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Unique Battle System Worth Checking Out

  • flapbat
  • 09/16/2014 06:53 AM
Remnants of Isolation

Time to review the unique little gem that is Remnants of Isolation. I'm not sure I liked all of the elements of this game, but overall I had a good time playing. Let's jump into the review!

Strong Points:

Music: The first strength you'll probably notice in this game is the music. It is well chosen and atmospheric, especially when coupled with the atmospheric mapping. My only complaint was that the boss music was quite short and didn't loop very well. In comparison to the rest of the music which was integrated so nicely, this small flaw managed to make itself stand out.

Passibility: One nice thing I noticed (or rather, almost didn't) was a lack of passibility errors. It's pretty rare for RM games not to have one or two or twenty.

Dungeons and Treasure: The dungeons are pretty good, although slightly repetitive seeing as how the whole game is but a fragmented dungeon. Treasure placement and contents were surprisingly solid, and getting treasure was always enjoyable.

*Spells/Combat* This is where Remnants really shines! Spells are pretty freaking cool in this game, and you can chain them together to create different combos. The difficulty is pretty well balanced (with the exception of one particular boss) and requires some thought. I really liked how powerful magic was to the point where normal attacks are a joke. There is no ultimate weapon that allows you to mash attack. Instead, you gotta tough it out with your badass spell-slinging Rastafarian comic relief wizard sidekick like the magical mute leper that you are, spell-chaining crazy ass fire-tornadoes and holy explosions all up on a bunch of weird undead monsters with strangely verbose and unnecessarily complicated names. It's pretty hardcore.

In other news, the battle system also seems to have some custom scripts, and allows for a more diverse and immersive experience than most RM games.

Item Creation: This was a fun feature that I would have liked to have seen more refined (no pun intended :P). You can use souls won by beating monsters to craft all manner of items; the only issue is that all the items are available from the start. So are you gonna waste time creating the wimpy cloak that costs 50 souls? Hell no! You're gonna save up and change directly out of your ragged old clothes into the best armor in the game! I had such armor before the boss of the second area. Which was all thanks to exploiting the insane number of souls you get from destroying Passion Elixirs! A nice solution would be to have different items available at different stages of the game, or else to at least give those dang elixirs a more reasonable soul value.

Weak Points:

In all actuality, there are no painfully bad points about this game. This section is just a critique of the more prominent offenses, the lack of which would enhance gameplay quite a bit with some simple clean-up. :)

Dialogue: The dialogue is not bad, exactly... but it doesn't quite fit, either. 98% of the time there is only one guy talking, and he just doesn't talk like someone trapped in a scary inter-dimensional magic castle. And I'm not really talking about the fact of him being comic relief. I'm more talking about how he seems to be experiencing things in illogical ways. Like when he finds out that a loved one near and dear to him has passed, he has almost no reaction. A moment later, he gets a little too emotional over something contrived. I can see what the writer was going for, but something didn't quite click like it did with the music and combat.

Exposition: Suffice to say that there is very little of it. Read the overview of the game before you download it, and you'll be treated to what the intro should be. But the actually in game exposition is very brief and less dramatic.

Bosses: Most of the boss fights are pretty fun, actually! So why is this listed here? Well, because the Vampire Boss is a huge douche, that's why! You know; the one in the grass world. He was probably the hardest enemy including the last boss, and is only the second boss in the game. Scaling is an art, and although generally the game nails it, this guy is a total side-hatch boss with no respect for proper difficulty placement!

My real question, however, is this: Why do some of the bosses talk, while others don't? It makes you feel like a real jerk when you walk up to a lizard guy minding his own business and beat the (un)living crap out of him for no apparent reason. Some of them talk before you fight. Some after. Some not at all. The game is severely low on speaking characters already, so why not take the opportunity to unfold some mysteries or at least add to the atmosphere with more boss dialogue?

Other Musings:

Why do most enemies move so fast? They're like ghosts on crack!

The first boss runs away... and then you just fight him again. Why does he go to the basement, other than to illustrate to the player what happens when you beat bosses? From a story-telling perspective, it's odd. And how did he fit down the basement stairs, anyway? These are all strange mysteries.

For the most part, I actually like the character style of in this game. They're quite unique. And as we all know, nothing says "unique" quite like enormous purple fish lips!! Is that why she can't talk? Is the whole inside of her mouth swelled up like that? Good lord, those things are gonna haunt me in my sleep. Gotta say, mad props to the game creators for slapping those suckers on there. I just, wow... So big... So fish..ish...

Closing Thoughts:

Remnants is a good game, but in the story department it doesn't quite pull together as strongly as it could. If the dialogue and story were as tight as the gameplay, it would really be phenomenal. Still, it's worth playing. It's clear that a lot of work went into the project, and I hope more will go into it to kick it up a notch. Also, I tend to critique thoroughly, so I want to assure the game creators that they've done a great job. There is even more potential there that hasn't been harnessed yet, and perhaps we'll see more updates and refinements later on.

I hereby rate Remnants of Isolation at a 3.5 for fun gameplay, a unique magic system, fantastic music, and overall ingenuity.



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The all around prick
You've given me a good deal to think about. Especially about the dialogue.

Quick question about the second boss: Did you use Fire Break? During playtesting, Fire Break made the entire fight simple. (For me at least. But I'm not the best judge considering I'm a dev...)

If you did, and STILL had problems, then it's something for us to think about.
I'm glad I played the game and got to review it!

I did use Fire Break on the boss, but his damage output was so high that I had to heal frequently, build up SP, and by that time he had Fire Shield up again. Granted, I was trying to chain the girl's fire spell off of the guys innate to have it deal more damage. Perhaps I should have just focused on casting normal fire spells. But, yeah, his damage output just seemed pretty high for an early-game boss.

I feel bad rating it lower than the other reviews. But, imo, I think it's an already good game that could be even better. Ranking it 5-stars would mean it couldn't get any more awesome. But I think it could get even better, and that your future games will be even better than this one.
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