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I Have Had It With These Motherf**king Mimics In This Motherf**king Game

  • Addit
  • 09/06/2015 05:43 PM

A Game Made By: devourer51
Created Using: RPG Maker VX Ace
It's A: RPG Game
That Roughly Takes Around: 14 - 18 Hours To Complete

- Boy, do I have a treat for you.

So after playing and reviewing Ghost Visit, a strictly all RTP-centric game that was made for the Golden Age Of RPG Maker 2000 event back in May, I mentioned at the end of that review that I wanted to explore and try out some of the other RTP-centric titles in the future because of the untapped potential a lot of them on RMN may have and are often ignored or overlooked for more original created works (or as original as they can get…)

Little did I realize that I was going to get my next RTP-centric game a couple of months later in the form of a request made to me by devourer51 who wanted me to play his very cleverly constructed adult-like game with adult-like themes wrapped within a title that just screams to me “first game”. From the surface of things, it looks pretty harmless… But you know that looks can often be deceiving, right?

From the game’s description, the M rated list of many wrong doings and such may turn some initial players away from this sort of thing. I mean, usually when you have first game combined with such themes like “sex,” “murder” and “rape” – especially that last one, because of all the recent talk that’s been going on here as of late – you have this sort of uneasy feeling like this isn’t going to go very well at all...for you and the author. I mean, yeah, it’s been proven in the past that you can make a good game here with all these types of things intact if you can do it right and you know what you’re doing, but if you don’t do it right than the results could be disastrous.

Luckily, it seems like devourer51 knows what he’s doing and he tries his best to limit the amount of suggestive themes to as minimal as he possibly can while providing a worthwhile experience for those looking for a decent, if not not-too serious RPG in Hero’s Preface.

But the real question is – is this game any good?

Well, that’s what I’m here for! Let’s go.

The Story


The story begins with a flashback sequence of a beheading taking place in the middle of a city where a man named Kildran, who rose up to challenge the previous king of the land as a peasant himself along with his trusty, mysterious reliant looking mage wrapped up in very concealing like clothing along with his peasant army have just captured the king and have sentenced him to death in a public beheading for all to see for the past crimes that he has committed. After that faithful day, Kildran became king of the land, while the mysterious assailant became Kildran right hand man and continues to lead his army of rebellion to this day.

Enter Prince Larz and his best, closest friend, and somewhat perverted ladies man, Karnac, who is a solider working alongside for the Royal Army, are both sent on assignment in the region of Valan looking to see if the town’s inhabitants and its mayor have sided with the False King instead of pledging allegiance towards Larz’s father. After taking care of some business for the town, and having a short pitstop at Seaside and dealing with their problems with runaway bandits and such, Karnac and Larz return home for a brief visit before being quickly ousted out again to talk to the King in Olan in the desert to the south to see what the situation is there. While things initially seemed peaceful and went quite well the first time they visit, message soon sends forth that Olan was then attacked by the False King’s forces and Karnac and co. soon head on over there to see the full damage done by their men led by the mysterious Robed Man from before, who not only torched the city to literally ashes but killed, raped and pretty much pillaged all that stood in their way, including the king and queen.

Karnac and co. eventually find the Robed Man wandering around the castle and challenge him to a fight where they’re all completed overwhelmed and beaten badly by the man’s incredible speed and strength. Just as things look grim for our heroes, luckily they manage to survive (of course) and are being held prisoner on a boat that’s heading to Slatos. After then escaping and taking control of the boat, Karnac and co. held to Delith to speak to the king and queen there of a way to defeat the Robed Man and stop the False King’s ideals and control from spreading throughout the land causing more chaos and destruction. But what type of power is it going to take to stop them? Can anything stop them?

