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Didn't Want It to End

  • accha
  • 04/26/2014 11:10 PM
  • 1654 views
You know that achy feeling you get in your heart when you've just finished an amazing game and don't want to see it end? In Search of Immortality made me feel that despite being only 2 short hours long. The story and character writing are fantastic and the gameplay was engaging. I'm amazed that the developers did this in a mere two weeks as all components of the game -- writing, graphics, battle system -- come together to create a worthwhile and exciting experience.

WRITING

The first thing I'd like to talk about is the story and characterization used in the game, which stands out as some of the best I've seen. They're certainly better than those found in much longer, professional RPGs out there. The writing truly highlights how enjoyable games can be if you just have the right people in them.

In many ways, In Search of Immortality conforms to basic RPG cliches-- you have the moody alchemist, the cold beauty, the fresh-faced magic kid, and the pervy priest traveling through a forest that transitions to a dungeon. Yet the handling of personality, interaction, and purpose bring the characters--and the world of the game--to life.

One of the best choices I think the developers made is not having any heroes in the game, instead choosing to have an unusually practical bunch. None of the characters are wandering around for some vague moral concept like 'justice' or 'peace'; they all have a clear purpose for being there and for pressing forward. This is especially refreshing when so many people are rehashing the same personalities-- hot-blooded boy who wants to save the world, cute girly girl, older pervy guy who can't get any, super quiet mysterious girl, cool arrogant dude with a blazing temper-- in pretty much all genres and mediums. The cynicism of the older characters is especially great against Ellis's innocence, and the way they all watch out for him despite being terrifying with suspicious jobs gives me warm fuzzies.

The character interactions are masterfully done and I laughed at pretty much every turn. If I knew how to write people this vibrant I'd say something more substantial than "I fell in love with every character", but I don't.

The actual plot of the game works well for its purpose. It's lightly sketched out in the beginning and fully unravels at the end. Despite clearly showing that there is much more to the world than just this tiny area, nothing feels left out and there aren't any loose ends. It's complete and well-organized story, which, while not exceedingly remarkable for a short game, is certainly made better by the small details which leave darker hints for the player to think on. That the player is simply accompanying the characters on a fairly simple task (for them, at least) also adds to what makes it interesting.

I like that the game doesn't truly deviate from the general lighthearted tone. There are points where the underlying darkness of the story breaks through, but overall the makers wanted this game to be a pleasant and not discomforting experience and that worked out tremendously well. It was fun, it made me happy to play, and it left me craving for more.

GAMEPLAY

I actually liked the battles and the features. I haven't played too many RMVX/Ace RPGs so maybe I'm just not as used to these battle systems as others are, but the fights were challenging enough that I had to think and experiment instead of blindly spamming Attack. It's true, though, that I didn't use a lot of the skills/items in the game, but I don't particularly think of that as a minus on the developers' part.

The weird thing about the battles were the imbalance in enemy HP/DEF, as some enemies had thousands of HP and received hundreds of damage, while another enemy in the same battle has just a few hundred HP and receives single-digit damage. While I'm glad that there were no enemies who had thousands of HP but received only single digit damage, the imbalance between the first type of enemy and the second type was jarring. It may have been intentional though, since with some strategy and experimentation you could find ways to sneak past the defenses of the high-DEF enemies.

The only thing that bothered me enough to take off half a star is the typos and mistakes in Alma's skills. For example, one of the lightning skills said it would "summon a glacier" or something like that, referring to actually the skill above it. It didn't make the game harder or anything, but it is a fairly glaring error, which is why the rating isn't a complete Perfect.

VISUALS/SOUND

The developers chose to use RTP and RTP edits for their game. This was a good choice since artists would probably die or hate the developers forever if they had demanded original stuff to be done within the two weeks. The edits were done well, and the facial expressions especially were lovely and clearly displayed the emotion/mood that was necessary. Also, I fangirled Evil Eagle's animations forever.

The maps were pretty well-presented and were fun to explore. It was easy to figure out where NOT to go so that I could gather everything, which is always a plus.

Some of the music was nice to listen to, some (like the opening music) I couldn't stand. Pretty standard fare for an RPG.

CONCLUSION

Overall this was a great game, well worth the few hours put into playing it. The focus on characters made this game one of the best I've played, and I'm looking forward to trying out this team's other games for more of this experience.

Posts

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Indra
YOU ARE BEING TOO AGGRO
10801
I...uh...
*stares down at the floor abashedly and mumbles some thanks while blushing*

Thanks for the review ;-; I can barely say anythign without melting into a puddle of glee right now. It's always so...fuzzy inside when we get such positive feedback >///<

I'm glad you enjoyed the game, and hope you enjour our projects in the future too m(_ _)m
No prob and you deserve the praise! XD
I actually just finished playing Dead Moon Night, which was also great because of the unexpected character twists (which had me laughing through the game all up to that final one XD)

I hear you're making a commercial game too, so I'll be looking out for that! Keep up the great work!
Thanks for the review, glad you enjoyed the game.

The high DEF enemies seem to be mentioned a lot when people talk about the gameplay, my intention was that with good strategy they'd die really quickly and without good strategy they'd take about the same amount of effort to kill as the regular enemies.

You've heard correctly, we are working on a commercial game, it's by far the biggest project we've both ever worked on and it's coming together nicely, so hopefully it won't be too much longer.

Thanks again!
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