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A Journey Well-Traveled

I've never done a review before, for anything, really. But sometimes you just have to. I can say with confidence that Crimson Eclipse is probably one of the best RPG Maker Games I've ever played, if not THE best. It's not without its flaws (more on that later), but overall, the heart and soul put into this, the great story, sprawling world, lore, all sorts of optional content... it's hard to find anything not to like. I'll break it down into a few points, to make this easier to read for everyone.

The Story
Without giving too much away, the story is very well-told and reasonably paced. Usually, there are places in a plot that feel a bit slapped-on or maybe even boring. But in the two playthroughs I've done to get both of the primary endings, nothing felt out of place or dull. There is a short portion somewhat late in the game that places you in the shoes of another set of characters, but the reasoning is there, even if I personally wasn't thrilled about it. And it only added to the story as it is, and made me feel even more depth to a story I had believed I had heard most of. Further, you can actually see why the antagonist acts the way he does. He has motivation for what he does, and it isn't entirely ignoble. Not evil for the sake of being evil, which is a trap a lot of antagonists tend to fall into. Overall, I'd give the story a 4.5/5! It has very, very few slow points, and splits into different points of view enough that it keeps you paying attention.

The Sound
Most (if not all) music is from other properties. Not surprising, and actually not a bad thing. Nearly every single score in this game is from something I recognized. But again, that is not at all a bad thing. The music selection is a lot of great tracks jam-packed into the game. Not a single bad one among them. You'll hear music from games like Bravely Default, Xenoblade Chronicles, Star Ocean. Aside from the music, there is voicework in there, and a lot of it is stuff I've heard in the past. Most of the voices fit the characters quite well, and the sound design aside from the music and voices is top-notch, too. Well done. 5/5 for sound design.

The Visuals
There sprites for the characters are decent. Most seem to be made (well) from scratch. The portraits are nice, too! In battle, most animations are fairly smooth, but some (particularly the limit break skills) are a tad lengthy, if indeed nice to look at. There are a lot of cool pieces of art to pad the story segments nicely. The one gripe I have is whenever Seth has one of his headaches (and he has them A LOT), the screen flashes with a particular bit of artwork that, when it caught me off guard, hurt my eyes a bit. Other than that, there's nothing wrong at all with the game, visually speaking. Very solid in that department. 4/5

The Gameplay
Hit or miss, but mostly a solid hit. The gameplay at its core is a solid JRPG with all the trimmings you'd expect (optional but rewarding side content, collect-a-thon quests like rewards for opening chests and the shards, 'boss' hunting, etc), and a lot you wouldn't (cameos from other games, a sprawling postgame arc, extra postgame chapter). All of that is good, but the iffy part for me was the inclusion of non-optional minigames. The bike one in particular was grueling in its difficulty until I really got a handle on the controls and timing. The city escape sniper minigame was another tough one. If you weren't careful enough, or made any mistakes, then you had to start from the very beginning. I ended up having to do that run quite a few times. Admittedly, it did shake up the gameplay a bit and give you more things to do than the standard JRPG stuff, but it felt a little bit too hard.

Speaking of hard, let's take a look at the difficulty modes! I completed the game (first time) on the hardest difficulty, then again on the easiest difficulty. There... wasn't a lot of difference, other than missing out on content if you don't do the hardest one. I'd say go for the hardest difficulty if you're looking to go for doing THE WHOLE game, even if the difficulty there comes from reduced exp gain, which kind of just means you need to grind a little more.

Overall, I'd give gameplay a 4/5.

Final Thoughts
To be honest, I am looking forward to seeing more from the developers. From what I've gathered, this project has been a work of several people over the course of over a decade. That's dedication! The world this game introduces is one of the best I've seen in a long time. There's very little bad I can say about it, honestly speaking. There are a couple of flaws, but nothing that ruins the experience. It introduces unique elements, like how the weapons and skills work, and keeps the game fresh throughout - which I can really appreciate. All said, the game works out to a 4.5 out of 5. I can't wait to see more.


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I think I needed a few months after completing my playthrough to realize how good this game is (not only, but especially aesthetically). It took so much time and I was forced to constantly lower my expectations in order to be able to enjoy other RPG Maker JRPGs again. A beautiful girl visited my village, but now I'm stuck with the usual country bumpkins again.
Wow, guys! You're amazing! I am going through a rough time lately, but knowing that so many people enjoyed my game cheers me up a lot! Thank you :D

Btw, Dracon, I worked on the game mostly by myself. Some friends helped me here and there, but I usually work alone. The huge work my friends made (especially CrawlingChaox), is the translation. It absolutely improved the quality of original dialogues.

Thanks again for the review, and don't forget to suggest this game to your friends (and foes XD)!
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