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A well-written story, with a few bumps...

  • Shmeckie
  • 03/27/2008 08:16 PM
Admiral Styles' Love and War is a bit of a mixed bag, with more positives than negatives. To make things easier, let's go point-by-point...

In terms of gameplay, it's standard RM2K fare. Now, I have no problem with the default RM2K systems (hell, I prefer 'em ot the custom stuff), so that's gravy with me. If I have any gripe, it's many of the dialogue events that happen during certain battles. Normally, I would enjoy this, but these will often affect the battle in annoying ways. Did I really have to lose a chunk of my HP because Styles wanted to have a dramatic moment where the enemy strikes me?! Oh, great, I lost a party member because of a cinematic... Again...

It tends to get old, fast... Particularly during battles where dialogue and events happen after virtually every turn. These get quite annoying when you have to repeat a fight, and sit through all those mid-fight chats again.

Speaking of sitting through things, this brings up another of the game's major flaws; dialogue dumps. Particularly in the beginning, where you'll have to sit through characters chatting for what can run up to 20 minutes. The camping scene in particular crosse sthe line from enjoyable character exposition to excruciating and banal. Much of these massive walls of speech are quite mundane. I understand the need to introduce the characters as people. It's a fantastic plot device I fully support. However, I really don't want to read around a half hour's worth of people chatting about their day, who broke up with whom, etc.

Another problem is the occasional appearance of drawings. Why is this a problem? They're bad drawings. Poorly drawn images will occasionally pop in, and stay way past their welcome as you read the dialogue the goes with that picture. Styles really should've found a better artist, or stuck with sprites, because these pictures are quite awful. Their quality takes away from the experience, to the point where a dramatic moment was lost on me, because of the poor artwork that accompanied it.

Final complaint would be how the dialogue can take random turns for the silly. People will, at times, insert the full names of government departments in casual conversation, particularly young people. To put that in perspective, imagine if you, or your friends, began to just drop references to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the United States Department of Agriculture.

Also, there's a point where you play as the female lead that is boring, grating, and drags the game down indescribably. I hope to never play through that part again... It doesn't help that I'm not fond of the character...

Now that we've got the faults out of the way, let's get it out there; this is a great game. The story is intricate, and well thought out. Most of the time, the dialogue feels real, and is all well written and well paced. These characters really do come to life, and Admiral Styles should, ironically, get a god damn medal for the way he's presented his story. The only characters I can find fault with are the cliche'd Juno, and the irritating female lead whose name I can't even recall. She's quite transparent and, like Juno, is a massive cliche. One thing of note is how even NPCs and characters you meet once have personalities and quirks all their own. It really makes talking to random people fun and enjoyable.

A word of, well, let's say "warning", though; the dialogue is very british. Very, very british. Expect alot of british idioms and slang.

The world of LaW (lol pun) comes with an intricate, well thought-out political system. What I really enjoy is how, although the game has a heavy presence of politics, Styles never falls to the popular tempation, nowadays, to present any kind of political views or opinion. LaW may display a deep amount of politics, but I couldn't tell you Styles' political views, and I like it that way. The politics of LaW are quite engaging, to me, as someone who is interested in politics, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds, both on the personal and political levels within the game's narrative.

Faults aside, this is a must-play. If you enjoy playing through a good story, download this game as soon as you can!


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Bah, I liked the dialogue and the drawings.

I think he's moderately anti-political. He says that before all the wars, people were in small towns trading with each other. But then the trouble started when kingdoms and such formed.
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