Tag Archives: Roleplaying

Game Quicky – Gamer’s Thoughts: HomeSick Beta 0.1

HomesickRecently I joined a crew to make do the testing for a game called HomeSick. It’s going to run on the RPG Maker engine. I have reviewed a game in the past, so yeah. Remember the Legend of the Ninja? Anyways, in this article I’ll talk about the first demo they put out for us to test. The testing is private, so I won’t provide a download link. Also, they announced that they are going to release an updated version in the upcoming days, so I might write an update article then. Anyways, let’s dive right into this game. Let’s analyse it. And as usual, feel free to leave a comment on the game and or the content of this article. 

Early access

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I want to thank my friends over at Gamers’Hive to grant me access to this beta testing, even while the spots where full. Crying Man Studio’s are the developers of this game. They release development video’s here and there. The fans can give input into the game by giving comments. This is clearly going to be a labor of love.

Compared to what I played in the past in the engine, the direction they are going with this game is looking good. Graphically, the game looks nice. Everything fits together nicely. While there are some sprites I would change to match the emotions of the story, it’s a known bug.

A suggestion to the developers from me is that in the graveyard, you could put the names of the beta testers on a tomb stone? Like the beta testers are buried there? It sounds fun, but it’s totally up to you guys.

Testing it

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Because this game is at it’s alpha / beta stage, this game is far from finished. I could start nitpicking on some collision boxes not being there and etc., but that’s when the game is ready to be polished and finished up.

There are a few things I didn’t like from my first experience. The soundtrack of this game is really great and helps to immerse yourself into the world that they created. Until I heard the theme of the battles. It feels out of place. It doesn’t feel action-y enough. It’s too calm to be an action theme.

What I mostly do to judge a theme is listing to the music with my eyes closed. If I’m able to create a similar scene that fits the music then is actually displayed on screen, then the music is fitting. But the battle theme didn’t pass.

They know that there are several spelling errors. Honestly, I thought that the writing was too generic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay, but you feel the Dutch influence as well. I offered to help rewrite some lines, but I haven’t gotten a reply. Simply because not so long after I started to write this article.

Final thoughts

I know, this is an extremely short article. Most of the bugs have been caught that I wanted to talk about so, I think it’s not really needed to talk about them in depth in my article.

It might be better if I wait until the updated beta is released and then take a more in depth look into it.  This was my initial experience and so far, it’s going good. I wish the developers the best of luck and cross my fingers that the final product will be amazing.

Anyways, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Until next time guys, take care!

NekoJonez: First Impression: Suikoden Tierkreis (DS) ~ Great Childhood, Bad Adults.

suikoden_tierkreisWikipedia entry

Sometimes good stories are written in a book. By simply touching it, you can get involved with the magic that flows through the ink and the pages as simple as the characters get their power in this story. When I was younger and played this game for the first time, I felt the magic of RPG flowing through me. This gem made my love for RPG’s grow. Several years later, I started to replay this game, and man, do I regret giving it a high score on my blog. Now I really start to see the flaws of the game. The parts where this game is pretty much broken in some places. While this game still stays as one of my favorite titles on the DS, this game surely needs some improvement. It’s already determined. It can see all of the future, did you know that? Wow, that didn’t make a lot of sense. Anyhow, I’m nearing the ending of some other games to review and this game will be one where we take a look at it’s ink, and how the world came to live inside the realm of video games. Let’s go and take a look at how a game like this made a tumble in my opinion but still stands strong. But be warned, this is my “first” impression of this game. Feel free to leave me a comment of what you think of this game and/or of this first look.

Wait, this blog wasn’t here before.

220px-SuikodenteirkreisLet’s start with one of the most important things in a game. And if you have read other articles of mine, you know that the story is something I usually start with. And this story is amazing. The characters are deep, the plotlines are amazingly executed and the pacing is amazing. While this game is extremely long, you’ll explore each side character in depth and you’ll get to know all of them better by the end of the story.

