Another day, and another review for the IGMC GameJam, and I have the chance to post a review of l8rose’s title “River Lord,” a game set in a classic fantasy setting. Overall, “River Lord” is rough around the edges, but manages to fit some promise into the demo/prototype. So what is there to say about “River Lord?”
Immediately, the art does jump out, since all of the busts are custom made. This really helps to project the maker’s effort, and not all makers can make their own art. With that, kudos to the maker from the start. The mapping was acceptable, with a few things that could have been done a little better; however, those were offset by other aspects of the map. For example, a little too much map-edge is used, but the clever use of stairs was really nice. (Oh, and I see you custom drawn battler image!)
The story is a little bit of a slow starter. With some patience by the player, it does pick up as playing through. Some folks might be put off by the slow start, but I rather like a slow start with the story when the game allows me to just start playing it. Your mileage may vary, but a slow starting story indicates to me that there might be more story to uncover later. The story is well served by the custom images mentioned earlier. It may start out with a few threads, but I look forward to seeing the story weave itself together.
In the game-play department, there are a few more hiccups. Somewhere this game has a process running in the background that causes an occasional “hiccup” when maneuvering around the maps. By hiccup, I mean the movement freezes, and the the sprite catches up to where the player should be. Considering that I’m running a system that handles most modern games at 60 fps, this shouldn’t happen. If the player re-enters the area at the back of the initial caves, after the scene, the event will re-execute (and hang). I didn’t go looking for this, I wandered in while looking for a particular NPC. This is only game ending if you forget to save, so it is not a deal breaker by any means. With some of the fog effects there are visible seams as well. However, even with these minor issues, this was a fun little romp.
As I mentioned in my other review, I don’t do numerical or “star” ratings when I review. Those cute little stars are for “feedback ratings.” So, in conclusion, this is a game prototype that has a few issues, but is otherwise worth looking at if you don’t mind a slow start (and remembering to save).
A bonus section for l8rose:
I saw you mention something about the file-size and how you had an issue. Over on the forums at RPGMakerWeb, someone put up a tool called “MV StripperWin” that I swear by. It is much better at preserving the actual used materials in a game build. I have limited bandwidth (up), so that tool saves me a lot of upload time. (It’s not perfect, as some files will still have to be located by hand -- but it’s far better than the default option for skipping unused files.)
Also, GRATS!!! It was awesome to see this game, and I’m glad you were able to get it submitted!