Category: RPGmaker

Reap and Sow

This is a really intriguing little thing that doesn’t seem to live up to its potential. Gamewise, it’s a(n incomplete) horror Harvest Moon.

I’m not sure what to make of this, honestly. I really loved the idea and the setting and atmosphere is just great, but the mashup only works for a bit before you start seeing problems. But it’s pretty short and you don’t even need to complete it to see what it has to offer. (more…)

The Sandman

The Sandman is very sort of a sequel to The Crooked Man. It’s is pretty solid in story terms. There’s some stuff in the initial setup that seems clumsy, but it actually pays off very nicely in the second half. It rerminded me of The Witch’s House in that there actually was a reason for seemingly incongruous stuff like putting the frog in the slot.

Designwise, eh, random RPGmaker style flaws. There’s cutscenes where actual gameplay stuff is accomplished and “gameplay” that is figuring out what part of what room she needs to stand in her house to get the next thing to happen. Also one of the puzzles requires numbers and you’re supposed to look at your phone and use the time despite that having nothing to do with anything as far as I can tell, they just share letters involved.

But wow, the story was really worth it.

(If you play, make an extra save right before showing the pink gem, that’s one of the two decision points for the endings.)

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I Miss the Sunrise, Episode 0 Part 1 (Guest Review)

Reconstruction Zero: I Miss the Sunrise is the prequel to The Reconstruction, a game you may remember as the subject of my first foray into a multi-part review series. Due to the game’s extreme pacing issues and my own inexperience, that review was a messy affair I don’t wish to repeat, so I plan to do something a little different this time. Like The Reconstruction, IMTS is split into five distinct sections plus a prologue, so I figure I’ll do what I should have done with The Reconstruction and review each arc individually instead of going into the amount of depth usually reserved for books. I will, however, be covering episode 0 – the prologue – in detail, both because it’s pretty dense and because I think it’s helpful to get you established before we take off. There are some episodes I might have to split into several parts, but we’ll see how it goes.

IMTS is very different from its predecessor. The plot is totally unrelated aside from one minor subplot and, of course, thematic similarities. The setting is science fiction rather than fantasy, and I think that’s something that works in its favor, as the author only has to explain relevant divergences from the normal laws of physics instead of trying and failing to explain an entire magic system. It is overall a lot more polished and coherent, and I hope I will have more positive and enriching things to say this time.

The game is freeware, and can be downloaded here if you’d like to follow along. (more…)

Pokemon RMN

My brother told me to play this, possibly in revenge for all the weird games I’ve made him play.

You know that fanfic that newbie barely teenage boys have, the one with the new region and new pokemon but this time it’s got ALCOHOL and SEX REFERENCES and ZANY unlike those squares at Nintendo? It’s that. Like, beat by beat. If that’s you? Well, you’ll love this.

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Eternal Senia

Remember when we were talking about how rare the sister-saves-sister plot is? I found another example! Now there are two.

Eternal Senia is a pleasant little rpgmaker game that can be found on Steam. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s free to play and is very short (~5 hours for a completionist run) so if you’re looking to kill time it could be a place to turn. (more…)

Soma Spirits and the Golden Mean Fallacy

Soma Spirits is a neat little RPG about philosophy and choices you should check out. The premise is that, after the world erupted into war, the gods split the world into two spiritual planes: the World of Joy, where everyone is always happy, and the World of Sorrow, which lacks the unchecked emotion that led to the war. This worked pretty well for a while, but now the worlds are becoming unstable and There Can Be Only One. Each god obviously wants their own world to dominate, and you are led through five scenarios where you must solve a dilemma by either curbing unbridled joy or alleviating sorrow. Generally, this comes down to a choice between personal happiness and societal responsibility. I am all about that stuff.

Unfortunately, the conclusion leaves a lot to be desired. The warning signs become obvious the moment you learn there is a true ending. Though the game’s description claims that “you may find that the choices made in Soma Spirits are not so black and white. Every major choice made will have some impact on the story, and there are rarely any ‘correct’ solutions”, there is objectively one correct choice: make a perfectly even number of Joy and Sorrow decisions to create a fully balanced world. Deviate from this at all, and the game makes sure to inform you that you are crazy, stupid, and/or evil. As much as the game loves to tout that every individual decision has logical merit, it doesn’t extend the same tolerance to aggregate decisions.

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Prom Dreams

For some reason, the two pots transform when examined from the side. Presumably a glitch but I thought it was cool.

So, there’s this boy, and his friend thinks he needs a date for the prom! You’re challenged to find three likely girls, then pick one to actually ask out. While you’re at it, you can explore the school, listen to kids’ hopes and fears as the days pass, and help some idiot who thinks haunted houses are a prank.

Also, it’s secretly a horror game.

That casts an interesting pall over things – does any of the idle chatter foreshadow later disaster? That elevator you can’t use without a key… The fire extinguishers set at regular intervals… Talk of chemistry lab dangers and safety equipment… Does it mean anything how people keep talking about books? Does it mean anything how when your friend’s dialogue is specific gameplay advice in colored text, it goes red? (more…)

Journey to Northpass

Journey to Northpass is a short RPG Maker game parodying gender roles. It’s a standard fantasy setup, but all the gender roles are completely flipped. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have much else going for it. The battle system is essentially “press confirm to win”, and though there are sidequests, they’re basically all just simple fetch quests. The story doesn’t take itself seriously at all; the gods of the setting are literally called “Pretentious” and “Apostro’Phe”, in just one example. Cute, but it kinda makes it hard to get emotionally invested in anything.

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Mownt: For Peace

In Mownt: For Peace you guide an insect-like creature through multiple lives in a quest for peace. Despite the interesting premise, I found the game unremarkable. The gameplay is utterly meaningless; you can outheal almost every enemy, so battles are a foregone conclusion. The story is actually pretty linear; it’s clear you’re expected to do the endings in a specific order, and the game doesn’t even try to hide this fact. After a while, they get very predictable; the PC is never allowed to find peace, and the plot creates increasingly contrived diabolus ex machina to railroad you onto the next ending.

(Spoilers within, might want to play the game yourself first. It’s very short and can be finished in 1-2 hours.)

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