• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

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

Pages: first prev 123456 last
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7655
author=Fallen-Griever
I think you mean high-score bias. Why do you get a minimum three-star bonus just for making and finishing a game in RPG Maker?
{image}

You know I'm not one to speak when it comes to this sort of thing, but you may want to refrain from posting "image macros", seeing as how they aren't exactly acceptable around these parts.

Also, all else being said about personal opinions vs. universal standard, if this (a game made in three hours just for shits during a warm summer's afternoon) had even a half-star higher review than Forever's End, something terrible has happened.
I personally believe that quantitative scores are the bane of game reviews in general and should be abolished here and everywhere.

But I guess RMN is a “website”, a database of “gams”, and things need to be “sortable” by "quality" somehow, so I will not get into any discussion of Sailerius' score because it is a representation of his personal evaluation of the quality of the game.

That said, the most important takeaway from this review should be Sailerius' extremely valid and well-articulated suggestions. He seems to have played a good deal of the game, is not vague in his criticism, and offers suggestions to make the game better instead of just ripping on it senselessly.

I would myself suggest to NicoB that he at least take these points into serious consideration as he continues to refine his game. Sailerius was correct in pointing out that "WOWOW this is the best game i evvver played, 5/5" comments from easily-pleased people pandering to your ego are not going to help you develop. It is critical but accurate reviews like these that are the most helpful--if only you listen to them.
author=mellytan
I personally believe that quantitative scores are the bane of game reviews in general and should be abolished here and everywhere.

But I guess RMN is a “website”, a database of “gams”, and things need to be “sortable” by "quality" somehow, so I will not get into any discussion of Sailerius' score because it is a representation of his personal evaluation of the quality of the game.

That said, the most important takeaway from this review should be Sailerius' extremely valid and well-articulated suggestions. He seems to have played a good deal of the game, is not vague in his criticism, and offers suggestions to make the game better instead of just ripping on it senselessly.

I would myself suggest to NicoB that he at least take these points into serious consideration as he continues to refine his game. Sailerius was correct in pointing out that "WOWOW this is the best game i evvver played, 5/5" comments from easily-pleased people pandering to your ego are not going to help you develop. It is critical but accurate reviews like these that are the most helpful--if only you listen to them.


I have to say though that many of his complaints are about aspects of the game I personally had no issues with (the red tint, not understanding spirit , the lag, the crash)

I truly believe he rated this game so low purely due to the crash. Pure ragequit.

Does he make some valid points though? Yes. None of which justified a score under 2
author=mellytan
I personally believe that quantitative scores are the bane of game reviews in general and should be abolished here and everywhere.

But I guess RMN is a “website”, a database of “gams”, and things need to be “sortable” by "quality" somehow, so I will not get into any discussion of Sailerius' score because it is a representation of his personal evaluation of the quality of the game.

That said, the most important takeaway from this review should be Sailerius' extremely valid and well-articulated suggestions. He seems to have played a good deal of the game, is not vague in his criticism, and offers suggestions to make the game better instead of just ripping on it senselessly.

I would myself suggest to NicoB that he at least take these points into serious consideration as he continues to refine his game. Sailerius was correct in pointing out that "WOWOW this is the best game i evvver played, 5/5" comments from easily-pleased people pandering to your ego are not going to help you develop. It is critical but accurate reviews like these that are the most helpful--if only you listen to them.


Agreed on all counts. This definitely brings to light the flaws of the star rating system. As I mentioned before, we'd be open to alternatives; at the moment we're going off of precedent and what's coded into the site. The score is the primary complaint I've seen, and the review content does provide some useful feedback.

Again, I encourage everyone to send PMs to the staff or start a new topic in the Feedback forum about the star rating system and your ideas for making it better, or gone. Any other thoughts before I lock this up?
author=SummonOfYuna
justified a score under 2


And this is the flaw of quantitative scoring systems; everyone has their own idea of what "good" and "bad" and everything in between is. While it is somewhat easier to articulate these feelings and opinions in a wordy review, it is much harder to match a score to them. If you give people the freedom to give whatever score they want, there will always be wild differences between one person's 3/5 and another's.
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
18752
author=S. F. LaValle
Again, I encourage everyone to send PMs to the staff or start a new topic in the Feedback forum about the star rating system and your ideas for making it better, or gone. Any other thoughts before I lock this up?


