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Needs extensive work: its inconsistencies live up to the name "Twin Ends".

  • Decky
  • 02/07/2014 12:57 PM
Twin Ends is a game that tries to be many things. It has Yanfly scripts, some nify battle transitions, a bunch of non-RTP music...but then at the same time it's loaded with technical issues, extremely bare maps, balancing problems, and so on. I almost did not give the game a rating but I feel it necessary to bring to attention some of the issues that need to be worked on. As it stands, this game will not be Greenlit as the creator wants.

First and foremost, if you want an RTP game to gain a lot of attention, the RTP has to be used extremely well. Some of the maps in this game, such as the forest, are quite competent; others, such as the port and the castle, are about as bare as you can get. Moreover, a mix of RTP and custom music - as is found in this game - can be quite jarring. No amount of faceset generators, custom sounds/menu graphics, and the like can change this major disconnect in the presentation. Everything has to be done at least competently.

In short, the presentation of Twin Ends is indeed focused on twin ends: good customization on one end, and poor use of the default on the other.

The storyline does show a bit of competency but it doesn't really grip me in any way. You play as a super strong guy and someone else in the intro, looking for a damsel in distress. She and her captor disappear, leaving behind an assassin who is really some innocent lady. She's taken into questioning...but then we suddenly switch to an archer, without any sort of transition whatsoever, and are on a quest to go to the castle. Again, the story lives up to the name (Twin Ends) but not necessarily in a good way: there's no transition between this sudden shift, and no real hook to get me invested in the tale.

The dialogue is competent, but it could be better - especially since the NPCs are fairly bland, often providing only simple one-liners.

The gameplay is unbalanced and lacking. In my time with the game, I didn't find any puzzles as the main page advertised: I was just going through maze after maze of average RTP maps with the occasional treasure chest and fixed encounters. More spice is definitely needed in the level design.

Battles weren't terrible, thanks to the decent amount of items and skills available early on, but they were very unbalanced. For instance, instead of TP you get DP, which accumulates between battles as sort of a limit break-style system. Unfortunately, one of the early bosses can be beaten with the lowest level DP skill - a skill you wouldn't have really used throughout the many forest battles anyway. This is an example of balance issues, but there are others. The slimes take a little too long to kill, especially for early monsters: hard encounters are fine, but there should be techniques to kill early monsters in 2-3 hits. Plus, potions are kind of expensive for what little they heal (but this is a non-issue in what I played because the Cure spells are very effective). Scan Crystals seem amazingly overpriced based on their sell rate. I could go on - a lot of work is needed here.

I did like the layout of the forest - it reminded me of the lost woods a bit. Unfortunately, this is where the technical issues start to come forward. There is a plant that gives you infinite potions (in a manner that reminds me of one of the Steam Cards). Animated fires/lanterns end up not animated, but rotating between various graphics. Using an arrow move does not actually use an arrow from the inventory (hell, there aren't any arrows to be found). Using a tent at a save point does not actually require a tent or deduct a one from your inventory. On the whole, an in-depth QA is needed for this game.

Overall, Twin Ends shows some promise with its customization in the presentation and battle system departments. However, this game will not go anywhere until the maps are given a huge facelift, the story is given some punch, the gameplay is given depth and balance, and the technical issues are ironed out. In other words, extensive work is required for this game - I highly recommend not taking this to Steam Greenlight, Kickstarter, or anywhere else until you have an extremely well polished, well designed game that's on par with the 4.5 and 5-star games on this site.


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Thanks for the review!

A majority of the RTP used was used as "filler". I will be getting around to creating custom material, but for now it will be RTP, since this is a one-man-train.

To be honest, I really appreciate the review, granted I should have seen this a while ago.
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