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Beautiful & Amazing

I absolutely love this game.

Here is one area where Umbral Souls shines. You play as the evil villains mocking the traditional heroes/heroic tropes, and the sarcasm and humor are excellent. However, these are not one dimensional evil characters, and as you move through the game, actions, words, and even flashback scenes reveal and shape each character. There are moments in the game where your heart aches for your motley crew of bad guys, and there are times you even get angry at their actions--yet, through it all, you are able to understand their motivations. In a game that already has extensive dialogue, I actually found myself wanting even more for a few of the less developed characters.

Probably the only thing that slightly detracts from the story are the grammatical errors here and there, but not enough given the overall quality of everything in the game.

There is a lot of custom in this game, from the character images to monsters to map graphics to battle animations, and they are all stunning. Maps in the game did tend to be smaller, but I found myself preferring it that way rather than the endless sprawl of dead ends and nothingness often found in games. I will say, given all of the custom work, I found myself disappointed when I couldn't enter certain places (I would have loved a shrinking potion to get into those fairy houses).

In addition to Pandora, you can select two other party members, each with their own set of skills. Pandora also is able to summon monsters and beasts, so as you go through the game, you accumulate a veritable stable--from a vampire queen to a kraken--each of which has their own set of abilities and whom you must level. I admit, I did a lot of grinding just to see what some of those abilities might be. I would say, though, that one of the bigger weaknesses were the characters/summoned creatures that you got later in the game. By that point, I had more invested in others, and didn't bother as much with them.

As for the abilities, there are so many custom ones that I haven't seen before, and all abilities have their own custom animations. In particular, I absolutely loved Damien's abilities as a puppet master. Furthermore, the combination of abilities that each character/creature has really makes you think about who you put in your party--how those members might affect the battle and/or even other monsters in the area.

The only thing I will say is Odin!!!!

This game is a must play for everyone. I can't remember when I last played such a beautiful AND engaging game. I believe there's a sequel already in the works, and I can't wait.


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I'm sorry it took me so long to comment on this review, but I've been at a complete loss for words. The fact that you enjoyed the game to this extent is enough to make all the work it took to create it worth it. I can't thank you enough for this review, which has encouraged me even further to create more games with a higher degree of polish.

I don't want to set expectations too high, but I'm going to try to outdo myself in the sequel. I already have the story and characters set up, and there's a lot I want to do. Thank you synthesis, for giving me a sense of confidence in developing future games. I hope you'll be just as entertained by my future works as well!
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