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Ranked 15th with 12 votes
|People's Choice Vote||#15||12|
Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.
Graphics were a mixed bag when it came to the mapping portions as some maps were well done and others were a bit sparse or bland (especially the town map which wasn't great in comparison). There were also a lot of inconsistencies with passabilities which made parts of the game a bit annoying to manoeuvre through. The graphics themselves were a mix of different styles and while some did fit well together, some stood out as too different in style.
The writing was decent technically. The characterisation was pretty flat and bland, but there were some parts that did a decent job of showing off the characters a bit better (the scene with MCs mother, for example, though it was rather ham-fisted).
The story itself was alright but it took a while to get to the actual hook of the game and the pacing was a bit on the slow side at times.
Music and sound was decent. Nothing really stood out as good but it didn't stand out as bad either. There wasn't much in the way of ambience created by sound effects but they weren't missing completely. Pretty standard - what was used fit well enough.
Gameplay consisted of battles, interacting with items on the map and menu-based growth/creation.
The battles consisted of Pulling from enemies in order to get orbs that allow you to summon new party members to use in battle or fuse to create new ones. Each character had their own skills, though a lot of them were underwhelming for the most part.
In the menu you could choose to use an orb to summon it's character or blend it with an already summoned character in order to either enhance their ability or create a new character instead.
Items could be found by interacting with different on-map events. You didn't get many items and the amount of gold you got didn't really get you much in the way of healing items either.
The balance was pretty bad in some areas - especially if you got new summons, who all start on level 1, and have to battle against enemies who are 10 levels higher than you. Even killing all the enemies beforehand meant that you were underlevelled when summoning a new character and trying to get them up to the MCs level.
One of the characters mentioned that you could swap your summons in battle but you were never told how to by the game and as such I was stuck with only those I bought into battle with me.
The balance really made this an annoying game to play. You either had to stick with the same characters all the way through (which you couldn't since most of them were weak to certain other characters in a BIG way) or try to level up your newer summons against enemies that are far superior in ability to your own. It got very frustrating, too, when you didn't get enough money to offset the cost of healing items. There was the bed to sleep in, true, but having to go all the way back home just to rest up and try to get back to where you were was also an annoyance (and you can't sleep in the middle of battle when your summons are getting wrekt).
Add to that the shallow characterisation that tried for something deep but fell rather flat and it just wasn't very fun. It had some great ideas (I really liked the whole summoning/splicing ideas) but it could have been handled a bit better balance-wise.
The theme was teen angst. I guess it showed that well enough in the dialogue. Well, to be fair it was about saving the world and growing up to understand others, and some of that was touched on well in the story. The mechanics didn't really show that off well though - I guess you could kind of make a connection between growing bonds and summoning.
You play as Brooke -- a bullying bitch with a terrible home life. You just found out you have a badass aunt and part of a family line of Valkyries. You have to help stop Ragnarok from coming. Surprisingly well done.
The gameplay is pretty fun! However there are some things I would change:
- Allow us to swap Einherjars in and out of battle.
- Crafting shouldn’t go back from the start over and over, it’s particularly annoying when trying to strengthen units.
- Pull should be 100% because most of the powerups are through spirits and I ain’t going anywhere until I get all the spirits. It’s very tedious.
- Level scaling makes it feel like I’m not getting any stronger even if I unlock units such as Cleopatra, Achilles, Helen of Troy, etc.
- Brooke is too useless. I wish she has more utility in battle.
- It’s also annoying to check all decorations to get items especially when I found out I can get cash on gravestone by accident. There needs to be some response from all “interactive” items.
Mapping needs some work, especially the collisions. I think this game would benefit a lot from some custom art. The music needs changing. I spent a considerable amount of time in the cemetery and it got annoying really fast.
Promising game that just needs polish. I really like how it tackled the transition from ancient -> modern. Probably better pacing though. Her closeness to Penny was just too fast. The cemetery before the cave is a bit annoying too. I think the villain is too obvious, remove the evil monologue and let us figure it out ourselves.
Total – 63/80
I’ve been in Vermont quite a few times and I don’t recall seeing anything like this! This game was very impressive, even moreso given the time limit on the contest. The battles were strategic and challenging but the summoning system is really where this one shines. You could spend hours upon hours farming souls and experimenting with them. The story was entertaining and Brooke was a pretty good antihero. Maps were nice, even though passability errors and the occasional clutter sometimes made it hard to get around. Music was mostly good, although I thought the rock/techno songs were overkill. Very well-rounded game overall, the hard work shows.
Interesting system, though it feels like the presentation lacks because of inconsistency. Also, skippable events can make the game rather short. It felt like certain characters were just too obvious and the pull mechanic is frustrating as there doesn't seem to be much logic towards success (lower hp doesn't really seem to help). Especially in the start where battles seem limited due to a lack of respawns, this can get frustrating when you are dying due to trying to pull and failing repeatedly as your health dwindles.
RPG Maker MV
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