Something that really helps to set the mood is the voice acting. While it’s cheesy and not that well done in some parts, it really helped me to feel a part of the story. While having to deal with my critic opinion. Some lines are underacted or are said in the totally wrong emotion. But you have to give it to them, they had to find a way around the names you can give to the main character and your base. They can’t have a robot voice said that. In addition to that, this lengthy and originally Japanese game is totally translated. Which went prefect expect…

… A few weird grammar and spelling mistakes. When you are running away from a battle, you get the message: “It feld successfully.” Wait, did the monster just ran? Or did they party ran? And some parts of the writing don’t feel like proper English at all. Which is a big shame since the writing of the characters is amazing. Some plot twists you can see coming but the fact that you can predict it while you get other things thrown at you is such a blast. Weird, no?

The story is about you getting magical powers and places appearing out of nowhere. Nobody believes your claim that these places came out of nowhere. And to make matters worse, a communism country is trying to take over the world. So you have to deal with them while you try to crack the mystery of the magical powers.

Such a shame

st2-thumbIt’s such a shame that this game actually made this many mistakes. It’s such a great game. An other flaw of this game is the fact that it’s missing a map. While being in dungeons, you don’t have a map. When you get lost, though luck. You’ll have to find your way out by yourself.

To make matters worse, sometimes you can easily skip information of NPC’s. And they won’t repeat it a second time. Thankfully, your current quest can be read again at your base.

The gameplay is repetitive. But not in a way that’s bothering actually. Surprisingly there is a lot to do. You can upgrade your gear and buy and sell items. And here is where something painfully comes above water. This RPG’s has barely no sidequests. And the sidequests that are present, you actually don’t do you yourself. You choose the characters who are going to have the fun.

In addition to that, I truly hate the glitch that skips cutscenes when you close your DS. Why? Just why? Couldn’t they program in a pause feature or activate the sleep mode after the cutscene was finished? Also, the amount of cutscenes are too few. I wish there more of them.

A minor nitpick I have is in the battle system. The automatic attacking system chooses only your basic attack and this is also a drawback.

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Awesome!

There are a few other bad things about this game I have written down for the day I’ll review this game. So, I don’t have a complete article ripping this game a new a-hole. So, let’s get to the positive.

The music of this game is a real great gem. I still enjoy listing to it. When I use to write stories I even used a few tracks as themes for my characters. It inspired me an awful lot. In addition the sound design is extremely well done.

Graphically, this game is how a RPG should be. Colorful, detailed and pretty. I have a complaint here but I’ll come back on that in my review. The characters look lively and the humans look realistic. While this is a fantasy story, this game feels like it can happen in real life.

This game also controls extremely well. You can choose between the touch screen and the standard d-pad. It’s such a blast. The “Y” button for the menu asks a bit getting used to but it’s not that hard. The icons in the menu’s explain themselves and using it is a breeze. While it could have been made a bit more user-friendly for healing, I don’t think that’s a big complaint.

But to end this first impression, I suggest you play this game for yourself and judge it yourself. This game has a lot to offer. When you can ignore it’s shortcomings you will be in for quite a ride which won’t be over in a few weeks. I admit that I needed a few months to beat this RPG in my first run. I think this game might get also a long review at the day I finally finish it. But for now, thanks for reading and I hope to see you in a later review.

First Impressions: Magical Starsign (DS) ~ An RPG that I like.

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Wikipedia entry.

Thou shall not say anything bad about Magical Starsign. No, ehrm. Maybe, you can’t say anything bad about this game. Nope, that doesn’t feel like me. Ehrm, well, let’s do it the easy way then! Hello there reader, I’m NekoJonez and I am not good at writing an intro for this game. Well, that was cheesy. Hold on, why am I writing these thoughts actually down? My readers don’t have anything to do with this. If only I had magic to erase this. That would make that delete key so obsolete. Ha! You didn’t see that one coming didn’t you? Well, enough playing around. I realize that I play too many games at once and rarely ever finish one. Why I do try to change that fact, I started to play this game a while ago and I got distracted by other things and I never finished this one. I regretted it and thought here and there to restart this RPG and finish it. So, that’s what I’m doing now. Taking games I started and finish them before I look for new titles. And when I restarted this game, man was it adjusting to this. The oldschool DS RPG’s. Sure this game has some flaws but there is no perfect game out there. So, after this messy introduction, let’s talk about my first impressions with this game. 

