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The Angel Told Me To Do This

  • Addit
  • 03/06/2016 12:17 AM

A Game Made By: JosephSeraph
Created Using: RPG Maker VX Ace
It's A: RPG Game
That Roughly Takes Around: 2 Hours To Complete

* whoosh *

Addit: “- What. The. Hell…!?!?!?”
Angel: “…Fear not, Addit, for I have been sent from the heavens to deliver you a message...”
Addit: “If it’s about that candle that I swiped from the 7-11 you can have it.”
Angel: “No, I speak of a different message.”
Addit: “…Oh.”
Angel: “…Here.”

Addit: “What…? What is this?”
Angel: “You must review this game and give it a proper review, for that I shall reward thy good deed with my blessings.”
Addit: "Ehh…but the title of it sounds incredibly cheesy…!”
Angel: “- Just review the stupid game, okay?”
Addit: “Pfft, fine… Not like I was busy, anyway.”
Angel: “Good… I hope you have fun.” *vanishes*

Addit: “Geez – what a drama queen!”

So, I got a request from the outerworldly spirits to review and play this game for some odd reason... (Maybe I should lay off the drugs?)

So to my and other people’s surprises (or not, depends on how you look at it), this month’s featured game chosen for March was none other than JosephSeraph’s acclaimed masterpiece, and one of the many, many entries in last year’s IGMC event, “Resonate ~ Call Out My Angel ~.” (- Yeah, I’ll call her out, all right…!)

This game was quite a big dead indeed, as it ended up not only being nominated for several different Misao catagories back then in 2015, like “Best Atmosphere” and “Best Graphics & Artwork,” but it also did relativity well in the event and submitted JosephSeraph around here as not only that guy who can get shit done but also make it look quite visually spectacular as well. A good trait to have.

So, embarrassingly enough, I haven’t actually played this game yet until just right now for the purpose of this review - I’m not sure exactly why…but I think it might be probably due to general laziness...or maybe it was the blasted title! (Yeah, that’s gotta be it.)

Well, regardless of what it is – how ‘bout I rectify that finally and give this game the ol’ Addit tries and see if JosephSeraph has what it takes. (Or at least see what people have been talking about for the past little while…)

The Story

No one does.

So upon starting the game, you’re soon then greeted to the sight of a hapless young woman living in an crummy ol’ apartment complex who’s depressed that she’s living on her own with no one around to comfort her and no one around to give her any guidance. As the young woman soon then falls asleep after crying herself to sleep, an angel then appears through the window and sprinkles some angel dust on her (I mean, I think that’s angel dust, lol) and then vanishes out the window. Who exactly this angel is that visits her is not really clear here, but I’m imagining that it’s either a dead relative or someone who’s passed away that’s knows her.

Suddenly, the young woman, who’s gone through a bit of a hairstyle and clothing change since then (huh?), awakens in a strange meadow with a little shrub that soon calls out to her to “nurture this tree and then you may leave”. (…I’m not sorry for that joke.)

The young woman, who’s named “Bell” here, soon then heads off north where she then runs into two mysterious strangers in a rather brash kid named “Agni” and a strange half-dog like creature simply known as “Monche” (yeah, I have the Munchies too, lol), and soon the trio then join up together to head on over to Anne’s shop to speak to her about possibly restoring this said tree that Bell talks about. When they arrive to Anne’s shop she mentions that the only way to restore the tree is sprinkling down something called “Miracle Water” that they can find by heading over eastwards. Bell decides to go, and so too does Angi and Monche, in a quest to restore The Tree. Only then will Bell be able to uncover her lost memories and return home once more.

The story here is quite simple enough and the objective here is pretty much clear: go through the three different dungeons and find the three different parts of the Miracle Water in order to finish the game. There really isn’t anything else here in the traditional sort of sense, like a brooding antagonist or any significant world building at all, as all it is, is just a quest to return home and find one’s self. And for this type of game, I think it works just fine.

There is some brief character interactions with some of the minor NPC’s that are in this game, like the townspeople in the Magic Kingdom, and between Bell, Agni and Monche themselves, but it’s incredibly minor and really isn’t anything that though-provoking. They do get into some arguments and question each other at times, but it wasn’t like I deeply cared about these characters that much or bothered with any of their squabbles, especially with Agni and Monche who nonchalantly show up and just join with no rhyme or reason or really any explanation about who they really are or where they come from. Are they other lost children sharing the same dream as Bell, or are they just naturally part of this world? None of that is really explained here at all and it bothers me a bit. Luckily, though, the objective is so clear and focused that it’s not too much of a big deal, especially considering how much time JosephSeraph got to work on this game for the IGMC event and all, so he gets a bit of a pass on this.

The ending itself is pretty cute and ends off well enough, but part of me wishes that there was a lot more to this… It’s a shame, really, because the premise itself is good enough but the rest of the narrative could be so much better with some more additional aspects added to it. What exactly is this world that I’m in - a dream, a separate world? Is Agni and Monche just part of the dream or other kids sharing the same dream as Bell? Is there a type of government established here? Who rules this world? So many questions with so little answers that I felt that the whole world building aspect for this could have been even more greatly explored in detail. Still, it’s not so much of a big deal as it’s probably just me over-thinking about things.