I’ll admit the first couple of hours into the game’s story and doing all that mindless scouting stuff in Valan and Seaside just wasn’t that very interesting to me. It also doesn’t help very much when most of the dialogue sequences can seemingly go on for much longer than they really should and seem like an exercise in just wasting more of the player’s time. A lot of the times, I would just keep mashing the confirm key just waiting for all of these characters to just shut the hell up and let me play.

But once the events in Olan take place – then the game’s plot starts to get a bit interesting… By no means is it something unbelievably groundbreaking, but it does help drive the plot a bit forward and make you a bit more invested into it. It’s just too bad that the latter half of the game revolves you collecting, you know, those three elemental artifacts that you need to take down the main baddie with that a lot of RPG’s like to use as its main contributing plot device. As for something that prides itself a bit on being as original as it should with its overall characters, it kind of sucks to see the game’s second half revolve around elemental fetch questing like other games do. But we’ve all done it before in our first games, I guess.

As for the characters themselves, the only real standout to me, and a lot of other players opinions, has to be Karnac. Karnac really doesn’t fit the whole typical hero persona persay, as he’s definitely very brash and very outspoken at times. Some of his lines that he says in the game have to be some the funniest stuff that you’ll hear in any RPG Maker game. And it’s quite humorous when it hits during the right times. Even his backstory about his upbringing and his very abusive father is very different compared to some of the other RPG main protagonists and it’s a fresh change that’s very welcome. It’s just a bit of a shame that the rest of the cast doesn’t quite match the same level of creativity that Karnac does. Sure, they have their moments, but a lot of that usually involves Karnac being in the scene.

If there’s two major gripes that I have with the whole narrative as a whole it would definitely be the long winded, drawn out cutscenes and often crude humor that can sometimes take it a bit too far.

First off, the dialogue, while assuming at times, tend to go on WAY too long. This is a common problem that a lot of writers have when it comes to writing out their characters and writing out their dialogue for them as they tend to overwrite way too much instead of just keeping the dialogue short, simple and right to the point. Yes, you may love how these characters act and play out during certain scenes in your head and really enjoy writing as much as you can about them, but you have to keep it brief so the player doesn’t get too bogged down with too much text in-between scenes. I would recommend before you move on from one cutscene to the next to re-read and double check your dialogue a couple of times over and just see if you can make that particular scene just a couple of paragraphs a bit shorter than they are.

As for the crude humor it’s fine in some situations here or there but too much of it can often put some players off from truly appreciating it. I didn’t mind it too much myself…but the presentation style and setting doesn’t really fit with it, so it doesn’t really work as effectively as it should.

The Gameplay

- Who the hell puts something like this up here!?

I like to call Hero’s Preface, when describing its gameplay, as a war within attrition. This game’s definitely very challenging, especially in regards to balancing, character abilities and poor item useage, but some of these dungeons, especially in the second half, will drive you batshit insane! Oh, and did I forget to mention the often high random encounter rate along with enemies that can tear you into shreds!? Oh yeah. This game has that.

So why is this game so challenging? Well, for starters, in the beginning of the game the enemies have the tendency often to poison, put you to sleep, and do all sorts of nasty status ailments that can sometimes kill you if you’re not on top of things. And this would be just fine if you had something to protect you from these bad status ailments, like an accessory that you can buy or find in a dungeon and stuff, or have a character have a spell to negate it, like Larz, since he’s a healer, but you don’t have any of that type of stuff early on. Yeah, there’s an item that can cure some of these status ailments that you get in stores, but these type of attacks hit all party members and not just one, so that’s a bit of problem here. Also, items are quite expensive along with everything else, like resting in the INN, so you may not have enough money to buy it anyway. The strange thing is that in the second half of the game I never ran into any status ailment problems anymore, so it was almost like they completely disappeared from the face of the Earth. Huh…

Lack of necessary healing support also drives the challenge factor up quite a bit. In the beginning of the game, you have Larz who has a basic healing spell that can restore a bit of HP - and that’s nice - but the problem is that you can only basically heal the amount of one attack done to you by the enemies themselves, so basically using this spell isn’t really recommended at all. The best way of healing yourself early on is to use items, like potions, instead, as they heal more HP than what Larz can do with his own magic. It also doesn’t help that he has no status buff like spells at all, which you can get from another character later on, like Wall or Shield that would definitely help in some situations. You don’t even get a spell to remove such basic things like poison or even a stronger revive spell. Yeah, you have a basic revive spell and items for that, but they only restore, like, 15% of your total HP until you can find something much stronger later on in the game, so you basically revive a character only to see them get knocked down again, and that really, really sucks.

