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An unplayable mess of bugs and cliches



Gameplay: 0/5
The combat in Forever’s End is pretty standard ATB RM fare. There are no random encounters to be found and there’s a nice system where you can get the drop on enemies on order to surprise them and gain an advantage in combat. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really offer you any real benefit because of how easy combat is.

Virtually every non-boss battle can be won simply by mashing enter and attacking over and over. The enemies pose no threat to you whatsoever, making combat more of an annoying distraction than a key aspect of the game. The one exception is an enemy you encounter early on that takes virtually no damage from attacks, requiring you to use a skill.

This would almost be excusable if the boss battles were any more interesting, but they aren’t. The bosses I fought could be trivially defeated by simply using your strongest skills over and over until you won. There’s no challenge and the fights seem to be thrown in just to serve as a form of token combat to make the game anything but a linear walk from one cutscene to the next.

Early on, a monster catching system was mentioned but I never found myself bothering with it because monsters were so easy to defeat and because I saw no benefit to doing so. Since the game never posed a challenge, I never had to bother with sidequests or other missions to gain an edge. It’s unfortunate, because I’m sure a lot of time and effort went into this system that ended up coming across as an afterthought.

Although combat is extremely simple, I found myself confused in the beginning when I was thrown into battle without an explanation of how it works. What is the “Spirit” command? It doesn’t seem to do anything and I don’t recall it ever being explained. Why do I randomly perform a super attack when I take my turn? Considering how extensive the ingame tutorials are, I’m surprised that the game never explains these basic aspects of gameplay.

As bad as that is, that’s not the worst part of the gameplay. The worst part is by far the lag. With few exceptions, the game lagged severely on almost every map of the game. On three occasions, the lag became so bad that the game crashed. The lag is horrendous and makes the game virtually unplayable. If I hadn’t been devoted to playing the game so that I could review it, I would have turned it off within minutes of gaining control due to the insufferable lag. It takes an enormous amount of dedication to continue playing through the lag.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the game is plagued by a number of terrible bugs. On occasion, the sound will cut out in battle, which can only be fixed by quitting and restarting the game. A patch was just released which supposedly fixed the problem. Not only did the problem persist, but it actually made the game lag even worse than before.

To top it off, it is impossible to progress past a certain point in the game! After defeating a boss, the game abruptly crashes in the middle of a cutscene without an error message. I thought that it might have been due to the lag, so I reloaded and tried again (having to sit through a badly-written (see below) cutscene and then fight the boss for the second time) only for the game to crash again. Thinking that perhaps it was just my computer, I downloaded the game to my laptop and loaded my save to give it a third shot, but the game still crashed, at which point I decided I was done with this game.

As it stands, Forever’s End can barely be called a game. The only meaningful decision you ever make while playing is whether or not to use a skill. The gameplay aspects of the game are an annoying time waster and devoid of anything resembling fun or strategy.

Story/Writing: 0/5
The writing in Forever’s End is subpar, even for an RPG Maker game. The writing itself is plagued with basic spelling and grammatical errors, which violently rip you from any sense of immersion. It opens with a long, ranting monologue by the protagonist, an emo blue-haired boy named Epoch. Fortunately, you’re given the ability to change his name.

Epoch is annoying. No conversation is complete without him interjecting with a long-winded emo monologue about how much his life sucks, a habit that makes even Tidus seem bearable. I was completely incapable of sympathizing with him whatsoever because of how much the game makes a point of shoving in your face how much Epoch’s life sucks. Telling me how to feel is a sure way to ensure that I don’t.

This is one of few games I’ve played in which a silent protagonist would actually benefit the writing, and this isn’t just me taking another shot at Epoch. Epoch complains about all the unfair things he has to do and how wrong they are. Letting the player experience these events without side commentary about how terrible they are would encourage the player to think about what’s happening and draw their own conclusions (and considering how black and white the story is, the player would surely reach the same conclusions as Epoch).

The story itself is one of the most cringe-inducingly cliché plots I’ve seen in an RPG Maker game (and I’ve reviewed Mana Conquest). The king of a great nation is being influenced by an advisor whose name escapes me, so I’ll call him Jafar. Jafar wears all black and has a black emo haircut. The only way he could be more blatantly evil is if his name was Grima Wormtongue. Somehow, no one realizes that Jafar is evil and eagerly obeys his command to collect the magical supercrystals. Only Epoch sees through his deception and vows to stop him. Sound familiar?