The Gameplay

- Birds!
…Delicious birds.

Despite the story being on the more simplistic side of things, the gameplay side of things shares a similar approach with its overall story with a more in-depth focus on regards to how the game handles its different abilities and equipment that you find, which is a good thing and a bad thing in this example as you’ll soon see why.

Battles are turn-based with a touch based encounter system that triggers if you run into an enemy on the field. Battles regard you and your enemies taking turns with one another and doing damage until one side has been defeated – simple enough, right?

Well, where it gets more in-depth is in regards to how the game handles its abilities and equipment. For you see, abilities, such as spells, aren’t given to you simply by levelling up in the traditional sense - oh no - you have to find various spell cards, either in dungeons or shops, to be able to use various types of magic in this game. You can only equip up to six different spells at a time and every one of your characters can use it, so there’s no predetermined set of class (although some characters have better magic stats right off the bat than others) so anybody here can use pretty much anything here, as there are some pretty useful spells that you can find along the way. However, there are also various pieces of equipment and accessories, such as gear that prevent blindness or silence or increase your overall stats that share the same slots as your spell cards do so you need to be wary of how you set up your characters. Giving them too much junk or too many spells may render them useless in some areas.

I do like the large pool of different equipment and spells being so generously handed out throughout the game but I feel that JosephSeraph may have overdone it a little here, as I had to de-equip, re-equip, and basically have to re-arrange everything as I received more stuff around the second and third dungeons of the game. I appreciate it, but going through all my equipment every new item that I pick up (which is quite often here) is a bit on the tedious side. Yeah, there’s an option to clear out all my equipment that I have on and just start all over again, but some items that increase your HP or MP get deducted when you do this, so it’s a bit of a pain. Luckily, though, I didn’t feel that a lot of the spells here or certain pieces of equipment were extremely beneficial in aiding me in fights, so it’s a little bit of problem, I guess.

Another odd thing is that this game doesn’t have a full restore point, like an INN or something, to fully restore your health. This kind of irked me a little bit, because earlier on these enemies can kill you if you’re not careful enough, and things like revival and healing items are a bit expensive to afford at first, so having a full restore point would have been pretty helpful. Maybe having an rest option at Anne’s shop, since you can often transport back there at will at different times, would have been greatly beneficial. The good thing though is that you do have access to a healing spell that only cost 1 MP to use early on and everyone can use it that healing isn’t so bad that a full restore point is absolutely necessary for this game, but still…for completeness sake I would just add it in.

As for the difficulty curve, though, the game is generally relativity easy with some monsters posing a bit of a problem in some later fights, but nothing too strenuous as long as you pay attention. I never really had any problems with any of the encounters here, except for one…

The “Lich King” is the final boss that you’ll face as Monche in the third dungeon of the game. He begins the fight charging up himself before using something called “Solar Flare” which basically will completely annihilate Monche in one shot. Afterwards, you’ll get to fight him again with two abilities learned in that fight in “Stalwart” and “Health” to give you a bit of a fighting chance, supposedly. Stalwart basically eliminates 95% of the damage done to you in one attack, so his Solar Flare doesn’t do as much damage as before but it still hurts like a bitch. Okay, I guess I’m supposed to use Stalwart when he charges up and then just attack him to finish the fight off when I get a chance, right? Sounds easy, right?

Well…the problem is that Stalwart only protects you once from his attacks and this b*tard likes to keep using it every chance that he gets, and you still need to heal yourself quite often, since it still hurts, and since these type of attacks are special attacks you still the TP points in order to use them, so you’ll probably end up dying a lot like I did through this fight. I thought I was doing something wrong at first or I wasn’t at a high enough level or something, but when I ended up dying again there was no game over screen at all or anything, only the fight would re-start again with no consequences like if nothing happened. (What the hell?)

I tried the same tactics again only to have thing happen to me. I thought that eventually the Lich King would give me a break or something so I could heal myself and attack the ba*tard in order to be beat him but to no avail. (Is this a glitch?)

I EVENTUALLY beat him because of something that I used called “Mars Laser” that I equipped on Monche that not only healed me but put Monche is a state of berserk mode increasing his overall attack power. When I did that, the Lich King would just keep on charging himself over and over again and I eventually manage to win the fight and kill him because he would keep charging and not use Solar Flare. I’m not sure if this whole fight was designed for you to figure out another tactic in order to beat him like this or maybe I screwed up, or something, in regards to the Stalwart tactics, but only having that ability only protect you once instead of two or three times made this fight more extremely difficult than it should have been.

Now you may be thinking with all that said that I didn’t really enjoy the gameplay side of things or anything at all, that it left a lot to be desired, but the truth of the matter is, despite these issues, the game itself is actually quite fun when you get into it, and a lot of that stems from its customization and simple battle mechanics. The game didn’t need a major quirk in it in order to make it stand out as it just needed to do a good enough job with its pre-existing mechanics in order for it do well. It’s just a good traditional RPG that handled itself very well despite a few issues.

