• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

Story Addiction: The Game

  • Sphere
  • 09/03/2017 05:13 PM
  • 1388 views
Just a few moments ago, I beat this masterpiece of a game and watched the credits roll. Masterpiece...not a word used very often in gaming. I consider games like Xenogears, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy IX, and Dragon Quest VIII to be masterpieces. I now include Umbral Soul numbered among them. It's that amazing. Why is this you might ask? Allow me to give you some insight.

Instead of categories, I'm simply going to talk about this game from my own perspective without spoilers. First and foremost, this is a game that is much more than just, "you play as the villains." There is a depth to the story, layers within layers, that have a charm and character that is unique to games that have villain protagonists. The narrative is so encompassing, so purely addicting, that I was not even aware that several hours had passed when I first selected "New Game". It's that intangible quality, that feeling I had when I first booted up the likes of Final Fantasy IV or Xenogears when I was much younger, that suddenly came flooding back to me like a long-lost relative I thought was gone forever.

To say that the protagonist, Pandora, is an amazing character is an understatement. Her motivations for becoming a being of darkness are sincere, and not only did I come to relate to why she is doing what she does, but this is the first time a game made me really not like the "good guys". The rest of the cast have their own very solid backstories for joining up with her, and for a few of them, quite relatable (especially Marcus and Damien). I would be remiss if I didn't mention the succubus Lanith, an ally to Pandora, who by end-game, became one of my favorite characters. There is depth to each character's story arc, their stories are not contrite and just "there" to add filler like so many other games, even commercial ones. You will be hard-pressed to find a game with better developed characters than this one.

The gameplay is absolutely spot-on, and perfect for me. Just as an aside, before playing this game, I usually steered away from games with front-view battle systems that were not named Dragon Quest. This game changed my mind on that and then some. The battle system was perfectly, and I mean perfectly balanced to the point of which I don't think it's possible to get it anymore balanced than it currently is. I only once felt that a fight was a bit too overpowering, and yet I managed to get through it after getting trounced. I only saw the game over screen that one time, and I think it was due to my own strategies not working as I had intended. That is the inherently interesting thing about this game, is that there are so many ways of approaching battle. The addition of summons and how they're utilized is such a crucial component to this battle system. You'll very likely have your two or three absolute favorites according to your style of play, and those will be the ones you get attached to as you journey onward.

One thing I absolutely have to mention when it comes to features of this game, is that when you come to the point in the story where you can freely access your castle anytime you wish from the menu, that you will not want for healing at that point onward (save for a few times for story reasons). Which makes sense to me. You're the villains in this game, you should have a base of operations where you can heal up anytime you like. Just a bit of advice for you newest players? You'll want potions/ethers/stimulants at the beginning of the game, and maybe a few here and there mid-game. Spend your money on other things, especially once you're able to upgrade your summons. For the majority of the game, if you play your cards right, you'll not have to really worry about conserving your HP/MP.

The graphics are solid, and some of the animations I noticed are absolutely amazing. I really don't have anything else to add about the graphics, other than that the resources that the developer pulled from/created are like they were meant for this game all along. I was impressed with quite a few of the enemy designs as well, especially the final boss. As for the music, it was perfectly placed. I recognized quite a few of the tunes used, and to great effect I might add. Some of the tracks that really stood out to me were: the 'creepy' one with the little children voices, the multiple boss battle tracks, and the regular battle theme as well. I'm a big fan of metal music, and this soundtrack spoke to me on that level for quite a few of its rockin' tunes. Awesome stuff!

For me, this is a game that transported a 40 year-old adult back to when she was a kid playing RPGs on her SNES and Playstation. Sure it's got a few grammar/spelling errors here and there (I actually got used to the incorrect spelling of "thier" after a time), but nothing that detracts from the game. It's got one of the most addictive stories I've ever seen, the gameplay is phenomenal, the graphics are amazing, the music is outstanding, and overall you owe it to yourself to play this certified masterpiece. Drop whatever commercial game you're playing, download this gem, and you'll be addicted for the next 20 hours or so.

