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(OUTDATED) Builds slowly, but a promising and well thought-out RPG awaits.

Little Wing Guy reviews Forever’s End by NicoB. (Warning! This review contains spoilers)

The game follows the internal struggle of Epoch Lander, Captain of the Dragon Knights and King Richards evil plans to collect all the Magical Crystals. Epoch gets caught up in the sister plan and goes against the man he once looked up to, being branded a traitor by his old comrades he is forced to go on the run with Elise and young girl with a hidden secret. Despite Epoch being the main character, you’ll follow the stories of other characters as the game progresses and take control of other characters from time to time to discover different parts of the story. There’s actually a rather decent amount of interesting characters introduced, I found most to be likeable and realistic, although some of their actions are questionable and feel rather random (Claude’s suicide didn‘t seem right to me, it felt more like NicoB was done with the character and needed to get rid of him) and some characters I feel have more potential than NicoB is giving them. Despite a safe cliché plot and predictable cast, I couldn’t help but get completely engrossed in the storyline. A great general pacing, lots of little cliff hangers and mysteries held my interest from the word go. I can’t help but feel the story has even more in store for us! I cannot wait to find out what.

Now, the first thing you’ll notice in this game (aside from the ridiculously long un-skippable introduction sequence) is the “Dun, dun dun dun der!” familiar tunes from Final Fantasy 7, I’ve got no problem personally with it or any commercial music as long as it’s used well enough, and in Forever’s End, it most definitely is (so you‘re going to have to like it or lump it, because NicoB has no shame in using the most popular tracks). The graphics are also very well done, consistent and well mapped out, each area is a joy to look at and mostly a joy to explore in (mostly, I’ll explain later) NicoB clearly knows how to use Treasure Of The Rudras and Mack and Blue Tile sets. Both I think mesh well together, but on occasion catches your eye on how randomly it can change between the two. A particularly aesthetically pleasing and well designed game play wise area is Alabastor Mountain and the interiors of Rikalia Castle. Other areas vary a little but on the whole a very impressive effort made by NicoB.

Although not evident in the first dungeon, enemies are rather unforgiving in this game, in my experience making enemies hit hard and fall fast are one of the best strategies to give monsters as an RPG creator. Monsters certainly hit hard in this game, but some take one hell of a beating before falling. It probably wouldn’t be so bad if monsters weren’t littered everywhere. Taking them all out doesn’t work because they respawn, no not when you re-enter a map they just come back over time. Not only that, they chase you! Don’t even bother trying to out run them almost all of them are set to a higher speed then you. Despite them having a lot of health, they have strategies and prove to be interesting to fight against. Boss battles are where the challenges in this game really lies. I had to open up the database and edit at least half of the bosses slightly because they’re too tough. Hyuga comes to mind here, he’s capable of doing 450 damage to all your party members when you’re maximum health is around 600+. He’s also aided by two soldiers who can recover him and each other. I’m a fan of tough bosses and if they don’t kill me or provide a tough battle to me the first time around it’s no fun, but I was truly outmatched, the only option here being grinding, luckily there are plenty of save points scattered around.

-Hyuga just coughed and Elise fell down on her own-

Epoch and his friends can upgrade their battle moves to make them stronger (In a custom menu screen, I might add) and draw magic from equipment later on, but Epoch’s starting move can be easily missed and without it you’re pretty much screwed because his standard attack isn’t that impressive. I suggest Epoch starts out with this move already learnt.

The game play (everything that isn’t a battle) in dungeons are fun and innovative for the most part. You might need to answer a riddle, find things in the correct order, push barrels, raise or lower water levels and do a bit of Solid Snake sneaking around at night (which I thought was awesome). Each part of the game has you doing something new, It’s clear NicoB has been a lot of effort into it, puzzles not difficult to solve but fun to figure out. But sometimes it does fall flat on it’s face. The Royal Hunting Grounds is a good example of this. In order to advance you have to step on rocks to cross a river, it looks rather silly when you leap on to a rock with a larger gap than the part of the river you’re trying to cross (see picture below).

-Epoch likes to over complicate things-

It also feels rather pointless when there aren’t any multiple rocks to jump on, you press confirm and Epoch automatically crosses it, there aren’t any crossroad parts, places to explore or input using this method. So there’s not much need for it to be there. Another problem with this dungeon is how difficult it is to navigate. There’s no easy way of telling where to go, applying logic previously used doesn’t work (see picture below).

-I bet you thought you could walk through that. Nope-

There’s nothing wrong with making us explore, but when monsters won’t give you a break it gets tedious rather quickly. Needless to say, The Royal Hunting Grounds has a lot of problems. Aside from that, it is often fun and rewarding to explore, there are tons of relevant treasure chests to find and NPCs to talk too. The game has a World Map accessible later on similar to what you’d find in any RPG game for easy navigation between places, I‘ve always been a fan of those World Maps.. The standard formula of traditional RPG’s like this normally follows the rule of “Town, Cut scene, Dungeon” but this game has an absence of traditional towns, in this game they have a habit of burning down and being destroyed, I can only recall one town you briefly visit where you can freely stock up on and explore, luckily you get a Merchant who offers his services whenever you’re on the World Map a feature I really liked.

-No please! Not the Royal Hunting Grounds! Have mercy!-

Overall I really enjoyed this game, even more than I ever thought I would. Not long after Hyuga’s Boss battle I came across a game breaking bug and couldn’t continue, I still think I got enough game play to write a review but I would have loved to continued playing. Forever’s End appealed to everything I love about RPG’s, although far from perfect I couldn’t recommend it enough.

Score: 82% NicoB has great potential!

NicoB, I think Forever's End could improve by:

-Get that bloody introduction a skippable feature!
-Reduce monster HP, Hit hard and fall fast!
-Royal Hunting Grounds, despite being a small dungeon, needs some tweaking.
-Make Epoch start out with Atom Slice already learnt.



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I'm not comfortable with any idea that can't be expressed in the form of men's jewelry
Pretty good review, LWG. Do more!
Wow, thank you, LWG, for the great review. Very indepth and I love the screenshots. Thankfully, most of your concerns have already been edited and changed for the next demo (weakened monsters, skippable intro, and atom slice); I definitely see what you mean about the Royal Hunting Grounds (I admit, by that point, I really just wanted to get out my demo), and I will definitely work on fixing it up. Thanks again for the feedback, it was definitely worth the wait. ;)

PS. I'd like to know what that game breaking bug after the Hyuga battle was, because I never came across it (there's actually another big town right after that). Just PM when you get the chance. Thanks bud!
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