The Soundtrack

You said it!

Seeing the game, and looking at what it’s trying to resemble like, I had a feeling about what type of music that I was going to hear in something like this, mainly new age and easy listening sort of stuff - and I wasn’t disappointed on that.

The music is this game was done by “HMIX” and “Presence Of Music” which provides an almost serene sort of sound that resembles a lot of tunes used in games like Valkyrie Profile, Saga Frontier and even some of Tales Of games. The music used here is pretty tranquil with some ambience thrown in for good measure that I thought fit the game aesthetics and art style quite well that sounded overall pretty good. When I first heard the first dungeon’s field theme, “Dazzling Forest,” it took me back when I first played and experienced Chrono Cross for the first that I got the same sort of feeling to it while playing this. The tunes here really did a good job in enhancing the experience overall that really matched and fit with the world’s scope and delivered itself quite well. Although not every song here is as memorable as Dazzling Forest, there are a few good tracks in here as well that I would personally listen to outside of game.

The sound effects here are also used very well in this game too, especially in regards to its ambience and its menu scrolling themes. The menu sounds and confirmation noises were definitely the best parts to me overall. And although this game uses some RTP sounds in regards to its sound direction, like battle animations and such, I really can’t complain that much. Overall, JosephSeraph did a good job with the musical and sound selections here.

The Aesthetics


I’m sure for a lot of people who were initially interested and curious about this game that this was probably the first, main reason why I lot of people were fascinated with it: the water color styled graphics and backdrops. And, holy hell, I am impressed!

The water color styled backdrops and sprites look like they were directly inspired from games on the Gameboy Advance and even the Secret Of Mana series as these backdrops look great and the sprites look just as fantastic as the artwork does. JosephSeraph did a good in emulating these types of art styles and delivered a great visual experience that made me feel like I was playing another entry into the Secret Of Mana games. And although the sprites themselves don’t animate as smoothly walking around and such as the sprites do in Secret Of Mana, I can still pass it off as a wonderful eye-catching experience that just enhanced it even more.

If I had to complain about anything it would probably be that the some of the maps, with its visual style, are a bit odd to traverse through on the field, especially with the eight directional movement phase that it has going for it. There were a few times when certain pathways or doors look like I could pass right through it when I really, in reality, couldn’t and it was just simply there as part of the backdrop.

There were also some parts of the maps, like one part in Anne’s shop, that I could clip against things like pots, barrels and rocks that I thought looked a little odd to see happen but it wasn’t extremely harmful in any way, just annoying. And the battle swirl effect for encounters, although looks pretty cool, seem to take a bit too long in order to initiate the fight themselves. Also the battle sprites didn’t seem to animate as well as they do more in-game. But other than that I thought that the game looked extremely great with a type of art style that I don’t see too often in games around here.

The End Result

This better be that stupid place where we fight Sephiroth again!

Overall though, despite some complaints, Resonate ~ Call Out My Angel ~ was an enjoyable short game that really left me wanting a lot more towards the end. Despite its simplistic story and even general gameplay mechanics, the game does a good job in regards to how it handles itself in a being a relativity enjoyable experience. The art direction may be its saving grace and the thing that mainly stands out to some people, but I think the gameplay side of things I’ll remember a whole more in the grand of schemes for just being a good, solid traditional RPG. I’m hoping that maybe JosephSeraph decides to revisit this in the future, or make a sequel to this or something, because there’s so much more that I want to see and experience from this sort of world that it just can’t end after all this - it just can’t!

Addit: “…How was that?”
Angel: “Ehh…it was okay...”
Addit: “…”

4 / 5 - B ~ Pretty Darn Good!!!


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oh wow thanks for the wonderful reviewwwwwwwwww >w<
god this is really motivating >w<

you know, you just said the best thing i think i could possibly ever hear of a creation of mine: "there’s so much more that I want to see and experience from this sort of world that it just can’t end after all this - it just can’t!"

I think this taste of i-need-more really means that something had a positive impact. It means I was sucessful with a creation -- an imperfect one at that -- in delivering a satisfying experience, and therefore puts faith in my perfecting of this very same experience further and further. Rest assured that Resonate will grow! I will continue as an artist forever and ever, and hopefully the experiences I deliver will become more and more refined with experience!

Anyway, thank you! Um. I'm actually kinda timid when reacting to reviews like this but eyah. Thank you! >w<)/ ~<3
You’re welcome there, bud. I’m glad that you enjoyed it.

You know that you’ve done good whenever the reviewer itself is craving a lot more towards the end but still ends up giving it a solid score regardless. I guess if you had more time and if this wasn’t made for a contest, like the IGMC thing, this game would probably be a lot more expanded on and probably a lot more things explained. I guess in the meantime I’m going to have to keep my eye on you for any future projects coming up, because I really enjoyed this.

Now I know why this game got the featured spot. Now I know why…
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