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A jam entry

Recondite: The Phantasm EmporiumView game page »

Even Hell runs on money.
Submitted by Suoish with 1 day, 9 hours before the deadline

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Results

Ranked 36th with 6 votes

CriteriaRankVotes
Judge's Choice#3n/a
People's Choice Vote#366

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • Theme

    Demon from hell makes a contract with a cursed girl. Very charming character driven story.

    Gameplay 

    Extremely in-depth and it’s almost surprising it’s made in a month. Then I realized this is basically Boutalles system done better.

    • In-depth alchemy system similar to the Atelier/Mana Khemia Series. However the alchemy system could be streamlined more to craft items faster. Especially on the robes quest.
    • Fast paced combat that reminds me of Boutalles but a lot better with class changing adding more depth to it.
    •  Spirit mode to change difficulty was a nice touch. 
    • The game needs a higher resolution, the text is hard to read. Or add at least a script that doubles the window size.

    Presentation 

    Amazing. I love the expressions on the characters, their chemistry and writing --- the puns are great. I wish they have better tileset art to properly convey the setting better though.

    Engagement 

    I spent too much time on this I completely forgot I have 21 other entries to judge. I’d love to finish this this game later. Nice try to hide your identity KrisAnna. I can smell your games from a mile away!

    Total – 77/80

  • Considering everything going on with this game, it’s very polished. The Alchemy system can be mastered quickly and is pretty fun to mess around with. The battles were more of a learning curve but I got pretty decent at it after enough practice. I enjoyed the premise and storyline, particularly how the funny dialogue meshed with the hyperbolic face expressions. It seemed to end with a bit of a whimper, however. Did we ever find out how to make what the priest wanted or did I just miss it? Either way, it felt like it just ran out of gas. Now that the contest is over, I suggest you stick with this. You’ve laid down the foundation for what could be a much larger game.

    Score: 60/80

  • PRESENTATION

    Graphics were a mix of custom and RTP. The mapping was in some areas quite good but in others (especially the main hub) rather questionable as to the level design itself. For example, the main hub was very weirdly set out with areas of random clutter that served no purpose at all.

    The music was well-used and nothing was jarring. Some tunes stood out as pretty good but others were just there. Same with sound - it all fit well with nothing standing out as bad but nothing really done beyond the basics.

    Writing was pretty good - the characterisation and dialogue was very well done and really built up the characters well. The story aspects of the game... were there? I guess? It didn't really have much of a story, honestly.

    GAMEPLAY
    Gameplay consisted of battling and crafting.

    Battles were complicated affairs that required you to hold down one of three buttons in order to access skill lists for attacks/defend/change character. It was timed combat, too, so enemies had a bar that counted down to their next attack, whilst the player had to try and attack or defend where necessary. The arrow keys were assigned to different attacks that took a set amount of stamina to use (which built back up over time when not being used) and once you ran out of stamina you had to wait for it to refill.

    You also got TP for attacking which was a requirement to unlock other attacks on your skill list.

    You could choose your 'school' of magic in the menu which would open up new abilities to use in battle as that school was levelled through battling.

    You also gathered items to use as effect-carriers for creating better other items (healing, weapons and armour) via crafting. You'd take one item and pick up to three aspects it has on it to pass to the other item (which could hold a total of 5 aspects).

    Doing this you filled requests for ghosts.

    Speaking of ghosts, you have ghost vision which allows you to interact with spirits and talk to them. This mode also allows you to see power in the hells (where you gather crafting materials) but has the added effects of making battles harder if engaged in this mode and hurting you if you move whilst it's on.

    Control keys were messed up in this game so that the basic controls that RM uses were supplanted by other keys.

    ENGAGEMENT
    The characterisation was a lot of fun and definitely helped alleviate the annoyance of the battle system (which was a pain due to the key set-up which excluded the basic attack/cancel/etc keys that RM games usually have - an issue with the rest of the game when it came to menu use, too, including the crafting).

    The fact that you weren't taught how to use the magic schools at all really made it hard to figure out what you were doing in battles sometimes, especially if you changed to a weaker school and then got trounced.