Posts

Pages: 1
My two new best friends

Shock and speechlessness. Before coming to rmn, I wasn't too terribly familiar with these emotions. I'm a pretty chatty guy once you get me going, so I've never had trouble finding my words, and having lived to the ripe old age of 28, there aren't many events that truly shock me. But now, after having read the various reviews on this game, I feel as if I've grown to know shock and speechlessness very closely. We've become best friends, brothers even, to the point that I believe I will grow old and die with shock and speechlessness by my bedside.

Emotional Exhaustion

At this point I'm not entirely sure what to say. I've gushed about how unfathomably joyful I am that something I made was able to bring a few hours of fun into people's lives. I've flipped out at the fact that it has gotten a staggering six (now seven) reviews. I've nearly undergone cardiac arrest after having the game featured. I'm spent. I have nothing left to give. I've become so happy that my emotions have come full circle and now I'm not sure how to feel. Yet not saying anything at all would be an insult to this review, so here goes. Deep breath.

Squealing like a little girl

First of all Sphere, thank you for playing my game, and thank you even more for giving it such incredible praise. The fact that you would consider it a masterpiece is just overwhelming. Seriously, I'm a 28 year old man and I'm trying not to cry over here. If even one person had enjoyed the game to this extent, all of the work would have been worth it, but to have so many people tell me they found it enjoyable is fulfilling beyond words.

The Future of this game

Thanks to numerous reports from several players, I've managed to correct all the spelling, grammatical, and technical errors that have been brought to my attention, including the innumerable "thier's". While it's perfectly playable, I wouldn't feel satisfied leaving the game in its current state, which is why I'm developing an enhanced edition with various additional bells and whistles as well as an alternate campaign.

In closing, let me thank you again for sharing your thoughts and making someone who thought they couldn't possibly get any happier even more happy. I hope you'll join me for future games as well!
Great game, great review, poor Wheel. He´s emotionally spent. I don't think he´s coming back from this.
For the record, I blame my crippling psychological trauma on all of you.
author=lianderson
Great game, great review, poor Wheel. He´s emotionally spent. I don't think he´s coming back from this.


Just wait for when he releases the full version ahaha.
I can’t believe that this game now has seven different reviews with a perfect five out of five score for each one. It’s an amazing accomplishment, that’s for sure. And I can understand why you’re absolutely jumping over the moon there, bud - I would too if I had this many good scores and feedback!

- And I didn’t know that you reviewed any games on here, Sphere! Does this mean that you’re gonna be reviewing more games in the future???

EDIT: Lol, I didn’t mean to post THIS many times on here but I guess RMN must have crapped out somewhere along the line and I got four extra posts that I really only initially attended to be just one. *sigh* Oh well, we'll see if Liberty or Kentona can fix this mess up later...
You can't believe it? I can't believe it! I was afraid to post this game because I was sure I'd be run out of town with pitchforks and torches if I did. I never could've imagined people would like it this much. Thanks for the props man, if I ever have a heart attack from all this, I want you to have my PS2.
Marrend
Guardian Angel of the Description Thread
14507
author=Addit
EDIT: Lol, I didn’t mean to post THIS many times on here but I guess RMN must have crapped out somewhere along the line and I got four extra posts that I really only initially attended to be just one. *sigh* Oh well, we'll see if Liberty or Kentona can fix this mess up later...


Got yer back, Addit!
author=Addit
And I didn’t know that you reviewed any games on here, Sphere! Does this mean that you’re gonna be reviewing more games in the future???


That was my first review. =) I'd love to review more games, and I've downloaded quite a few RM games recently (notably Chronicles of Tsufanabra, Epic Odyssey, Everlong, and Passage of the Hollow Moon), but I guess it just depends on time and me beating them. I'm also actively working on my Xenogears fangame so that's a factor as well.
My advice, Sphere: Skip Epic Odyssey and enjoy the fantastic rest. :)

I'll wait until the final version before I play Umbral Soul, and maybe then I'll be the one delivering a "wild shot review". :D
I don't know what a wild shot review is, but it sounds terrifying.
Pages: 1