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Sacred Earth: Promise ended up being a pretty good experience with a hilarious script plus an interesting battle system. It feels like a Visual Novel RPG. While the developer has preferred to keep to Rpg Maker 2003 seeing as how they've been working on their system for quite some time, this game acts as a quick test in RPG Maker VX Ace territory. I have not played the 2K3 version, however I understand that the system from over there is simplified over here, due to complications in that VXACE's structure makes it difficult to replicate the Sacred Earth: Memories battle system. I took a look a while ago, and was initially swamped by the writing and my misunderstanding of the battle system. Hah, I played it again and ended up having a different experience. So let's talk design first.


I felt the design resembled a visual novel in terms of dialogue and then events containing the battles. There isn't any walking around or anything, which is fine by me. It was a story-driven experience, with a cursor system. The player, when given control, pretty much has control of a cursor, rather than an actual character, whether it's menu selecting, or the map event system.

The game begins with an arena set-up to introduce battles. Now, I felt that was a great way to introduce the battles, however, the map system felt quite odd in the introduction. I saw all these people I can talk to, however I only needed to talk to one of them. I tried a couple map triggers other than the objective out of curiousity, and while the dialogue is nicely written, there wasn't enough to influence me in checking the other events out. So, unfortunately, it's not a very good first impression. However! Upon reaching the first "dungeon", the map system did a complete turnaround in presenting a new "TP" system. You follow these paths with your cursor, making decisions in terms of what battles you fight or avoid, what traps you nullify or chance an evasion. I saw this as the moment I started liking this game quite a bit. I like this system and therefore I think the design of this game is very good. However, let's talk about the other major gameplay aspect.

The gameplay in terms of the battle system, like I said earlier, threw me for a loop. I skipped the tutorial and lost to the duo in the finals over and over. My more recent playthrough had better results, thankfully bringing me to the first dungeon. But once I understood some key points, the battles ended up pretty interesting. It was a rather engaging system that required you to decide how many hits you'll allow your combos to have, keeping track of your stats so you don't run out and hurt yourself. The duo was a very difficult battle, testing your quick knowledge of the systems. With the third ally, things got a lot easier for me. However, boss difficulty keeps the trend of difficulty climbing.

So overall I feel the design was very promising and executed fairly well. I can't think of many reasons to bring this down lower, so I'd give it a: 4/5


To touch upon the art and sound real quick, both really were pretty exceptional. However, the futuristic, high-end look to the rooms clashed with the stone arena and icy dungeon. While I didn't quite understand the environment colliding with the clothing and medieval setting, the character art was still good. As for the music and sound effects, each slash and ability sound made the battle system action-packed, the UI was well put together and understandable, overall the visuals were sleek. The music was enjoyable too, I'd give this a 4/5.

Finally, I'll touch upon the writing. As I've said, this game definitely felt like a visual novel, and the dialogue was quite engaging. Even hilarious at times. There were plenty of characters being introduced all in the beginning though. I think it's dangerous to have so many, but I could tell some characters were just a part of the setting and definitely felt like they belonged there even if they weren't involved in the plot, having their own little conversations to the side. The transition from each group's conversation to another was well-written, and that party scene did feel like a party. The script gets a bit serious at times as well, especially when it's around a certain character, which just helps to identify and characterize her.

So overall, the writing was pretty good. I'd give that a 4/5.

So I initially felt the game deserved a 3.5. It's certainly above average, and after looking at what I thought about the different parts of it, I'd say this game definitely deserves and 4/5 from me. The writing is good and achieves successful comedy at some points, as well as successful serious moments. The battle system, while simplified from the SEM version, I felt, was fun. It indeed felt like a fighting game, and the dungeon traversing was my favorite part of it. Overall, a good experience.


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Oh, I didn't even notice this review at first. I was wonder how SEP managed to make it back up into the buzzing section, haha.

Thank you for the well thought out review! You make some good points and I'll definitely be using this information when I continue my work. I'm glad you enjoyed the game for the most part!
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