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Oh, dreamboat..

  • Caz
  • 11/05/2013 08:19 PM
  • 1041 views
This game is so pink.. so very, very pink..

As I delve deeper and deeper into this pinkness, I..

… I think I might be starting to like it..

Actually the palette suits it rather well. It's not pink in that kind of “ARGH SO BRIGHT!” in your face, disgusting way - it's more like a dark, spooktacular pinky-purple. The sheer amount of black and darker tones certainly make the game feel rather creepy, but that quirky pink will always bring you back to the reality that this is quite a comedic game certainly not (or I should hope not) intended to be taken entirely seriously.

The resolution has been doubled up and the colour count lowered to make the game feel more like something out of the Gameboy era, and it's quite the charming touch which I found to be simple and quaint but I could still easily conjure a decent idea of theme from. Not to mention those character portraits and battlers were downright adorable. The vibe of the graphics fitted in with the story and characters so perfectly, yet they were still so functional. Battles and menus were clear to read and uncluttered, and I found it was overall quite clean in that respect.


Ghost and mind-reader.


To segue, the menu and battle system were rather uncluttered in terms of the options available to the player too. A lot of the original fluff menus were cut from the battle, and you chose only from skills: no items, you had support buffs; no escaping, every fight was a boss, etc.. There was a sense of tactics in the game, and plenty of opportunity to grind without the need for random encounters provided you visited each room. There was an easy system of A > B > C > A which was well taught to the player from the get-go too, and the simplicity of the game's systems took away any necessity for long-winded tutorials.

The use of the menu was excellently done too. You had beautiful visuals of your three characters, their HP/MP and their skills all on the same page. Your only options were to “study” using training manuals from your fights, save, load and quit. The “study” option didn't even require a second menu page, it was great. Everything was done on that one page and nothing felt overly complex: learning new skills was as easy as just 2 button presses.

But I think I've gone on too much about the core game mechanics, and feel now would be a good time to get into the gameplay itself perhaps. This was presented solely in the form of battles. There was a little bit of wandering around and choosing which characters to train, but it was mostly: go here, fight this guy, go here.. you get the picture. This wasn't done in such a bad way, and my incentive was to see more of the story and characters (more on that soon) so of course I didn't mind going to every single room and fighting all of the possible bosses. My only complaint? While I loved the tactics involved, it did seem as though the fighting was a slight too easy. By taking advantage of weakpoints, I slaughtered every single boss in a matter of turns. I certainly didn't mind the cakewalk, but some challenge here or there wouldn't have gone amiss either.

My favourite part of this game was definitely the characters and storyline. The interaction between the three was exceptionally well done and I was dying to see what conversation they'd have next long after the last was over. They each had their motives and obvious inspirations, and they actually seemed like three-dimensional characters with real personalities. But it wasn't just the main three; all of the characters were this way. The bosses all came in threes and had their own little spiels before their fights, and they each had a message after their defeats too. The personalities in the game really brought the world to life, and everyone had a purpose and place in the story.

Speaking of the story, it was also superbly laid out: it was well paced, the objectives were made clear, and the party never lost sight of its motives. The main message left by the game was sweet, and the subtle little messages scattered throughout (intentional or otherwise) were also very poignant and meaningful. It was an incredible mixture of funny and heartwarming in this cute whirlwind of pink which I don't think will ever leave the back of my eyelids.

Sadly I can't say the game was complete perfection, as much as I would love to. The sound effects in game seemed to all be RTP, and while they were used appropriately, I can't say I much noticed their presence when it came to atmosphere building. The music also seemed to blend into the background a little too easily, and some of the battle themes were perhaps a bit too.. relaxing? I recall a few MIDI-fied pop songs and even 'Follow the Yellow Brick Road' at one point. Some of the songs just made me laugh out loud - maybe not in a good way - I'm not entirely sure.. but none of the music particularly stood out and it was kinda sad, because I felt it should've contributed to the experience a lot more.

But I think I've said it all. Let's get to it then, shall we?

Visuals: 9/10
Sounds: 4/10
Story: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Gameplay: 6/10
Theme: Supposedly Ghost Stories and Halloween comedy, both of which I think sum this game up perfectly. 10/10

Overall Score: 8/10

Posts

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I hadn't even realised how pink the final palette ended up being. (It doesn't help that my laptop screen has a slightly purple-ish tint to it, or so Maki tells me.) It was originally more of a blue-violet, but an accident happened with a lowered opacity fill tool when I was changing some old sprites, and I kind of liked the result.

We never intend for our games to be taken super seriously. :) Never have, and likely never will. We are largely influenced by quirky, humourous games that we enjoy (i.e., Phoenix Wright, Disgaea, the Atelier series).

The battles being easy was largely a product of time. Poor time management on my part meant I did not have the time needed to properly balance battles, so I made the conscious decision to lean them on the side of easy because I'd rather the player be breezing past them than meet a stone wall of an unfairly hard fight.

I think sound will forever be a thorn in my side. It's kind of like another language that I just don't understand. That said, we did pick some rather unsuiting battle themes just so they would match the parody of the fight (the aforementioned Yellow Brick Road as well as the All for Love song for the Musketeers).

I think it also shows that we're a big fan of designing characters. If we could just sit and make characters all day, I think we would. XD

But enough babbling from me. I'm really glad you enjoyed the game (and even made a comment on the menus! I love making menus!) I greatly enjoyed reading your review, and it was much more favourable than I was ever expecting the contest version of the game to get. Thank you!
This game is so pink.. so very, very pink..


...Looks more purple to me.
(You okay there, Caz?)

Good review, though. Now I'm thinking if there's another All Hallows' Eve event for next year (and there probably will) if we'll see a "third entry" into the Halloween series like the previous. I'm thinking more of a reddish theme with the title probably called "Halloween Sweets," or something like that. :)
Caz
LET'SBIAN DO THIS.
6081
I did actually like the pinky, and yeah it's sort of pinkish-purple (not entirely pink).. but an opening line of: "This game is so pinkish-purple.. so very, very pinkish-purple" didn't really sound quite as good? Plus my monitor is probably pretty bright compared to others.

Glad to hear you both liked the review though! Addit, I look forward to reviewing that potential sequel when I naturally volunteer myself for more torture next year!

Rach, I agree with the balancing thing - I much prefer it to be too easy than too hard. In your timeframe I'm still very impressed by the outcome, and the songs did make me laugh at the sheer kookiness at times.

And I will forever ship DeexEddy, you can't stop me. :<
Don't worry, Caz, it's completely my headcanon that Dee and Eddy will end up together in another 1000 years or so. As the writer, I think that means my word is truth. (But I never know if I can trust myself??)

Thanks for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed the game, and the characters, as well!
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