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Boring game. Fundementally broken.

Where to start with this one… I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece, looking from the screenshots, but after installing it and playing it, the game is much worse, not just in the presentation and gameplay, but this is where I’d actually say: “This is a technical mess”.

Audiovisual:
The game pretty much uses RTP graphics and audio. There isn’t anything original other than the faces (although both were made with the character generator).

Story and Gameplay:
The story is rather boring. The premise of the game is to find your mother. Basic. But both the writing and the storytelling is nonsensical to say the least. You get to the church. You find the priest, but he gets killed(?). Then a girl informs you that there’s a letter for Oliver (which could have been taken by the wind). Then go to a farmer which is… unspecified (it could be close for what I know. Then find his horse, find the teleportation crystal and fight your way to the top of the castle. And I lost the plot. The writing (aside from technical and some grammatical errors) is just boring. Gameplay wise it’s also boring. You start of without any skills. You gain one per specific level. Nothing special. And the battle system is just the stock one, without anything original in either skills or in the enemy behavior. So, you’ll end up mashing the space bar again and again, until you either win or you die (except if you need to use potions, but still). In fact, opening the Game.rvdata2 (yes, the game wasn’t encrypted), it shows that the game was barely edited in the database. The game is too linear. Yes, you have some maps, but only the castle is kind of open. The rest of the maps are like walls everywhere. Oh, and the game is also pretty happy to hold your hand quite often. The game reminds you to save every so often. The game doesn’t let you to return to a previous map. It explains how the game is played (not every single nook and cranny, but some things like how objectives work, for example). The game thinks that I’m toddler or something.

Engineering:
Oh boy! Here’s a big one! The game is a technical mess, with a lot of bugs in the events, along with an almost game breaking bug. Let’s start off with the installer. Aside from the really bad background (which quite busy to look, due to the sheer number of logos and text) and the rather boring UI (seriously, could you have at least use some custom graphics on the installer window?), the installer has a bug (or an oversight) where the game is installed on the Program Files folder. Why is this a bug? If it was on Windows XP, this wouldn’t be a problem. However, since Windows Vista (and this applies with newer versions of Windows as well), the Program Files folder doesn’t have write permissions, unless you run the game with Admin privileges. So, if you didn’t change the install location, saving wouldn’t work at all, as the game wouldn’t write on the folder. And the game falls flat with the broken eventing. Some examples:


Wait, wasn't there a letter? I'm trying to pick it up, and I get a buffet?

  • Some events don’t have direction fix, so they change when you interact with them (depends on the direction the player is).
  • Other events do not have self-switches, resulting in repeating some of the events (including the intro at the start of the game).
  • Chests reset in the castle, as some of the slimes change the map once you defeat them.
  • Some of them are too picky with the location as well.


Both the game and the installer are broken and the issues are easy to fix, if you sit for a bit and debug them. And frankly it doesn’t take too long to fix either.

Conclusion:
There is a difference between making a piece of software and making the software well. The game looks like it was rushed for no good reason, shipping with silly (and sometimes game breaking) bugs. And even if these were fixed, I don’t think the game would be good, as it doesn’t have anything notable to say. And this isn’t excusable. At the time of this writing, I was playing version 4.0 (and that’s the full version, per the download page), and it’s still broken. And this isn’t the developer’s first RPG Maker game, as the developer’s website shows, so it’s inexcusable for these bugs to appear. Oh, and Enterbrain never worked on the game (check the readme file). That’s quite the false advertising. You’ve got a lot to learn, developer. That’s if you want to make a good game.



The good:
  • It runs(?). This really pushes it.


The bad:
  • Horrible story.
  • Boring presentation.
  • Boring battles.
  • Horrible installer.


The ugly:
  • Bugs, bugs everywhere!
  • Enterbrain won’t save you, even if you feature them.


Recommendation: Avoid it at all costs. Unless you want it as a “What not to do in a game” case study.