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The Adventures of Ris~a~ris and Smuggs

  • Novalux
  • 01/30/2015 12:45 AM
  • 1259 views
So named because those are the character names I chose.
For the purposes of this review, Risa= Ris~a~ris and Smuggs= himself, because I forgot the original name for the second character. Also, I think Smuggs fits him well.
Warning, minor spoilers will follow.

So, what is Memories of Elefee all about?
Cuteness.
Literally, that's what makes it different from other games. Well, there might be a few others things, but that's the big one. And I don't mean that in a bad way, because Memories of Elefee is a pretty solid game all around. But to be frank, one of the reasons you're going to play this game is because of its charm, verbal or non-verbal.

World(s)

The story of Memories of Elefee is your fairly standard tale of normal girl becomes princess in a fairy-tale Kingdom. She takes the place of an already existing princess which she knows nothing about, only that the two were similar in some manner.There's quite the handful of tropes ("Am I dreaming?", forced wedding) and the story takes a while to get the ball rolling (slow pacing). That being said, once it does, there's some interesting material, especially in the possibility that other people could have belonged to the real world like Risa, and the meaning behind Risa's 'visions.'
Of the few towns I visited, each one left a distinct impression, and though they were also standard tropes (fishing town, run-down town), they were on the whole executed well. Villager dialogue and events all pointed to issues of the town/region, and is of the like you'd expect to see in a Pokemon game.

Speaking of dialogue, before I go any further I have to point out the grammar issues. Be forewarned- almost every other sentence has a grammar issue, generally involving wording and sentence structure instead of carelessly misspelled wrods. At times it can hinder the flow of dialogue and start to break down immersion, but it becomes less jarring the more you recognize it.
In contrast to this, I'd like to praise what I can only call the 'fluidity' of the cut-scenes or events in this game. What I mean is that you never once get the feeling that the world has stopped to let you read a dialogue box, as people will continue walking and events progressing as you read it. And then the characters always seem to be doing something when they're talking, instead two brick walls bouncing ideas off of each other. It's something I'm not exactly used to in rpgmaker games, so kudos.

As to the world itself, it's hard to say how rich it could be based on the prospects of a demo alone, but from what I can tell, the creator took care in setting up the world to be coherent, located in place in time. The towns didn't seem to have too much direct knowledge of each other (except the capital), but they did know about the 3 kingdoms. Like I said, it's hard to judge the world-lore without knowing more about it, and there's not too much to go on for right now.

Characters

Onto the characters. As with much of the intro, I wasn't immediately thrilled with the opening dialogue of the characters. I remember (though hindsight is generally distorted) thinking that the dialogue didn't take many risks and I didn't get to see that much of the characters personalities shine through. At this point it was the well-drawn character portraits that improved dialogue. One particualarly groan-inducing line came from the head maid;
"To the west is the country of Equia. That country is full of thick forests and mountains. To the south is..."
essentially giving exposition without any personal spin. But it was after that point, maybe an hour in, where the game began to grow on me and I began to notice the occasional witty lines form guardsmen, townspeople, and crucially, the main characters themselves.

(As a side note, I'd like to apologize for railing so much against the intro, which did serve to attract my attention, and set up the rest of the world with great caution and care, which makes sense for a massive world. But it still felt too slow to me.)

Risa is, unsurprisingly, shocked when she discovers she is indeed a princess. She presents as your normal protagonist, with an added air of excitability and unpredictability. She encounters a supposed childhood friend, Smuggs, who helps her escape an arranged marriage. As the game progresses, Risa and Sumggs each take on more defined personalities, and the dialogue becomes better (one example being the woodsman scene). And then perhaps 2 hours in (I do slow play-throughs), you've escaped at last, and you're ready to set out on an adventure.

Gameplay

As a level 1 newbie. And there's the rub- grinding is something that can take a while in this game, and the lack of an original battle system doesn't help. Of course, the game was never aiming to reinvent the genre, and if you've played any number of rpgmaker games you'll catch on soon enough, but I found myself resorting to the auto-battle system more often than not. One thing that helped here is that the battle sprites were custom animated and the battles were generally pleasing to watch, even on auto-fight.
After maybe an hour of unchallenging auto-fighting, interspersed with periodic retreats to an inn, my party was level 7 and still hadn't learned many useful or battle-changing skills. It definitely felt too long in leveling up (and for that matter gaining gold, but fishing is also available to quickly bolster funds), if only because of the battle system and lack of strategies to pursue. Then again, this seems to be a fairly common trend in the opening phases of longer games, which this looks to be shaping up for.

Charm

I'm a sucker for custom-drawn anything, but character portraits for different emotions really help this game along. There's also menu-screen portraits, which can only help.
The charm of this game isn't just in the drawings, but in the unexpected elements.
Like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12w3Sf3HjD8&feature=youtube
If you were just reading my review, and out of nowhere you saw that, and you didn't know it was related to the review, you'd be pretty weirded out. But at the same time, you'd be a little bit excited and amused, and that's the way the way Memories of Elefee can be at times.
Like this one time, I way having a conversation with the head maid, and then she started talking about slime jelly, and and Risa was so visibly excited about it, and I couldn't help but feel the same way.
Or this one time when I learned about the suprisingly real story of the three gods of Jellism
Or this one time where I entered a bar full of people randomly jumping on tables.
Or this one time where a shopkeeper offered me a free staff.
Or this one time...
You get the point.
Not to mention that Risa and Smuggs interacting is just fun to watch in general.

Pros
+ Fluid Cutscenes
++ Art and Facial Expressions, Battle Sprites
++ Charm, or Jellism
Cons
-- Grammar
- Occasionally boring dialogue
-- Too much grinding
- Unoriginal/Nonstrategic Battle System

Conclusion;
Memories of Elefee is a charming game that provides a solid foundation for most rpg elements, brought to life by occasionally quirky humor. With an improved battle system and gameplay, it has the potential to become a classic in its own right

Posts

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So, I want to apologize up front and say that I didn't get to finish the game. I got stuck leveling up trying to get through the mysterious forest.
Omg i love you. I really never thought people would love this game as much as they did when I first uploaded it.
I have been working on fixing a bunch of things all around the game but I haven't got to post an update. I apologized for it, since then, grinding is a lot easier now.
Also my grammar, I forget to read back on what I wrote and I'm completely at fault for this. As far as I know, it's all fixed.
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