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Good practice!

Slimey's New Adventure by seiromem
- review by psy_wombats

Slimey's New Adventure is seiromem's "RTP-RPG-Dungeoncrawler-thing-a-ma-jig," recommended to me by edchuy for the RMN 2013 Secret Santa. It's a game described by the creator as more of a practice game, so let's give it a look.


Story

You play Slimey, a good-natured if a little dim slime. Slimey has a quest from his master Nicob. "Nicob" doesn't seem to care about Slimey too much and sends him to fetch a book from the storehouse, which has fallen into the goblin treasury (??).



A big world for a little slime


From there the game is split up into areas, each with its own environment, element, and small pseudo-story. Usually towards the end of the area Slimey meets and recruits a new character. It's a decent setup, and there's not too much time spent in any one place.

As an aside, I'm glad this game isn't another wannabe epic like many many other RM games. The tone is overall light and it makes the game much more fun. It goes to show how much a premise can do for an otherwise average set of mechanics and storytelling.


Gameplay

Slimey's New Adventure uses the Yanfly Battle Engine and has a fairly average set of gameplay mechanics. Battles are a mix between random encounters and fixed encounters (talk to the NPC to fight) with the fixed encounters only showing up in the first level and as bosses. In general the encounter rate ranged from high to very annoying in some areas, and those familiar with Yanfly engine will probably be frustrated with it. Luckily no grinding is necessary, but not fighting all the encounters usually leads to bad luck with bosses.



I believe the self-berserk attack is called RARRRRRGHs


The battles themselves are mostly balanced. Slimey's got a good set of abilities, and Pixa his fairy partner is decent as well. Highlights include Slimey's freeze-and-regenerate move and an array of decent, cheap healing items. The two-character party was probably the most solid in terms of balance, even if half of Pixa's moves (low damage, low chance of +status) were useless compared to the other half (high damage, hit everybody). The first level featured Slimey going solo, and the standard JRPG formula is really really boring with only one character. That zone couldn't have ended faster, especially with the high encounter rate.

The bosses were a mix. The first one in the forest area was solid and pretty standard, but things started getting strange with the ice boss. After getting frustrated when she kept bringing back her minions, I bought a bunch of bomb-type items and ended the fight in two rounds. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be the dominant strategy, but it felt gimmicky. The third boss was impossible to get past without cheating, just because of its insane amount of health. This boss wasn't a threat, just a pure slogfest, and despite spending almost an hour on the fight and spending all of my cash on 40+ MP restore items (equating to about 100 full heals) I couldn't tell if I even got close to killing it. Boss design is tough. I would recommend seiromem to try bosses multiple times and at multiple levels (and maybe check if that one boss has a few extra zeroes in its HP total).


Aesthetic

Aside from one or two BGMs, NicoB, and monster faces, everything in this game is RTP. The mapping is non-offensive and a little bland, but it's really hard to make a distinctive style with VX chibi. I don't care for it myself and I can hardly tell this game apart from those with much much more experienced map designers. I think that's a plus.



Some less than pleasant areas


Likewise the music, sound, and other areas were non-obtrusive. In general, this is good for an early game, and there are no obvious beginner pitfalls present (tons of the same chip everywhere, obnoxious sfx and flashing, etc). Practice makes perfect for mapping, and I think the rest is simple resource limitation.


Dialogue...

...is a fairly important part of a comedy or light game. Most of it is decent and bland, although there are a few funny lines amid the minimal story. The accents the monsters use can be very annoying however. I think the goblin king is English while his subjects talk in weird slurs. Slimey's store-running slime brethren is possibly stoned. I don't think this game was made to be carried on its writing, but with standard everything, most of the interest falls here.



Some less than pleasant lines


There are a few ugly places (see above) and a few nice places (see below) and while I'd prefer more of the latter and fewer of the former, I think this game was simply not meant to be judged on its writing quality, but I paid attention to it simply because it was the most unique thing about the game.


In Conclusion...



My favorites


It's impossible to really give a score to Slimey's New Adventure because it's a self-described practice game. I can't really recommend it to anyone who's played a VX game before if it doesn't do anything new or interesting, but that doesn't make it bad as a game, and probably makes it an even better study.

I think seiromem is definitely on the right track though. The premise is creative and most aspects of the game are passable. He's gotten playtesting feedback (very important) and is looking to improve, so I'd suggest looking closely at what makes JRPG battles interesting and what makes enjoyable and unique environments. Hopefully a more ambitious project is in the works, and I'll be waiting to see it.

Posts

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Seiromem
I would have more makerscore If I did things.
5183
Ah yes this review, a nice one that I never said thank you for! So yeah:
Thank you!
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