Rmk battlers, but I found it to be not too difficult or tedious: you have the usual characters of different classes, be it fighter, mage, demon hunter... except Shriek that is useless (but funny!). Each characters earn different skills, magical or mundane attacks that cost mana points, or how do you call them. Nothing new, but well nothing terrible either. Oh, sometimes it's a good idea farming to earn these useful extra money and Xp, so mind that!
I just miss the possibility to flee from combat. Instead i liked a LOT the possibility to save anywhere, this makes up for the dread of random encounters. since their high rate.

Music is a mixed bag as you can find a bit of everything, from songs to the usual Rmk stock effects. Generally I appreciated the themes used for some the combat scenes of "Over the Rainbow" in the intro, on the other hand sometimes I did not like the choice but it wasn't really out of place or not appropriate, so it's ok.

What I liked was the portraits and the charsets: most of them are edited, and even if they aren't always identical to the chipset, I appreciate that they follow all the same style and there are many of them because, you can guess that, there are many playable characters.
Right, while the story is linear, you follow three different groups, Mike's (and Katie's) group, George's group and Tara's team. The story constantly switches point of view, and, as you can expect, the different characters will meet each other in different situations.

Ok, I just mentioned what kept me interested in this game: the different situations. This is a weird tale of angels, demons, and a protagonist that doesn't know his role in the opposition between them. There's humor but also serious parts. Clearly not the typical Jrpg tale, not the usual fantasy world, and not the common tropes of the genre.


One of these three heroes is doomed to a violent end, guess who!

Final verdict
While the maps are mediocre (well not all of them, just the ones of the cities, wilderness maps are not that bad), the story kept me involved, the characters were interesting enough, there was humor, and like for other games that did not impress me for the graphical style, I found this an enjoyable experiece. True, this game lacks variety, unlike other titles I reviewed, but this was by no means a bad game. There are no bugs or game breaking problems, no issues with maps, everything goes smoothly and I liked a lot the humor of the many cutscenes and I grew attached to Owl, Katie and the others!

This isn't a bad game at all, but surely it could have been better, with maps more rich of details and some diversions just to make it a more varied experience (but it could've also been worse, that's true!).
So what? Nothing really new or notable, but a decent playable game with a balanced difficulty that you may or may not like. And you will surely love or hate it, depending on your expectations only (and if you like humor/parodies in games or not).
3/5 because it is a cute little game!

PS: I laughed when I saw Benz's battler!