However, strange thing enough again, in the second half of the game once you get Cecelia, the fourth party member, you have much better healing coverage and finally have someone who can save your ass in a tough spot. She can even heal all party members with one spell instead of individual ones like Larz has and she’s got a technique to restore her lost MP in battle so it makes dungeon crawling a lot easier with her. (God bless this woman.)

Speaking of dungeon crawling, the second half dungeons can get absurdly long with its 15 different floors, mimics EVERYWHERE (that can also kill you, nonetheless) and party bantering like you wouldn’t believe. There’s also this running joke about empty chests being placed in these dungeons that get your characters quite angry but it’s so often used that you tend to get a bit sick from hearing it. Well – you better find and search for every single chest in this game, because without the proper gear from these long winded dungeons your ass won’t make it pass breakfast. You NEED this shit just to survive.

From the sounds of it, this game sure sounds rather impossible, doesn’t it? Well…it’s not entirely impossible to finish this game…but it sure likes to test your patience level to a seemingly new high. This game just likes to pester you enough without fully pushing you away from it too much for it to be extremely frustrating, and that’s something that I kind of enjoyed. Sure, this game is hard and can be downright unfair at times, but it wasn’t enough for me to absolutely rage quit or get frustrated and not come out it with some enjoyment. I’m not sure what it is, really…but the challenge may seem to some considered a positive.

One thing I do like about the battle system is how your TP meter fills up after getting hit or attacked that leads to perform much stronger attacks which gives otherwise useless commands, like Guard, an actual benefit to using it. You see, your basic attack is okay to use on basic enemies or when your TP meter is low but it’s your special attacks that allow you to bring the pain. A lot of these types of attacks can hit multiple targets, poison enemies, or deliver a satisfying blow that makes each ability useful and extremely fulfilling to use.

It’s also very nice and comforting to have the ability to save your game anywhere. And in a game where its dungeon size and length are almost astronomical in size, this is a great thing to have. Since certain battle encounters can often kill you if you try to run away or open the wrong chest and fight one of those mimics, it’s a good idea to save everywhere and save often. If this game didn’t have that feature than this game would almost be unplayable, so thank god.

The Soundtrack

Pyrotechnics – GO!

Believe it or not, since Hero’s Preface uses all VX Ace RTP related sounds and its soundtrack even, this is actually, embarrassing enough, the very first time I’ve got to actually sit down and listen to its entire soundtrack in its complete entirety. For you see, since I’m mainly a 2k3 sort of guy, I haven’t really bothered listening to all the other RPG Maker music files other than 2k and 2k3 and, to a latter extent, a bit of a XP, so is this completely new for me. Since I’ve never made a game using mainly RTP resources, I usually just instantly swap it out for my type of resources – but whatever.

The music’s actually pretty good, actually, listening to it. Like, really good. I think it’s even better than XP, actually. It almost has that sort of Tales Of / Breath Of Fire type of vibe to it that sounds incredibly bouncy and catchy and even rocks out with its battle themes with that killer guitar solo to it. And since this game likes to up and lower the tempo a bit with some of these songs, they even sound better than what they originally sound like in its actual state. Take Dungeon8’s theme, which has a much slower tempo to it originally and combine that with what the author uses in the Arch Mage Tower and it sounds 10x better. Of course, some of the songs were left intact with absolutely no changes at all, but it sounds really good. I really dig Battle3’s track, as it fits extremely well with all the tough as balls bosses that this game had, and Dungeon 6 I kind of like it too. Overall, for something I haven’t fully listened to until just now, the music’s awesome. Yeah, it repeats a bit and it’s a bit on the short side, but it’s pretty good. The sound effects aren’t anything really special to note, as they sound pretty much similar with all the other recent RPG Maker’s, but they do the job just fine.

