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One Night, I played ONE NIGHT

  • sbester
  • 02/23/2010 05:47 AM

Before I begin, I must say that I actually jumped while playing this! I’ve never been a fan of survival horror games, and I never will be. However, that hasn’t stopped me from playing a whole crapload of them in my time, and it didn’t stop me from playing this. While I was expecting some really cheap attempt at recapturing some of the atmosphere from the Resident Evil franchise, I never actually expected Dark Gaia to have been successful at it. Boy, was I ever wrong! Though much shorter, this game can compete with the best of them!

Plot and Dialogue 4.5/5
The first pleasant surprise was the lack of mediocrity in dialogue, which I have come to expect from most titles made in the RPG Maker engines. It’s all very straight forward, but you can really see that Dark Gaia put extra care into making sure it didn’t reek of cheese. The descriptive nature of the game fully recaptures the atmosphere of your standard run of the mill survival horror, and whether you think that is a good thing or a bad one, you have to admit it’s spot on to what the creator was going for. Fans of the genre should have no qualms whatsoever.

Graphics 5/5
I’m no graphics buff, but these definitely fit the mood just right. It was easy to figure out what things would potentially have items in them and what thing wouldn’t. I could actually identify the baddies as such, which was nice, and that spotlight couldn’t be any cooler. I think rating the graphics any less than perfect would be nitpicking just a little too much.

Sound 5/5
This is what makes the atmosphere so superb! This is the reason I jumped about 15 minutes into the game! This is the reason you need to play this game! It was very tastefully done, and matches the setting very nicely. If you’re a wuss, it may also be the reason you turn this game off and never play it again.

Gameplay 2.5/5
As with any survival horror game, there isn’t much to speak of. The system works pretty nicely, but you find yourself wishing there was more to it. Personally, when I have to start going back and forth between places or memorizing pass codes, or dates, or writing stuff down, that’s usually when I turn the damned thing off. And that s exactly what I did halfway through this one. It was so true to the nature of commercial variants that it rekindled my hatred for the genre! Anyways, I had a good forty minutes or so with it, and I think it is well worth anyone’s time just so they can see what can be accomplished with an RM program. Obviously, the biggest problem was reading something while monsters surrounded you, in which case all you could do was press the action key as fast as you could in hopes that you’d be able to move in time. Kinda unfair.

Overall 17/20
While I hate the genre, and didn’t quite love this game, there’s no denying its importance to this community. Anyone trying to do something similar needs to take a look at this game, and strive to hit the marks in the way Dark Gaia has. And of course I’ll play the sequels! I won’t beat them, and it won’t be anytime soon, but I will play them. And you probably should too. If nothing else, this is a well crafted game.


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Thanks! I think you're maybe a tad too positive but I'm glad you at least liked how the game was made even if you did not like the genre. I admit the SH genre is a bit of niche one; while I like it I cannot convince my friends to share my passion.
Also, just out of curiosity, did you play with the extra content patch or no?
Yes I did apply that, sorry forgot to mention that
I'll write up a review for this when I've finished it. It's a brilliantly crafted title.
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