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Pocket Mirror, a journey into a circus of fun times!

An RPG Maker Horror game that has an overall charming aura about it, I enjoyed putting up a let's play of Pocket Mirror ever since day one and to be honest, most of the features I found worked brilliantly however there are one or two things that I find that needs tweaking. So let's break this down by category:

(Editor's note: this review contains plot spoilers.)

Using both digital methods and traditional methods of art, the game for the eye is quite astounding, I say traditional as Enjei's area of the game was created with water based colouring. Colouring of the entire along with the lightness/visibility makes what's suppose to be beautiful be that and the scary/suspense areas have an unknown anticipation of something that maybe hiding around the next bend.

My personal favourite area when it comes to aesthetics was the ball room after drinking the Small Bottle, floating up in the air etc. The room itself along with the many glittering, colouring and features that is included within that room is truly epic, the sound in that room to was beautiful.

I wouldn't say that there is an area of the game asides the animations within Enjei's area that needs any alternations. Quite blurry and unable to control the dialogue speed due to it being a video, maybe it was to display the game in a rather third person perspective where the game proceeds automatically, but I don't feel that this decision was the right thing to do. If you use one particular style of art, why make a few particular scenes less beautiful.

Excellent points for all the artists in the Pocket Mirror team, you all put together your handy pieces of work within the game and for the eyes it is definitely a very top-tier rpg maker game.

Out of all areas within the game, I am going to put it out with a very straight forward answer that it requires some love to it, it felt really bland and incomplete with character interaction and the story unfolding, while the game is majority symbolism that doesn't necessarily mean that it will cover the strengths of a game which involves a concrete story.

Character dialogue and how that corresponds throughout the entirety of the game is incredibly important towards how a story is unfolded. While Pocket Mirror has a bigger proportion of great story to it, it looks like from the text that some of it was repeated throughout the game (excluding all of the time one meets an unfortunate fate with death). I'll always protect you from Harpae along with a few other lines in a least four different occasions were pretty much the same although with slight changes due to the situations they were both in. Enjei and the Strange Boy was probably the weakest area in terms of dialogue, it seems like all they wanted to do was belittle or kill one another with which the Boy always had an advantage on, like Harpae's area some of the dialogue was repeated throughout multiple occasions.

When creating a story for anything, ask oneself "So what", what does that particular piece of sentence represent in both the current time and the entire story. Most of the dialogue spoken out asides the protagonist all have a very focused element on what is in the now or in the very short term future, which is fine but it doesn't expand the story very well unless you go through the game multiple times.

Asides these factors, the writer of Pocket Mirror did a nice job although I would love to see more variety of dialogues within your next big project.

Protagonist - Main character of the game, a not very confident, self-doubting yet caring individual who seeks to make friends although will like to find the answers she is looking for over friendship. When playing throughout the entirety of the game with her, she's unsure upon the road that she follows as seen in Fleta's good ending, she has no idea on what she is doing but she is finding the answers because it feels like to her that it will give some sort of benefit, remembering her name and memories were probably the top two things on her mind. Naive character too, especially with Fleta's explosion personality and Harpae's otherwise overpowering demeanour.

Fleta - A "small, innocent" little girl with a confident, boastful and inpatient personality, she would be the one character if in real life that I would not make friends with. Throughout the entire time spent with the protagonist, she has an aggressive, bossy and almost horrible way of expressing herself with a hint of lies added on. The only real winner is the princess along with everyone else being the loser/cheater.

Egliette - Fleta's doll although out of the two a character that understands wholeheartedly the situation that the protagonist is in, within Fleta's bad ending she also has a self-destructive side of not hesitating of ripping her own fabrics apart to make Fleta awareness of her own selfishness. Orders her guards to kill either the protagonist or some poor ill fated foxes and rabbits, she does not hesitate to use her influence to bring order to her kingdom. You'll find out many surprises within after-game content.

Harpae - The most mature, adult like individual throughout the entire game although quite untidy and too constricting with the protagonist. Harpae sets out the goal as soon as the protagonist arrives to protect her from any harm, although playing throughout her portion of the game that she is far from being able to fulfil her promise. From the crying girls within the section of the game where you needed to complete the riddle for the rusty key, both show events of her past of when her father was being assertive in both scenarios, one about work and the other about leaving her room when she shouldn't of, from these we can tell that Harpae wasn't always the totally committed child that she proclaims to be.

Lisette - The unlucky, tainted culprit with Fleta's animation, aggressive with a deeply ill mind, she has little to no hesitation of performing the actions she feels that's right although with the protagonist, she is conflicted between love and hate (more so hate within the majority of it). Believing Harpae and Fleta to be failures and aware of the dangers from both Enjei and the Strange Boy, her concrete desire was to shatter the Pocket Mirror (but we knew what happens when we select "Protect" over "Accept"), the protagonist shatters too. Her infinite doppelgangers shadows over her true location slowly dying.

Enjei - Shares many traits with the protagonist, but is the more feistier, aggressive version of her with both her character art and dialogue. Her true intentions were really well concealed until Enjei's animation which involves both her own mirror shatter and her aggressive patterns with her "real" reflection, daughter of the Strange Boy, she desires nothing more than her freedom although looking at the dialogue she has next to no knowledge of the outside world (doesn't know what a picnic is for example).

Strange Boy - Closest to what I believe is the main antagonist of Pocket Mirror, he has demon ears which can have a strong connection towards the old wax recordings within the game. Massively dislikes munters, he sees the events that unfold within the same mirrors that Enjei uses, to observe the protagonist, mostly with Fleta though as you find out. He is a pretty mysterious character that finds the entire scenario a play thing as such, we don't see him within the Normal Endings and has a big part within the ??? ending.

Platinum did not have any contribution to the story of the game, she's an alternated version of the protagonist within Normal Ending 1.

Music and Sound:
The composers of Pocket Mirror put together music that is without doubt of outstanding quality and flavour. Sound elements to were placed wonderfully throughout all of the game, nothing more to say about that other than I want to give all the composers a massive hug!

Like the music and sound, the programming throughout the game (asides the RGSS error that pops up frequently) is pretty much solid, especially with the card game where everything was programmed entirely from scratch.

Final thoughts: Aesthetic and audio functions are the absolute strongest points with the writing/dialogue being the weakest.

Fixes for the 1.0 version: The darkness within particular areas (2 corners) of the mirror maze where we see Lisette for the first time definitely needs a tad of light to it, anyone who says they did that maze on their first go is a complete liar as that maze was a hairpulling nightmare.

The RGSS error does need to be fixed soon, while the developers made it clear about this error, if the final testing phases were not so rushed at the end it would not of come to this. The testing I felt within the last 24 hours before release was rushed, it was not entirely thoroughly checked which unfortunately did not give the game that final spec of polish that it deserved. If the developers took another week to test, bug fix etc then there would be far less problems with the game than there should be.

Overall, a fantastic game!