    THEME
    The mechanics weren't really explained too well in some cases. Some of them melded well with the overall themes of the game, though, those themes being 'creation' and "good to be bad" (especially with a "bad guy church" thrown in).

    56/80

  • 55/80

    Seems odd that she is talking as her older self in a 'reliving'. Flames and doors and certain events are still bright in spirit view? "Might be too difficult..." Nope. I have Divination and Alchemy. Senseless chatter about being prepared when you can just go back to town later. Not wasting money before knowing what your next goal is would have been better choice of wording. Crafting needs major improvements as it is very clunky.

    Combat can be confusing for some as there is no "in your face" option to learn what everything does. Might be a useful feature later to see what each tree offers in more detail instead of forcing players to discover that information themselves as it doesn't seem like this is that sort of game. Adding some way to pull old tutorials might be useful as well due to some players potentially forgetting about what they've learned so far.

    Some of those expressions used seem really odd given the context. The bars could use some fixing to make them more visible during battles.

Engine
RPG Maker VX Ace

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Comments

(1 edit) (+1)

I LOVE this game! I've been playing it nonstop since downloading. The characters are funny (and that butler is yum! XD) and the story is really interesting so far. Dramatic! The gameplay was easy enough to get into too. I liked collecting the materials for the alchemy a lot, the maps were not too small or too large, something that I like a lot.  I hate getting lost in dungeons. >_< The crafting  was really fun to try out too, I like that you can add really different traits to all your items. 

The battle system was a bit difficult at first, getting used to the controls took me a bit (poor Senica died a lot in the beginning! lol) but before I knew it I was already a pro at it. :) I gave the boss a try in the first dungeon thinking I was going to die a terrible death (haha) but I actually won, I was really surprised. :O Anyway, I would have liked to have the option to do some key configuration.

And just a little thing. Maybe add a bit of interaction with the world objects, the ones in her room or the shop, the portal room, etc. Personally I think interacting with stuff it's a fun way to get to know a bit more about the characters (their personality and feelings) and the world around them. There's always at least one object that catch the player eye in the scenes that it makes you want to click for a response, you know? lol However the dialogue between characters was so good (very heartfelt and sarcastic at times xD I loved it! lol) that I thought that was enough to make the characters memorable actually, and well both main characters were really unique so I didn't felt like interaction was something I was missing ALL the time, but I just thought to mention it for a future project or if you decide to do a revamping of the game later on! XD 

Honestly this is by far one of my favorite games so far for the IGMC2017. Which is why I'm leaving such a detailed (filled with ramblings, sorry!) review. I will definitely be cheering for you! Lots of good luck to you! :) 

Developer(+1)

Thank you so much for the kind words and the input. It really helps us out a lot.

After entries for this contest are  unlocked we do plan on going in and adding item interactions since it's the first thing people try after seeing the interaction notice (whoops, our bad). We'll also be taking a look at what we can do about button configuration and possible controller support, but that one might be a little trickier. We'll try though.

Thanks much for the input, really. We're all glad that it was enjoyable.

Submitted(+1)

This was awesome! This has strong Atlus vibes, the dialogue was great and the pacing/battle system were awesome! I will say that crafting feels clunky and nonintuitive as it is - but it's such a small gripe that I'm not even worried about it.

Developer(+1)

Wow, thank you so much for the positive vibes! The writer was embarrassed. lol We'll be working on more games in the near future. Hope they're as enjoyable. o/

Looks neat, are you a fan of Overlord by any chance?

Developer

Oh hell yes. Did you see they're adding a second season in 2018?

Ah, I don't read the novels though, I've only see the show.

Yeah, I actually really dislike that anime. I read the first light novel and part of the second before I realized that I hated it.

It had great promise though. The characters are also ok for the most part. It's just not for me though.

Developer

Haha, okay.

Submitted(+1)

This is really good! I love the artwork and witty dialogue. It reminds me of games like Disgaea. My only suggestion would be to add controller support.

Developer

Thanks for the suggestion! I'll run it by the programmer. Maybe we can go back in after the contest and touch it up.