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A game that withstands the test of time.

Possibly the most popular RM2k game of all time, this game needs no introduction. Lysander’s legendary masterpiece has been an inspiration to an entire generation of amateur RPG designers. Whether you’re already a fan of this phenomenal game or experiencing it for the very first time, this game will inspire you.

In a sci-fi world that could possibly be a futuristic version of Earth, Talan has been framed for murder and is on the run from the all-powerful Agency. His demise seems certain, until he discovers a mysterious power that just might help him change the course of the world….but for good or ill?

Balance 4/5:
Early on, you might not think A Blurred Line has much to offer in the way of battles. Your protagonist, Talan, is quite weak and has only his standard melee attack to rely on for the first few combat areas. This can get stale quickly. But fear not, soon, Talan discovers the mysterious power of auras, a color-based skill system based loosely on the eastern elemental philosophy, as opposed to the classical western elements used in most games. Talan can absorb skills from his enemies to use in combat by absorbing their auras, and if he draws the same skill enough times, he will learn it permanently. This adds a fascinating element to random battles as some players will likely attempt to add as many skills as possible to Talan’s repertoire. Additionally, most enemies tend to allow you to draw exactly the right skills to defeat them with, meaning you’re never unprepared for a fight. Add in the useful skills of Talan’s allies, such as a Steal ability that only rarely fails, and you’ll quickly find yourself enjoying random encounters, a feat very few amateur games have pulled off. It’s of pleasing difficulty too, most enemy groups can be quickly dispatched once you know the proper skills to deal with them, but a few bosses will require a little more strategy to defeat.

Level Design 4/5:
While some of the graphics this game are of noticeably poor quality, detracting from what is otherwise a high-quality game, this is generally forgivable due to the inherent lack of science fiction graphics for PRG Maker. Aside from the fluctuating graphic quality, however, many of the levels are very solid, including some interesting mini-game events involving side characters not in your party, including a custom real time battle system that could be a whole game in itself. The few puzzles are generally well- thought out, and most areas have at least one side event going on, even minor ones such as finding a container to carry spring water for your personal use help break up the monotony of dungeons.

Characters 5/5:
Bursting with intriguing characters, The lead characters are engaging and likeable, the villains truly sinister without being cartoonishly evil, and even supporting characters can be incredibly sympathetic with only a very few lines. Although a large number of characters can ultimately end up in Talan’s party, all of them are given a fair chance to be developed and no-one feels left out. The characters abilities all vary widely making each seem unique both in and out of battle. Even seemingly one-shot or unimportant characters are given at least a few interesting lines.

Storyline 6/5:
The storytelling at work in this game is absolutely phenomenal. A Blurred Line examines the line between good and evil, and thus the player is given the viewpoints of characters on both sides of the conflict for a truly unique experience. The game begins at a climactic point in the story only to jump backwards in time to see the events leading up to this point, which is incredibly thought-provoking as this scene portrays your lead character in a fairly negative light, leading the player to wonder what could have driven him to these ends. Lysander also leaves just enough plot threads hanging to keep us intrigued, and these threads intersect and connect with each other in very interesting ways.

But there’s more! This game is non-linear and your decisions have very real consequences and effects. Even the decision of how Talan gets to work in his intro affects who will ultimately end up in his party later in the game. Other choices will lead to completely different dungeons, making each playthrough a very different experience, giving this game replay value almost unheard of in an RPG Maker game.

Music and Sound 4/5:
Drawing largely from the vast library of VGMusic, this game contains a wide range of high quality music with a consistency of style, and they are properly used to enhance the mood and amplify many dramatic scenes. The battle music can even be manipulated once Emily is in your party in case you were getting tired of that same song over and over.

Overall 4.5/5
There’s not much that can be said about this game that hasn’t been said before. This is a nearly perfect game in almost every respect. Although the thrilling conclusion of the story has yet to be told, and many despair that it ever will be, many still hold out hope that one day it will be completed, and should that day come it will no doubt take its rightful place as one of the greatest RPGs ever made.

Posts

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Excellent review! Now I know what all of the raves are about. I admit that I was very intrigued by the story all those years ago when I played this, but stopped after I learned that the game wasn't finished. Maybe I'll actually play through the rest of the game now...
Heh. I think I've completed ABL about 20 times or more, just to find all characters and their backstory, plus furiously trying to find all secrets and extras that exists, if only in my mind.

Also, with the mention of the characters, it should be specifically underlined that the dialouges (as briefly touched above) are in a sense, "perfect". Almost every single line in this game has some form of value - if not for the plot or character development - it's written to be short and concise; relying on quality over quantity. No pretentious or excessive walls of text but still nowhere near brief and inclusive - just perfect.

And I still wish I knew who Core meant just at the end of the intro.
Craze
why would i heal when i could equip a morningstar
15240
You have a Music & Sound section, but not a Graphics section?
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