Graphics: 1/5
There’s not much to say about the characters or tilesets; they’re generic RM2k3 fare and are bland and uninteresting. What’s most unfortunate about the graphics are the facesets. The game’s art looks really good, but had to be significantly downsampled and pixelated in order to work in the game. As a result, the portraits look very blurry and ugly. As if that’s not bad enough, they contrast with the art style of the rest of the game significantly. Downsampled high-res art looks terrible, even worse than the RTP. If graphics aren’t made with the limitations of the engine in mind, then it ends up clashing and looking very ugly. This is very unfortunate because you can tell that the original art must have looked great, but it’s been badly butchered somewhere along the pipeline.

Audio: 1/5
The music choices in Forever’s End are a rehash of the most-used songs in RPG Maker games. You can derive some entertainment from the game by playing “name that tune” with your favorite RPGs while mashing enter to get through cutscenes and battles.

There is a wealth of high-quality freeware music out there. When I hear the Terra Tower song from Chrono Cross in the middle of a boss fight, I’m not engaged. Instead, I’m now thinking about Chrono Cross and about how much of a better game that is. Don’t ever use music that people will recognize, especially when RPG fans are your audience.

On top of the poor music choices, the songs themselves are relatively high-quality, which clashes violently with the SNES style of the rest of the game and breaks the entire oldschool immersion. If you’re trying to make a SNES-style game, then use SNES-style music.

Experience: 0/5
I’ve touched on some of the big problems that Forever’s End has. Now I’m going to talk about some of the small problems, ones which themselves aren’t a deal-breaker but add up to make the experience of playing it what it is.

Text speed – The text moves along at a crawl. Any time there’s a pause in the text, it takes forever to move on. The dialog is already bland and unenjoyable; being unable to skip past it makes it even worse and makes the game even more of an Enter-mashing fest.

Slow animations – Treasure chests take forever to open and result in another text box, resulting in me wanting to avoid them due to how long it takes to actually get the contents and move on. The color fade out associated with tutorials is also unbearably long.

More bugs – There’s a journal system that tells you where to go, but any time you need to rely on it, it’s either out of date, inaccurate, or doesn’t actually tell you how to get where you want to go.

Pacing – The pacing in the game is excruciatingly slow even factoring out the lag. I was an hour into the game before I had even entered battle for the first time. Even Xenosaga and Persona 4 have shorter intros than that.

All of these put together make the game progress at a snail’s pace and result in much of the time spent playing it be staring at the screen waiting for a transition to finish, waiting for a treasure box to open, waiting for the pause in the middle of an ellipsis-ridden line of dialog to finish, or wandering around trying to find where you’re supposed to be going. This game wastes your time and a lot of it.

Suggestions:
- Fix the lag. In an age where we can get games with multiple 20,000 polygons running at 60 fps, a game with SNES-quality graphics should be able to at least manage a consistent 15.
- Fix the bugs, especially the random crashes. This is inexcusable.
- Having to change a game option manually at the start of the game is extremely tacky. Fix this.
- Get rid of all pauses in message boxes.
- Get rid of the awful red screen tint in the beginning.
- Get less recognizable and era-appropriate music.
- Make treasure boxes open more quickly.
- Cut out all dialog that isn’t 100% necessary. This includes all of Epoch’s monologues and ideally the intro text.
- I still don’t know what “Spirit” does. Please explain it.
- Hire a writer. I hate to say it, but your characters, writing, and story are really bad. You need someone who knows what they’re doing.

Bottom Line:
Forever’s End is a buggy, boring mess that is unplayable in its current form. It’s clear that the creator has a lot of potential, but it seems like that potential is struggling to shine in what’s a very poorly-constructed project. Some serious rethinking is necessary to make this game good. As it stands now, I can’t recommend it to anyone, even the most devoted of RPG fans.

Posts

lol, why is it always like this?

A low review on a somewhat high profiled game = incoming shit-storm.

Seriously, it's ONE review out of 15 and the game STILL has 4/5 stars overall. There's plenty of commercial games who doesn't even get this many reviews. People's opinions differ; not everyone is going to like the same thing.

Once again, reviewing reviews.
People will always try to dethrone a king who isn't worthy. Now it plays out on the small scale.
Decky
I'm a dog pirate
19506
And my own game, though I very much accept Soli's review as being some of the most useful bit of feedback I have ever received (even if the Halo Effect is present in this review as well, haha). http://rpgmaker.net/games/2023/reviews/1064/
author=Rowan
lol, why is it always like this?

A low review on a somewhat high profiled game = incoming shit-storm.

Seriously, it's ONE review out of 15 and the game STILL has 4/5 stars overall. There's plenty of commercial games who doesn't even get this many reviews. People's opinions differ; not everyone is going to like the same thing.

Once again, reviewing reviews.


