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Real Potential

  • amerk
  • 10/23/2014 03:02 AM
  • 1503 views
OVERVIEW:
This has been a long time coming, but I’ve finally gotten around to reviewing this game. Normally, I try to avoid reviewing games that aren’t completed, but this is kind of the exception. The first chapter of this game is listed as complete, even if none of the other chapters were ever finished, and there hasn’t been any movement on this game in a long time, that I doubt we’ll ever see it through to the end. Which is sad, because all in all, this was one heck of an rpg and it had the makings for a fine edition to the VX library.

Before I dive into the review, I should also note that this game has seen to a variety of updates, which probably fixes a number of the problems previous reviewers had. This is not to undermine those reviews, since more than likely there were more issues when the game was first presented.

GAME PLAY:
As far as gimmicks goes, this game piles it on. It’s what helps to drive this game forward in what may otherwise have been a very short adventure. You get a craft system of sorts, which is surprisingly easy to use and not at all complicated like I’ve seen in other games. Others may find its simplicity disappointing, but for people like me who don’t generally care about crafting, it was quite enjoyable. You also get a means for learning skills by equipping accessories, a quest log to keep track of your goals, bonus stats for each level up, and even an alchemy system.



Not all of these mechanics are explained as well as they could have been, and the TP you initially get to build your skills is minimal, but all of this is easy enough to learn and use, and the further into the game you get, the easier it becomes to master the mechanics provided.

Outside of this, you also are rewarded with the typical rpg tropes of touch encounters, optional quests, and plenty of things to loot. The overworld map is no exception.



The real drawback for the game play comes with the combat, unfortunately. And since combat is a large part of what makes an rpg, any amount of flaws will be quite noticeable. Sure, the Kaduki-inspired side view is a nice touch, but when your party misses their mark as often as they connect, this becomes very aggravating. It was not an uncommon occurrence to have my characters missing multiple times in a row. Not only is this especially annoying when it’s just a party of one, but when every attack counts, missing only pushes you that much closer to a game over. Not to mention, it drags the battle on a lot longer than it needs to be.



A slow battle system where your party misses a lot is usually enough to drive even the most dedicated player away. Hopefully people can look past this one (albeit major) issue and see the potential this game has.

My rating for Game Play is 3.5/5. I really wanted to push this much higher, seeing all the hard work that went into this game. But balancing out your combat is a large part of game testing, including ensuring that the evasion rate is fair for both the party and the enemies.

STORY:
The story is definitely the weakest part of this game, but not because it’s terribly written or boring. It’s quite intriguing actually. But it’s relatively short compared to the game play, and your left with far more questions than answers by the time the game ends.

It’s full of clichés, but all in a good way, and it reminds me of the games of yesteryear, the kind where NPCs either gave important clues or had nothing to say, each town needed assistance, and you were able to loot as freely as you wanted.



And the plot behind the game isn’t too bad, either. Your primary hero, Prince Rain, wakes up one evening to discover his lovely wife has formulated a coup in order to usurp the throne. Unfortunately that means killing off Rain and his poor old pop. Oh well, each family has their troubles, right? Anyhow, the king is killed, and Rain’s trusted bodyguard, Gaven, comes to the rescue before Rain can meet the same fate.



It’s a decent plot, and the only area I’d find fault with, as others have also pointed out, is when Gaven decides to leave Rain alone early on in the game. The way it’s written into the story, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense, other than to force their separation. As a result of this poor decision, things go from bad to worse.

My rating for Story is 3.75/5. Aside from that one incident mentioned above, it really is a well-written tale. Some of the NPCs really have nothing to say, and the story tends to take a backseat compared to the gameplay. It’s unfortunate that we may never find out how it all ends.

ATMOSPHERE:
There is really nothing I can complain about here. The resources are primarily RTP and Mack, but they are used very well, and the mix works in harmony as a result. I can’t say whether the audio is custom or borrowed – I don’t recognize the tracks – but it was very pleasant and fit the mood for each segment of the game. Tints and lighting effects are also used in a subtle manner.



While resources are probably the least important factor of a well-designed game, it helps to have somebody competent with the tools they are given. The maps here really show just how good the RTP can be in the right hands.

My rating for Atmosphere is 5/5. I’m a bit biased when it comes to the RTP, and it warms my heart whenever I see it used to its best potential.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
This is an outstanding rpg, and a showcase of just how great VX can really be. Unfortunately, the accuracy of your attacks makes for long-winded battles and the game’s story is not yet finished. With that said, I still recommend giving it a go. At the very least, it could help new game designers see how to construct a decent rpg, and help show the naysayers that VX isn’t that bad of a program.

Final verdict is 4.08/5.

Posts

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If anyone wants to give this game a try, I'd recommend making two of your characters into dedicated mages and one into a fighter. Accuracy will be less of an issue that way. Rain should definitely be one of the mages, he is the only one who has access to two elements. Combat should go pretty quickly then.
Good point. I made it a habit of grinding out their skills. It was one of the few games I've played where grinding had more to offer than level gain, so it was actually enjoyable. Late in the game, using the various skills had a better impact than regular damage and hit more often than regular attacks.

It'd still be nice if the hit ratio was more balanced, but with so much the game already offers I think new players will be able to look past its faults to give the game a chance.
I really appreciate this review. I have too much to say here in this comment so I'm going to type it all up as a blog post. I will say that if the Hit Ratio was easy for me to fix, It would have been. The system is tied up in multiple scripts. I couldn't find where the hit ratio was being set. If anyone who knows tons about ruby, Vx scripting wants to take a look and see if they can help discern and fix the problem I would appreciate the help.

This game will continue to be developed in some fashion in the future.
Awesome review man. Loved it.

We hate that miss chance bug too. We just couldn't figure out what was causing it, seeing as we had every miss modifier set to 0 and it was still massive. We may have just fixed it though(?) We actually spent quite a while on balancing combat!

I don't know tons about Ruby, but Hit Ratio is something I've always been able to mess around with since I change how the game handles it with every project I try. I could take a look.
Thanks for the clarification. Many of us probably assume it's a design by choice, but this explains the issue with hits/misses quite well, at least when scripts get involved. It doesn't make it any less frustrating, but it helps us to understand it wasn't entirely a devious mechanic set in place intentionally in order to make the game that much harder.
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