If I had to complain about one thing that this game didn’t do with its sound department is that some of the chests or items, especially early on that you find, have no real acknowledge jingle for when you find a particular item that feels a bit weird. I mean, there’s the sound effect for when you open up a chest, sure, but nothing after that when you acquire the item. I also would have appreciated some minor sound blips for the text display and scrolls just to keep you a bit centered on the dialogue that’s going on, since it’s so text heavy.

The Aesthetics

There should be a third option: “Run”.

Overall graphically speaking, I think the game looks quite nice for a RTP-centric title. The interior maps and town layouts look especially nice and are pretty well detailed for a game like this, so I was quite impressed from what I was looking it. Sure, it’s not perfect, as there are some weird tileset oddities, like a bookshelf that was missing its lower half, and most of the towns themselves had hardly any residences walking around outside to talk to and some areas are way too spacious with nothing much to fill it in, but I think overall the presentation fits the bill quite nicely and I don’t really have too many complaints other than just those minor ones.

I also noticed that some maps tended to lag a bit more than others did while I walking around, like the World Map or some of the towns like Delith did, which was kind of annoying and a bit noticeable but it wasn’t extremely gamebreaking. I’m not sure why lately that a lot of VX Ace games that I’ve been recently playing have this type problem for me. (Is it because of the map size or the amount of events that are on screen?)

The End Result


This is the type of game that feels more like an investment towards the player’s time the longer that you stick with it, especially towards the end. If you can handle some of the annoyances that this game likes to throw at you and rise to the challenge of it all, then you’ll find that Hero’s Preface, while not a fantastic game, will provide you with some decent levels of entertainment. It’s all whether you enjoy relativity challenging games and also enjoy a side order of crude humor. For a VX Ace RTP-centric title, I think the game did a relativity good job overall, but if it wants to reach even higher levels of excellence it needs that extra amount of fine tuning of balancing, keeping the pace moving at a more consistent level with its dialogue and dungeon length and adding in some more helpful goodies along the way that can definitely help struggling players out. It’s basically what I would call a work in a progress.

(…F**king Mimics…)

2.5 / 5 - C- ~ Passes, But Just Barely.


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------------- THANKS ADDIT ------------------
I thought about making it Teen and just cutting out all the extreme violence and stuff, but then it wouldn't be the game I wanted to work on anymore, so I decided to leave it. (I have a lot of "fun" things planned that I wouldn't be able to do in a kiddie game.)

Also, it was actually my first game, and I think you can really tell it. I was experimenting with things and learning how to map and stuff in the first few hours (Valan to Capitol). Then when I got to Olan I sat down and really thought about where I was going with my story. The story is kinda cliche when you hunt the orbs, but I wanted to use Ifrit, Shiva, and Rammuh and that's what came to mind. Then I experimented with long challenging dungeons, but that is a NO in the future, lol.

It's all alearning process!

I didn't realize my game was that hard, but since I created and play tested, I knew what to do, what level I should be, what move was best, and all that lovely jazz. I did a lot of silly things that I really shouldn't have done, like for instance, I kinda judged the difficulty of 3 monster encounters as the precedence for a "challenging" battle and assumed you would just run from a full 4 monster encounter and other stuff like that. Probly shouldn't go assuming stuff like that in the future, lol.

Also... Spoilers about Olan much? haha!

I'm glad you praise Karnac so highly, but come on now, I tried to make all of them have good dialogue! Stop mashing that button and read, lol!

