I have received permission to post my review to this thread.
Alright, I am going to give my impression first in terms of the story and flow of the game. Then I will mention
what I felt of the mechanics and how immersion was halted or broken. I want to be fair, and give all elements of the story a
Fae Rebirth was a title that struck me from it's description that I knew I had to try. What I found inside surprised me, but
it felt very vague and unfinished with the characters feeling around the limited path they are given.
The game itself feels like a visual novel that took on battle aspects, and exploration for the sake of wanting to be an RPG. I want to stress why I felt this after my play through was complete:
The first thing that strikes me as odd is the use of sparkling graphics to show interaction, for door, items, or simple
transitions. Where they are lacking is the most confusing as parts and areas can be interacted with/without them
and make me question just what I should and shouldn't be touching.
The surprise battles in the game are grossly unfair and obvious when you are suppose to lose. Only your story continues outside
of battle after having been killed to show everyone is fine, and you handing death to the people who assault you. While the main
character does a fine job of handing out this power, poor Kel is quickly overshadowed. While he has the ability to heal, he only
transforms into cuter version of himself. He has no power backing up his heritage and is just as lost in Elyn's amnesia.
I'm not against a character having secrets or being unable to remember their past, but when the internal monologue points to them ultimately refusing to admit what they know to others it shows me she isn't trust worthy. She also bullies Kel and tells him what they are going to do whenever the plot hands the information.
To talk of it's good points we have a world with a very strong pull into racially biased magical heritage. There was clearly an
ancient war where the magic creatures lost (how I don't know, Elyn has destroyed absolutely everyone in her path) and has lead to
MCs being outcasts chased by humans unwilling to accept them into society. Kel's brother is our first casualty of the game, and the driving force and motivation of the male supports character. I really like that he has a clear purpose and a mission to complete. Elyn on the other hand acts like a tag along, then steals the show.
We know very little about her, even after the visit to the capital city, the secret castle, and the mines encounter. We basically
have a blank slate of a very powerful being with no motive that refuses to reveal themselves unless necessary. This leads to
Elyn's character becoming diminished when she tries to justify her motivation for wanting to continue on with Kel.
I would have liked more explination with the vampires, as to how the characters actually came to the conclusion the remains
in the coffins were vampires. Since the conversations and letter with Areas (and the red eyes after transformations) I suspect
Elyn is one of these vampires missing from the coffins.
I do not understand the whole blood seals in the throne room, but that at least I can attributive to creative puzzle integration
which boosts the plot and story in my mind. It also hints their heritage is very important, if not necessary for Kel's mission.
The castle itself was a good element, and added to the forest experience. The only gripe I have is that Bo never seems to complain how long it takes you to catch up to him after finding it or asking where you have been. Bo is a strange man.
Allowing me to upgrade equipment in the demo only to be given impossible battles or situations with no heal/Inn stays makes me a little frustrated. I also used potions before the "Earth Spirit" encounter (slaughter) and made me feel like I had wasted them.
Most of the demo I just felt like I was desperately searching for a rest spot I could restore before reaching the castle city. I
had little to no items left and near 0 mp on Kel. It made game play that much more aggravating. I was hoping for a restore point
in that vampire/secret castle but was left wanting.
After completing the demo I felt enough of the story had been introduced to encourage me to play further, but at a price.
I am skeptical of any boss battle after that Ogre I will actually have a difference or chance to complete. There have been
two pivotal moments where the game has pulled the rug from underneath me simply to have Elyn treat it like there was no challenge.
To me as an avid RPG gamer that feels unfair happening once and leaves an impact that I remember. Happening twice I start to
loose hope I'll be getting much of anywhere and stop using items altogether for fear of wasting them outside of grinding.
I enjoyed the subquest for the orphan children, and the lead into Elyn's previous adoption. Though if the Inn knew she was of
immortal heritage I don't see why they would keep her safe. It's clearly shown they have no reservations about killing MCs in this world with little thought.
There feels like there could be some more fleshing out to do with communicating to the player just how bad the situation was for
Elyn as a child, and I hope to see more of that in the future of the game's development.
Another thing I hope to see is integration of healing/restore points. This is something the game needs at certain points rather than cramming a bunch of items in chests and high drops on forced encounters during the exploration aspect.
Some mechanical issues:
*Play with a controller is not recommended, as an analog controller will easily fault battle commands by pressing right
and pass a character's turn in the battle menu. Using the keyboard alone is fine, though I prefer controller
play for RPGs.
*Heal spell will drop menu after one use, and if you need to use it multiple times out of battle you will drop back to the map.
This frustrated me, as normally with games by default you can keep healing until a character is back to full without
dropping out of the menu with spells. I can only suspect a Common Event is linked to the skill which is causing the
drop out or a variable counting in the background. Neither of which is made aware to the player.
*Transitions sometimes happen without warning or little sparkles to signal interaction.
*Treasure, skill learning, or plot related messages of any kind take up the entirety of the screen. This spoils immersion for
me personally. It stops the game and sort of puts this message in my face saying "Hey! This happened!" I don't feel I need it
for regular leveling up skills and the like of items found.
*Tile set errors and observations were attached to the accompanying thread.
My review is the result of two separate playthroughs made on two different rigs.
Thank you for the opportunity to play your demo and see your project in development. I hope this information has been helpful to future players and