• Marrend
  • 07/09/2012 06:12 PM
Game Title: Maximus Jones
Engine: RPG Maker VX Ace
Status at review: Complete

My motivation to make this review lies more in getting an achievement and bonus markerscore via the NaGaDeMo Review Drive than anything else. However, I did manage to perform a small amount of research on the game itself before just plunging into it. So, this review is not completely blind. Just mostly blind.

I was ready for something light-hearted. Perhaps it was just how the description on the gamepage was written, but the game sounded like exactly the kind of thing I could be looking for.

The gamepage did not specify that the RTP for Ace was needed, but the download size suggested otherwise. Extracting the file more or less confirmed my suspicions. Thankfully, I have the Ace RTP, as I'm sure we all know.

The game uses nothing but RTP. The sprite that the main character uses might be from the Ace character editor along with the face that is used for him. Nothing truly spectacular, but serviceable.

The mapping ranges from pretty basic, to quite detailed. The worst offenders are Rooms 1 and 4, where the best-made maps reside in Rooms are 2 and 5.

The game uses nothing but RTP. I barely noticed the music, though that could be because I've heard the tunes a billion times. Not going to make this a mark against the game, or a mark for the game.

The game drops the player unceremoniously into the shoes of the titular character. He spouts a few lines IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE THAT'S JUST HOW HE ROLLS about wanting to get to the treasure chest on the other side of some spikes. Thus, the player is tasked to traverse through a set of puzzle rooms to find a way to the treasure. Pretty bare-bones, but the game is listed as a Puzzle game, so the story might not have the highest priority.

I noticed that the save menu was disabled, and was pretty close to face-palming. However, I noted a crystal in the opening room, and found that it called the save menu. All was good in the universe. So, this game does have a certain advantage over that other puzzle game.

The first room I entered was a push-boulder puzzle. It brought back certain memories. Though, there was a section where there were boulders rolling around, and running into boulders set me back to a checkpoint, but it wasn't too bad. Well, okay, maybe it was a little bad at times.

The second room was an outdoors area, making the previous map nonsensical. Whatever. I went around talking to the various people that were there, noticing that EVERYBODY WAS TALKING IN ALL CAPS. Also, did Maximus' portrait change to the one that is the default Ace hero? Anyway, this map is about going around, finding items, and giving them to the right people.

The third room was about being a superb salesperson. It was about knowing how much an item is worth (I don't think the game gives much indication of this.) and how much players think they can swindle beyond that point, given who walked in. For example, the first customer was a kid that wanted a cure. I had no clue how much a Cure cost, but I didn't go much higher than the kid's initial offering. Players are asked to accumulate a certain amount of profits (250, to be precise) before this mini-game is considered complete. Wasn't something like this done for one of the Befuddled Quest games? I'm not certain, as I've not played any of them.

The fourth room was a rather small room with two animals on either side with a warrior-guy in one corner with a warrior-gal in the other. You can flip a switch to freeze one of the humans, at which point, players can talk to one of the animals to "join a guild". At the additional cost of feeding them, of course. The cat wanted MILK, which I know I found in Room 2. The Dog wanted DOGFOOD, which I presumed to be in Room 5, as I haven't been there yet. Or, possibly, somewhere in Room 1. As it turned out, it was, in fact, somewhere in Room 1. Oh well. When both animals are sated, the switch at the bottom of the room can be flicked, which concludes the mini-game.

The fifth room, which the game told me I already cleared, even though I know that I didn't (Not to mention that the spike for Room 5 was still active), was about playing blackjack. Or, as it is sometimes called, 21. The object of the room is to beat the dealer three times. It's fairly random what cards get flipped up, so this game might actually be a "fair" game rather than a "stacked" game.

With all the spikes down and because it is my pleasure, I was able to get my treasure! Upon doing so, the game gives me a congratulatory message, and sends me to the title screen.

Overall entertainment:
Room 1 was probably the most frustrating of all, but only during the sections where the boulders were rolling around. Room 2 was the most... interesting. For, probably, all the wrong reasons. Everything else was pretty straight-forward.

Whatever charm the technique of having the main character speak in all caps might have had was definitely lost during Room 2, when everybody else started doing it. The number of character that should speak in all caps, if one even exists, should probably be limited to one.

As a separate note, there is a certain sequence in Room 2 that involves a tulip, and a gravestone. It's rather over-the-top and very overly-dramatic. The final part of the sequence turns everything that just happened on it's head. I'm still not sure what, exactly, to make of it.

The game took me about 20 minutes to complete, so if one is pressed for time, this is a decent enough pick-up.

It's a short, sweet, puzzle game that refuses to take itself seriously. I wouldn't call it a "comedy" game, though.


Side note on ratings (since there is/was/will be somewhat of a spate on what rating means what between each user):
1/5 -> Terrible. Forget about hitting an audience. The game is so bug-ridden, or otherwise unplayable, that what entertainment can be found in the game has a hard time coming to the surface.

2/5 -> Bad but playable. I had a poor experience with the game. When played by a player the game actually caters to, it would serve it's purpose.

3/5 -> Average. A solid experience, but snags somewhere along the line cause it to be held back from being "good".

4/5 -> Good. I enjoyed the experience, and have no qualms supporting it if was considered for a featured game (if it wasn't featured already).

5/5 -> Excellent. Among the paragons of gaming experiences, and instant feature material in my humble opinion (if it wasn't featured already).


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Thank you for the review! You confirmed a lot of my suspicions regarding gameplay, and pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of the game quite adeptly. As for the gravestone scene... yeah, let's just sweep that under the carpet, shall we? It never happened.

Cheers and thank you!
Bludgeon of Inspiration and Gaurdian Angel of the Description Thread
Thank you for the review! You confirmed a lot of my suspicions regarding gameplay, and pointed out the strengths and weaknesses of the game quite adeptly.

Well, that's what a review should do! In theory.

As for the gravestone scene... yeah, let's just sweep that under the carpet, shall we? It never happened.

I wanted to spark a bit of interest in this game with the mention of that sequence. Not sure if it will work!
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