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Fragments of fun!

Hello!
Here we are for another review of another Rmk2003 short game.
This was made for the "Swap In the Middle With You", an event in which two developers worked on the same game, one started it, the other finished it.
Ok.
The, let's begin:

Good, and very good
This game uses an old classic graphic style I like a lot. While it's not anything spectacular, I like the charsets and their animation, and the custom facesets too Ok, ok they are just two, as the playable characters, but they are well done! And the sprites are custom too, so it's a plus!

Ok, I was speaking of two different playable characters. I loved the fact that they are very different to use: one for example heals when she parries, the other has to spend a round to recover the mana, one is specialized in offensive attacks, the other can learn a good number of useful spells, if you look around. Since yo will use both you will have to develope a strategy, well the difficulty is average, so do not worry, but I liked a lot the idea.

Before I wrote that you can find useful spells if "you look around". Yes, because the game is set in a oniric surreal world and there are no shops, but looking around you will be able to find the previously cited spells, but also weapons and items. Potions and consumables are a different thing: the monsters, once killed, will leave some resources (that can also be found arounf the maps sometimes) that one of the character can use at the alchemy tables to create healing potions, tonics or even harmful poisons and other harmful things. It's just like a shop, but at the same time it is not! I liked this choice, because it let you choose what to create. One more healing potion or an antidote? A fluid that harms the opponents or one that hinders them?

Luckily the monsters respawn so if you need some more resources to craft that much needed healing potion (unlikely since it's not a difficult game, but...) you can just leave and re-enter the map. Oh and enemies are alway visibile and can be avoided, and you can also save anywhere so... you can play this game without worrying to much.

Did I say... monsters? Yep! There are many of them, and even if they appear as small flames, once touched they will reveal themselves to be skeletons, giant rats, snakes or spiders, and so on. The nice thing is that they, like the two protagonists, are very differend and possess weaknesses and powers: for example the snakes can poison with their attacks, and the skeletons are immune to life drain. It's logical, and nothing strange, but I think it's important, for a short game like this, to differentiate as much as possible, the opposition.
Their sprites are also custom and made very professionally. Another nice feature that's rarely seen.
We have of course also some obligatory bosses, rapresented by the blue flames. The game warns you to prepare for the difficult encounter, so no worries.

Sounds and music are quite good in my opinion, but let's talk of the fragments that aren't good.

Oh yes and you can also save anywhere, that's something that is always good and you will thank for that, especially during later dungeons.


Look at her angry face! This sentence summarize the entire adventure!

Something not so good
Ok, let's speak now of the things I did not like. The firs is... the opposition (giant rats and skeletons? Ew boring). Yes, ok I said that the sprites are nice and they are different, but, being this game set in a surreal world, I admit that I expected something more "strange" and weird (especially after I saw the creepy butlers!). The scenery and the maps instead are ok in representing the oniric world, but yes, I expected weirder monsters.

Then there is the problem of repetitivity: later encounters are frequent, almost too frequent! And since you have just these two characters and the skill set does not change much, the game becomes harder and a bit boring too. I know that the game is supposed to become more difficult as you proceed to the end, but it's quite a sudden change. Also some enemies use the same sprites of the first levels but are far stronger! It's a bit confusing at first.

All the rest
Writing and story are ok, I did not expect something great, and that's exactly what I found. I think there could have been some further details or hints, but due to the shortness of the game I surely can't complain of the simplicity of the plot. It's ok and the same goes for writing, well done and direct, with no spelling errors or other issues.

Final thoughs
The characters are brilliant, both for their appearance (charsets and portraits) and how they play in game. Dialogues are not bad either anyway there are also some tedious parts, after a while combat encounters can be boring for someone, no matter how well designed they are (after all this is a short game so you have just two characters. Despite these few flaws the game delivers serveral "fragments of fun", and it's not little thing as this was made by two persons with two different styles. So yes, this is clearly above average, and given more time to add more dialogues/characters/features (or on the contrary, made shorter instead) it would have been even better.
But it's good, there's lot of quality here. I especially found the graphics and the base ideas for the two characters really brilliant.

Posts

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Frogge
"nothing can beat the power of gay"?
11606
Well this was sudden and unexpected! Thanks a lot for the kind review, I'm glad you enjoyed Fragments! All of your criticisms (most of which are rightfully about my half) are completely valid. The writing was rather rushed on my end, and rpg games are not my strong suit as a primarily horror developer. I hope it didn't ruin the game too much!
author=Frogge
Well this was sudden and unexpected!


Heh, nobody expect my reviews. Problem is tht I love Rmk2000/2003 and these old games. Too late!

author=Frogge
The writing was rather rushed on my end, and rpg games are not my strong suit as a primarily horror developer. I hope it didn't ruin the game too
much!


Well it wasn't bad at all, anyway I realize the problem of making a game in a short time. It was good, by the way I've to play one of your horror games too, then.
Ocean
Resident foodmonster
10287
Nice, appreciate the review! I do agree with the general criticisms, I feel like the world could have used a lot more surreal enemies which I didn't really have, and I feel frogge was working on relatively little resources to draw from to really make that surreal feel. We both tried our best in the limited time we had, so I'm hoping in the future to update it and take more time to flesh it out, and have frogge secretly make the game for me so I can be lazy
author=Ocean
I feel like the world could have used a lot more surreal enemies which I didn't really have, and I feel frogge was working on relatively little resources to draw from to really make that surreal feel. We both tried our best in the limited time we had, so I'm hoping in the future to update it and take more time to flesh it out, and have frogge secretly make the game for me so I can be lazy


I know, anyway the resources used were very nice, I liked them a lot and I liked the visual style. Nothing bad at all for a short game.

It's weird, I reviewed two of your games and both were collaborations! Next time I'll review one made by you only, then! :P
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