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Fun, Fast and Fabulous

Heh I'm really surprise by how many great Rpgmaker2000/2003 games are present and how few of them are popular. This game is another obscure (to me at least) masterpiece, but let's start with the good things that this work has to offer, since there are lots of them:

The Good

First important thing is that this game throw the traditional leveling system out of the window (except for the Chaos path, but more on that later): there is no need to grind, you improve the various characteristics using crystals (some will increase one particular characteristic, others will increase them all), and this is an incentive to explore and do sidequests as hidden zones will offer a reward in form of crystals. Similarly, new abilities are found or bought at the shops. Anyway, if you are clever, you will learn that you just need a bunch of healing items as one of the characters can heal and also replenish her mana, so you can heal between fights at will. And you can also save anywhere, but the game warns you before any difficul fight, in order that you won't forget to save your game.

Ok, I've said the dreaded word: fights! But nothing to fear here, as most combats are easily avoidable (and they give you just some money, so no worries avoiding them) and you also have visible enemies, not random encounters. Another good choice!

Combat is side view, with animated battlers on the same style of the charsets, a good selection of enemy sprites and a nice set of abilities for each character. On this there's a lot to say: not only each character is different (one for example uses no MP but some of his abilities work only once for opponent, another spends MP even just to attack but can spend one action to "reload" them), but at a particular point you have to choose a specialization: for example you can choose if your mage will be specialized in dealing damage or healing instead. Then you have extra skills and so on, customization is a great thing!
Oh I forgot to say that every character can heal himself when defending. It's something I've rarely seen, but it's a welcomed idea (I lost the combat with the first boss because I didn't know this thing!)

No need to worry for equipment, as it's not considered, and you can focus on how spending the experience crystals.



Ok, then let's move on narration: this game hasn't a particularly original story (in my opinion), anyway it's worth nothing the large number of variables: different endings, two main paths, that are two totally different experience. Luckily the game warns you to save before the choice. Well the BIG CHOICE.

Characters are all likeable and interesting, and I really felt attached to them especially when you have the opportunity to do some particular choices.
What else? Oh yes for the most part we have humor, parodies, funny dialogues, this is clearly an entertaining game!

But it's everything great? Of course not!

The Bad

Aside from some (few) typos ("possesed", "stoping", "terible") there are not big issues but there is a couple of things I didn't like because it could have been better, for example mapping: while the cities are nice and well done, with lots of particulars, the wilderness areas seems too empty/abstract, with mazes made with identical rocks... it's not terrible, but while the "Super Mario" side view maps could be seen as a parody, these other seems that could have been more detailed, different and realistic, as they ruin the immersion, as you really feel to be in a videogame with all these similar screens.
Also, graphically is nothing exceptional, the charsets are quite standard, and only the protagonists have a facesets. I expected more from this point of view (at least the facesets of the bad guys). Pity.




Final thoughs
This game is the clear example that "modern" Rpgmaker2000/2003 games can still be entertaining, varied and new. It's also quite easy (at least with the "normal" difficulty, I did not try the "difficult settings") and entertaining even for those who played few Rpgmaker games or even few Jrpg.
The humor in this game is great, but the replayability is even better!

We need more games like this one, and it deserve 4, no less!

Posts

Pages: 1
I'm really glad you liked the game. Thank you very much for the review!
I'll let you know that there is a big update coming for Penance, one that can also be considered a 'remake'.
The gameplay, the main parts of the story and the battles are going to be the same, but the narrative and the characters are going to be vastly changed, all for the sake of the sequel that I'm currently working on.

Thanks again for the review ^^
author=BluePhoenix
I'll let you know that there is a big update coming for Penance, one that can also be considered a 'remake'.
The gameplay, the main parts of the story and the battles are going to be the same, but the narrative and the characters are going to be vastly changed, all for the sake of the sequel that I'm currently working on.


Hey hey I know that lots of work went in this game so my question is... will it still be for RMK2003? I hope so as I love the style of this Rpgmaker version(I don't expect a faceset for EVERY CHARACTER, even if I've a friend that does that in ANY game he makes..it's not necessary)

Oh looking for a sequel too, strangely I expected a prequel instead... but a sequel is even better!
author=TheRpgmakerAddict
author=BluePhoenix
I'll let you know that there is a big update coming for Penance, one that can also be considered a 'remake'.
The gameplay, the main parts of the story and the battles are going to be the same, but the narrative and the characters are going to be vastly changed, all for the sake of the sequel that I'm currently working on.
Hey hey I know that lots of work went in this game so my question is... will it still be for RMK2003? I hope so as I love the style of this Rpgmaker version(I don't expect a faceset for EVERY CHARACTER, even if I've a friend that does that in ANY game he makes..it's not necessary)

Oh looking for a sequel too, strangely I expected a prequel instead... but a sequel is even better!


Yes, even though I started on VXAce eventually I sticked to rpgmk2k3. To be honest the sequel is going to be more like a prequel (because it involves time travel). So it will be a sequel and a prequel at the same time xD
author=BluePhoenix
author=TheRpgmakerAddict
author=BluePhoenix
I'll let you know that there is a big update coming for Penance, one that can also be considered a 'remake'.
The gameplay, the main parts of the story and the battles are going to be the same, but the narrative and the characters are going to be vastly changed, all for the sake of the sequel that I'm currently working on.
Hey hey I know that lots of work went in this game so my question is... will it still be for RMK2003? I hope so as I love the style of this Rpgmaker version(I don't expect a faceset for EVERY CHARACTER, even if I've a friend that does that in ANY game he makes..it's not necessary)

Oh looking for a sequel too, strangely I expected a prequel instead... but a sequel is even better!
Yes, even though I started on VXAce eventually I sticked to rpgmk2k3.


Nice! Hope you will stick with Rmk2k3 and this graphic style like many (quite recent) other games are in my opinion very appealing graphically. I also saw that many non-fantasy resources you used (such as the tanks and helicopters from Metal Slug) fit well the scenarios of the game.
Pages: 1