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A mite bit overzealous...

  • Shmeckie
  • 12/03/2008 01:17 AM
Beloved Rapture tries so very hard to be a tale of drama and intrigue, set amidst a fantasy world not unlike most fantasy worlds. And that's half of its problem.

Right off the bat, you'll notice the game's biggest storytelling flaw; the dialogue is ridiculous. No line spoken in this game feels natural at all. It's essentially like reading a short story by a high-school drama student trying to imitate shakespearian dialect, sans the "thee"s and "thou"s. Characterization is also quite bad. You'll be hard-pressed to care for these people one bit. The narrative jumps around far too often, so you never get the proper amount of time to connect with anybody. Coupled with that, the pacing is far too quick, as shit hits the fan quite early, and the main character begins brooding about his life at record speeds. One of the biggest problems one faces caring about this cast is the utter hamfisted way they're presented. These are massive cliche's punching us in the face with the archetypes that spawned them. Their melodramatic dialogue doesn't help much, either. Nor the fact that they seem to have little, if anything, that seperates their personalities, or makes them individuals.

The game also seems to take itself FAR too seriously. The storyline rarely offers any form of relief, comic or otherwise, and simply shoves all its megalo-drama down your throat like a kidnapper using a sock to shut up their hostage. It tries to be too dramatic, and too strong, too often, and too heavily. You may find yourself mocking the protagonist's reaction to his tragic fate moreso than empathising with him. And when another character comes to console him, the ensuing dialogue is so ridiculous it borders on comical. You may wonder if you're really reading what you're reading, wondering if it's all supposed to be some self-aware parody. Like Barkely: Shut Up and Jam Gaiden with swords and spells. Sadly, it is not. It is, however, exactly the kind of game BSUAJG was lampooning.

Technically, the game is also flawed. There's a glitch in the hometown that can get you stick in an obstacle, and even worse, during the end of the demo is an area where all the fire effects and such cause massive slowdowns. I thought my computer froze up, but it was just the game screwing up. Gameplay is almost nonexistant. Sure, you'll walk around from point A to point B, but chests and objects to interact with are few and far between. The beginning tutorial demonstrates such things as coins to pick up, and chests that can only be opened from the front (you need to push it from other directions to do so). While this COULD have offered up a myriad of puzzles and twists to the stages, elements like these rarely ever present themselves.

The maps, however, are beautifully done, with many brilliant touches. However, there are many instances where they seem very overcrowded. Sometimes you just want to swat away the 80,000 birds and butterflies going every-which-way in several maps. The soundtrack is all custom MP3s, but very forgettable and bland. It just goes to show that having a custom soundtrack isn't always a plus; this game could've done well to get some existing BGMs from other sources that both fit the mood, and stick out as good music. Hell, it's easy to forget that you're listening to MP3s half the time, until some vocal "aah"s pop in from time to time. The presentation is very polished, however, with high-quality sound effects and message displays.