I wouldn't lock it before giving NicoB the opportunity to respond to all this personally.
Yeah, I don't see a need to lock it.

Just so everyone knows, a discussion about the rating system has been started on the forum:
http://rpgmaker.net/forums/topics/8615/?p=1#posts
author=Perihelion
Yeah, I don't see a need to lock it.

Just so everyone knows, a discussion about the rating system has been started on the forum:
http://rpgmaker.net/forums/topics/8615/?p=1#posts


Ah, I missed that, thanks. Everyone probably moved discussion there, so I'll leave this open.
author=Solitayre
I wouldn't lock it before giving NicoB the opportunity to respond to all this personally.


Honestly, I don't have anything to say that wouldn't likely cause more conflict. I will only say, in response to what some people have said, that in reality Salerius did not play much of the game; he only played through one dungeon. It would probably take one, maybe two hours at max to reach where he stopped. However, I do understand the lag was likely the reason behind him taking six hours to reach that point. I've been trying to figure out how to fix it, but it's pretty difficult to do when I'm not actually experiencing the problem myself.

Anyway, that's all I have to say.
I think my comment belongs here, referring to the review rather than trying to fuel the fires of this heated debate...

Despite the ratings, I really do believe there are some valid complaints here. I'm especially focusing in on the lag issues, and the random crashes. This makes a game unplayable, in my opinion, and when a game is this popular, there needs to be a way for people to be aware of these bugs. Sometimes harsh reviews like this are the only warning signs that will resonate with people. If I had this many problems with lagging and crashing in an rm game, I'd be pretty harsh too.

I think what needs to happen now is for Nico to find solutions to these game breaking problems, and take into consideration some of the other listed criticisms in this review. They aren't invalid, as slow text and pacing are amongst the biggest complaints in any of this site's reviews.

Of course I'm not persuaded by this one review to stay away from this game forever, but I really hope Nico takes the opportunity to tend to these faults so that when people like me finally do decide to give this game a chance (it won't happen until a full version), we aren't plagued with the same bugs that made Sai so spiteful towards it.

Anyways, now to Sai: you can't make a critically successful game and expect people to approach your low review (of another critically successful game) in the same way they would any other's. They're just going to assume you're being competitive. I'm not saying that people are right to be personally attacking you for this, but that's exactly why they're doing it. With the gift of popularity comes waning faith in your reliability, no matter how well you back your opinions. I'm not saying that if you were anyone else this wouldn't be generating as much discussion, but I sincerely doubt the personal attacks would be present.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13715
NicoB, have you considered a hard mode? While simple stat tweaks are not necessarily the best solution, it might be worth it to use classes as a work-around for difficulty - they'll let you change stats around, lowering them. You could also make "normal" and "hard" versions of each boss.

(Oh, 2k3, you and your horrendous work-arounds.)
author=Craze
NicoB, have you considered a hard mode? While simple stat tweaks are not necessarily the best solution, it might be worth it to use classes as a work-around for difficulty - they'll let you change stats around, lowering them. You could also make "normal" and "hard" versions of each boss.

(Oh, 2k3, you and your horrendous work-arounds.)


That's definitely a thought. But I probably won't go doing that until the game is finished.

@sbester: I've been talking with Cherry trying to figure out how to fix the lag. I truly don't understand it. My laptop is 5 years old and it doesn't experience any lag. All I can do is say, "Well, maybe this will work" then change something, make a new version, and see what people think (unless someone volunteers to be my guinea pig). Also, the sound bug has been something I've been trying to fix for the past year, so I'm not exactly twiddling my thumbs over here.
Pages: first prev 123456 last

Reply

Comments have been disabled on this review.