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A marvel of technical genius

  • AeroGP
  • 01/04/2009 06:41 PM
Recommended Audience
If you're someone who gets extremely testy or bored if they're not treated to visual eye candy every 2 minutes, or you're absolutely sick of seeing Real-time Package (RTP) materials in every RPG Maker game, then this game isn't for you. If you don't mind any of these things or are particularly interested in dungeon crawlers, you may feel right at home here. Even if you're on the fence about your feelings, I invite you to pick up this game anyways, as it certainly does better with the generic graphics, sounds, and music than other RPG Maker games that have tried, except maybe Don Miguel's Adventure.

The game's simplicity acts as both a blessing and a curse. Nothing feels like a chore here, and you can save anywhere you want so you're free to take in the experience in short bursts, making the game ideal for casualists looking for a semi-hardcore experience. It's a good thing, too, because the sullen genericness of the graphics and sounds can weigh down on your enjoyment if you play it for a very long time. If you're expecting something more out of the storyline outside of miniature dialogue between shallow characters, you'll be sorely dissapointed. The dialogue, however, is at least polished and shows some semblance of depth and purpose that could be expanded upon in the full game, although you'd wish the author would hook you with it right then and there.

The game's weak presentation manages to draw attention towards its stronger aspect, which is the combat and character development. You're given a cast of 14 well-balanced characters in terms of strengths and weaknesses, and the game encourages you to make use of their repetoir of skills by allowing you to switch between them mid-battle. Characters that are not used restore health overtime and gain experience, but only the characters you use in combat build SP which is necessary for learning new skills. Battles are fixed with the option of "re-battling" to gain more experience, giving you a great deal of flexibility at meeting challenges and clearing floors. Every fight is a difficult struggle for survival, though not frustratingly so, especially bosses whom will strike you down all sorts of unique maladies such as preventing critical hits or putting the whole party to sleep. All of this creates a very addictive and rewarding experience that's not short on fun.

The highlights of the game are definitely its focus on teamwork, its high level of polish, and its flexibility towards many kinds of gamers. It's short, sweet, and engaging. It's flops are pretty much everything else, but it at least gives you something decent in those areas. Not spectacular, but decent.

Presentation: 3/5
Gameplay: 4/5
Fun Factor: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

I expect great things from the author of this title, as he knows how to capture all the fun qualities of an RPG and cram them into a single burst of entertainment. If he were to put effort into other aspects of an RPG, there's no telling what kind of amazing project he could produce for the community.