Underrated

magical_Starsign_1This game is an extremely underrated game. I can’t believe how few people know of this game. It’s an extremely well made game. Something I extremely like is that you can choose your play style at the start. Your character can be dark or light. And this will affect the gameplay an awful lot.

Also, the fact that I can rename all of the hero’s made this game have more value in my hart. Now all my characters have names of my fellow Arpegians and that makes the story more personal.

And speaking about the story. Man, is it written how I like my stories. You don’t get a whole boring backstory in how the magic got discovered and how the different planets work. No, it’s straight to the point. The tutorial though is badly written into the story but it works.

Also, this game isn’t your standard RPG. It brings in one element that makes the battles totally different. In this world, planets need to be in a certain area of the sun. When that happens, people with that kind of magic get a power boots. This makes battles so much different. You need to check your planets to know when it’s better to stay in a safe area or when you better use magic.

Also, the repeat button is one of the features I applaud the creators of this game for. It’s so useful. It makes battles more easy. Like you slowly getting back your MP, it makes the battles more interesting. Also, you see the enemy you are going to fight at the top screen. Nicely done.

Flawed

magical-starsign-1While I do feel like praising this game an awful lot, this game has several things that made me not liking this game as much as another RPG. One thing is the running. Since this RPG is released early in the DS lifespan, it shows of the touchscreen. And there they made a fatal flaw, nearly ALL buttons are for moving your characters. Your A,B,X and Y buttons are basically a 2nd D-Pad. And you nearly always run while using the touchscreen.

Graphically, this game is pretty. I like the design of the area’s and all the locations. The names of the planets and people make the game feel that more alive. But, in some area’s you don’t have a map of the area but you see the whole planet. This is a drawback in my opinion.

The sound effects are great expect one thing. The enemy sounds are either absent or too similar to all other enemies. I don’t like the sound design in this game very much. Like the cut scenes. They feel dated, even for the Nintendo DS. They are really out of place and they look a bit PS1-ish. They seem created with one timeline like there can’t be a rocket flying over the screen while having water coming out of the land.

Also something that brings the battles down is that you can’t look to what an item does in game. This is such a big pain in the but since you need to either remember or guess the right item to use in the fights. Thankfully, the fights aren’t annoying like every 10 steps. You actually get some decent time to explore the area.

Magical-Starsign_3Easy?

Is this game easy? Well, in a way it is. This game feels like it’s made for young teens. But, that doesn’t mean an experienced game can breeze through this. That isn’t the case at all. You really have to be on your guard since a few wrong moves and it could mean game over.

You can save nearly everywhere. And the fact that you have several slots to save in is for me another sign of a game aimed at families or the younger crowd. But I’m so glad that there are several save slots since now I can do the light and dark playthrough side by side. Or play one if I’m stuck in the other one.

But getting stuck in this game isn’t that easy to do. After some time, one of the characters will give you a hint that will help you a lot for progressing.

What I also like in this game is that this game doesn’t hold your hand in every step of the way. The only thing the tutorial does is learning the way of how the fighting system works. And for the rest, it’s your way to explore the mechanics of the game. But every useful thing said in the tutorial is in your diary.

To finish this article, I want to talk about the music. Which isn’t the best nor the worst point of this game. It isn’t memorable but it isn’t forgettable. It’s that kind of music that will be stuck in your head while playing the game and for a few days but after that, you will most likely forget it.

Oh and before I forget, for the people who have played this game. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the game and/or on this article in a comment.

So, that was my first impression article of this game. But wait, I’m also playing Elebits on my DS. Do you want to read what I think about that? Well, go to ButtonSmashers and read my article there. A link is here: Elebits – The adventures of Kai and Zero (DS) ~ Collect all the WATTS!