-------------- CORRECTIONS --------------------
I don't want to sound like a jerk, but I do need to clarify a few things you got wrong in my story (no hard feelings)

*The Robed Man is not the same guy from the scene at the beginning of the game. That is Shadow, a powerful assassin who was with Kildran before he became the False King. The Robed Man is a "wizard" that joins Kildran later and helps him after he is initially losing the war. Then he takes Shadow's place as right hand man to Kildran and starts commanding the armies.

*The guy they fight in Olan is Shadow, not The Robed Man. You fight The Robed Man at the end of the game after you have all three orbs.

*Dalith, not Delith

---------------- PLANNED -----------------------
I really don't wanna touch my dialogue because I have a lot... A LOT, and I personally like where I'm sitting with it. I know cut-scenes can be long and drawn out, but I've put a lot of work into them, and if the player doesn't want to enjoy that hard work, then fine!

But I can do the following:

*lower encounter rates and monster difficulty
*lower boss difficulty (Yes, even for mimic's)
*increase gold and exp rewards (I'll need to replay the game to re-adjust this)
*condense later dungeons (try to cap at 7-8 map max)
*increase Larz's heal (I meant for you to use it after fights to heal up... there I go assuming)
*make Gaurd actually viable (It's just bad...)
*balance fighting better
*add a tutorial to explain the fighting (it's simple really, think of Poke'mon)

I am definitely going to redo the first couple dungeons that I've already done in the second game, and apply this feed back to them. I also got some good feed back from a few other people, so I might just go ahead and do what they suggested in this big overhaul.

---------------- FINAL THANKS -------------------
Once again, thank you for playing my game and leaving such fantastic feedback. When I get some free time, I'll go ahead and make changes and re-release. Maybe you can update your grade when I update my game? (lol, I don't expect you to replay it, it's much too long!)
Don't hate me cause I'm Cute :)
I do have to admit.........THE MIMICS SUCKED :) I kept looking for better weapons and armor.....even another EMPTY chest...but no, you made me fight them thar mimicmonsters :)

When your done with the overhaul, I might even give it another try....
OH, and.....damn, flew right outta my brain :(
Yeah, when I was writing the review I tended to mix up Shadow and The Robed Man and thought that they were two of the same person, since they do share the exact same sprite in the game. I thought I corrected that before I submitted the review in - but I guess not, lol.

- And it was “Dalith!” (I knew that Delith didn’t sound quite right.)

And as for some of the planned stuff, I’m definitely in favor of it. Larz definitely needs a bit of an upgrade himself, as he just seems kind of, well…just there to be used mainly for a human meat shield during the latter half of the game, since Cecelia’s a much better healer than him and Jack and Karnac’s special attacks are just flat out way better than all of his all around. Either way, he needs some serious buffs. (The man’s a prince, for god sakes.)

And keeping the dialogue intact is probably just fine as long as everything else is just balanced and sorted out.

And you’re welcome for the review. Sorry it took so long. And if you manage to update your game enough I’ll definitely give it another go and give it re-review for you if I get the time. Just give me another holler when you’re done.

@ Linkis – I didn’t find the Mimics too bad until they started getting waaaaay more aggressive and hard as f**k around the ice dungeon where they were starting to tear the group up in less than three or four turns, and then I started getting mad. Thank god you can save your game just before you open a chest up to see if there's one inside, because, man, I think I would have lost it around then.
Don't hate me cause I'm Cute :)
OH DAMN, I never thought to save before opening a chest, thanks for the idea :)
You should check out my newest patch. It's a pretty big game update and I think you'd appreciate some of the changes. If you guys think of anything else I need to work on changing, I'd be glad to do it.

Patch notes are on my blog
Don't hate me cause I'm Cute :)
OH CRAP, I told you...no more updates....finish Act II.
Damn, now I have to go replay all of Chap.I so I can see the changes.
With my short term memory loss....this ain't gonna be easy :)
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