We're just talking, guy. Nobody is going to bust in Sali's house and hang him from his ceiling fan because of some strongly worded opinions on his review. Discussion isn't drama and all that shit.
Decky
I'm a dog pirate
19506
Yeah. I told him I didn't want him doing any reviews for my games, but that's because I don't like shit-storms and so on :D That and I don't feel that this game is a .5 star given RMN's culture and the overall system in play.
Subpar is not the same as 0/5. You keep using that word, but I don't think you know what it means.
Decky
I'm a dog pirate
19506
author=Fallen-Griever
Subpar is not the same as 0/5. You keep using that word, but I don't think you know what it means.


Subpar would be under 2.5/5 but not by a whole lot - perhaps a 2/5. And that's if he's talking about subpar relative to RPG Maker games or subpar relative to RPGs in general. Pretty big difference.
Magi
Resident Terrapin
1028
author=Sailerius
author=Magi
i can only assume this self-indulgent tripe is a desperate attempt to cover someone else's own insecurities. might be better off buying some 100g iron armor to protect that fragile ego bro
You're taking this review about someone else's game really personally. I think you need to chill out a little.

its not an attack on a personal level, its an attack on universal sensibility. in a way you are kind of an enemy of all that live
author=Deckiller
author=Fallen-Griever
Subpar is not the same as 0/5. You keep using that word, but I don't think you know what it means.
Subpar would be under 2.5/5 but not by a whole lot - perhaps a 2/5. And that's if he's talking about subpar relative to RPG Maker games or subpar relative to RPGs in general. Pretty big difference.

2.5 is NOT an average score for a videogame. Far from it. Those who think so clearly don't read reviews in videogame magazines or are idiots. For example;

IGN gave Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust 2.2/10, categorizing it as "painful". They stated that "The lowest rating numbers here at IGN are reserved for games with nearly no redeeming qualities or interesting ideas, with next to nothing enjoyable to offer players, and which under no circumstances should be purchased by anyone. Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust is, without a doubt, one of those games."

GameTrailers rated Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust 2.3/10, the lowest score ever given on the site.

If ~23% is the lowest, how is 50% average? It's not.
...That's out of ten. Not five.
To be fair, FG, those two examples were 2/2.5 out of 10. If you're going to use an example, it has to be to scale.
Read better (unless I added this after you posted because I knew people were gonna say what you said):

If ~23% is the lowest, how is 50% average? It's not.
Well here most reviews work like this.

1 or less Crap of all Crap, you would hardly find worse.
2. Weak but not a total noob game
3. What you should hope to receive with reasonable effort and good planning.
4. Excels
5. The shining star. Likely a game in the top 1 percent of your favorites.

and we have measures in between.
Decky
I'm a dog pirate
19506
Well I was going by what seems to be the general consensus on this site. Video game averages in magazines are definitely bumped up in the 7.5/75% range (almost like a C average). 7/10 (or 3.5/5) used to be my average on gamefaqs. I changed that to 2.5/5 recently.
Actually, here most reviews work like this:

1 - This game is truly terrible/I dislike this game, but it is popular so I better give a lower score than I was going to so that my review actually has an effect.
2 - I dislike this game.
3 - This game is average.
4 - Hey, this is pretty good.
5 - This game is awesome/Hey, this is pretty good, but it isn't popular so I better give a higher score than I was going to so that my review actually has an effect.
author=Deckiller
Well I was going by what seems to be the general consensus on this site. Video game averages in magazines are definitely bumped up in the 7.5/75% range (almost like a C average). 7/10 (or 3.5/5) used to be my average on gamefaqs. I change that to 2.5/5 recently.


And why not, magazines do not wish to besmirch the reputation of a professional game company. Especially when they will potentially be payed for advertising or already are.
Decky
I'm a dog pirate
19506
It varies as well. Some people would consider a 2/5 to be average, while others would bump that to 3.5. It's in that range somewhere. The point is that the .5/5 rating makes it seem like this is garbage among amateur garbage, when reality it's probably a little above average even if you disliked it.
Decky
I'm a dog pirate
19506
author=Illustrious
author=Deckiller
Well I was going by what seems to be the general consensus on this site. Video game averages in magazines are definitely bumped up in the 7.5/75% range (almost like a C average). 7/10 (or 3.5/5) used to be my average on gamefaqs. I change that to 2.5/5 recently.
And why not, magazines do not wish to besmirch the reputation of a professional game company. Especially when they will potentially be payed for advertising or already are.


That sort of review inflation may apply to RMN as well. People don't want to review these games as they would a professional installment, because (1) they are amateur games, and (2) it's a hobby and people have sensitive self esteems. Tough issue.
Nice to see a basic understanding of math is no longer required to post on the Internet.

If you guys want to post what the stars on a review mean don't throw it into a review's comments. Make a thread about it and post in it instead. Don't continue this derail any longer.
Discussing reviews within a review = derailing. Well, I never...

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