Looking for games to LP!

Discussion in 'Maker Casual' started by Studio Blue, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hello everyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we enter the world of Final Chaos: Saving Chevallia, a game with a solid production value and potential that could be great if a few keys things were worked upon.

    First off, this game starts off great with a voice narrative (that needs to be a little louder) and a well put together intro. The initial cutscene, while almost too long, sets the stage for the starting scenario very well while creating some wonderful backstory between characters. That maps are (for the most part), simply amazing. Characterization is good with each one having their own unique voice, and the battle system is fast-paced and on point. Overall, we enjoyed this game.

    However, there are a few things that need to be fixed. First, the dash feature is disabled way too much, rendering the "Auto Dash" function moot. Second, the items between Chapter One are carried over into Chapter Two, when characters switch, which will cause players to double-buy items (there is a fun little Steel-Rant over that). Lastly, and this is the big one, the bad guys have no reason for doing what they are doing other than they are villains--it's so two dimensional it ruins what would otherwise be a great story. The developer needs to go back and revisit the motivation of his antagonists and make them as sympathetic as possible.

    But don't let those three issues get in the way of enjoying this game. With them fixed, this is a solid entry on the list of games we've played, and a real joy to have reviewed.

     
  2. thunderswagthe3rd

    thunderswagthe3rd Villager Member

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  3. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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  4. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hey everyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we venture into the open world of Final World Fury Open World, one of the first (if not the first) open world RPG Maker games we've ever critiqued.

    It doesn't go as well as we'd have liked...

    The opening part of the game, the hook that is supposed to draw you into the open world storyline, is too generic and jarring to really work. We're thrown into a scenario that is barely (and poorly) explained, and needs more meat and streamlining to really bring us into the plot and ready to explore the world before us.

    The demo recognizes that there are language and grammatical issues, but there are so many that heavily detracts from the game.

    The battles take too long, with the balancing badly skewed on the enemy's side. There is one goblin in the second dungeon we explore, a dual-wielder, who does 123 damage to all targets as its regular attack. We have about 500 to 600 HP total. For a dungeon that was set to one level below the party, this was way too difficult.

    Lastly, the game doesn't feel like an open world game. We went on a side quest specifically to do something outside the main quest, and were immediately pulled back into the main quest. There aren't enough locations to explore and things to do, even in a demo, to call this an open world game.

    On the positive side, the action sequences and graphics are top-rate. The idea of video tutorials is amazingly well executed. We love the summon monster Oceanus.

    Overall, this game is going to need a lot of work, but can be something special if enough effort is put into it.

     
  5. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hello everyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we delve into the world of Dungeon Dreams, a great JRPG up on Kickstarter.

    Honestly, this game is amazing, with a lot of thought having been put into the game's flow, with many multiple branches of dialogue and logic. The characters are interesting, the mapping is solid (even with the procedural dungeon) and the execution is easy enough that you can jump into the game almost immediately. The world has shades of the anime Grimgar in it, which only serves to make it all the more gritty and fun. You can literally spend hours in the town talking to people and living their stories.

    There are a few problems that need to be addressed before the game goes gold: (1) There needs to be an easy-to-gain starting companion, someone you don't have to jump through hoops to get. We recommend a fellow newbie adventurer who approaches the player at the onset of Day Two. (2) The personalities of the Guild Members (Grant and Shiven aside) are too flat and two-dimensional and need to be flushed out and differentiated (they are all just one thing--hostile). (3) There appears to be too many "you lose" moments in the dialogue trees--as if you are permanently cut off from pursuing a character's story if you make the wrong dialogue choice.

    But other than that, this is one of the most polished and well-thought out games we've played in a long time, and we highly recommend and endorse it.

    Here is a link to the Kickstarter Campaign. Try the demo and see for yourself! https://t.co/xGfUm0vpqH

     
  6. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hello everyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play video, we enter the high fantasy world of Ahraynia, a game with a good start.

    There is a lot of positive things to say about this game: The premise is good, the characters are solid, and the mapping (for the most part) is pretty good. We love the opening map with Leyrah's home, as well as the town of Blueridge. The customized sprites, when used, add flavor to the story, and the music is on point. We also love the idea of a hero who uses the powers of darkness to defeat evil.

    There is a lot to this game that needs fixing, though. On the minor level, there are a few mapping issues and dialogues that need to be tweaked, and the balancing of the opening fights needs to be fixed considerably. On the more major side, there are a couple of "Tell" points that need to be "Show" (the infamous Show vs Tell) and the story-rationale for sending Hyreal on his own needs to be rewritten to be more plausible.

    Also, never name a main character after yourself, it smacks of self-insertion.

    Overall, though, this game has a lot of promise and, with some tender love and fixing, could be very good.

     
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  7. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hello everyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we run across the open world that is Casia, an old RPG Maker XP game with some solid good points, and some areas that need lots of work.

    Quite note: The sound and music wasn't working correctly for our playthrough of this game. This is likely due to our rig not liking old XP games. Either way, this should be addressed by the developer if possible. If there is no title music, there needs to be.

    While filled with fantasy tropes, the introduction and cast of characters (mainly the league of villains) is well-written with good storytelling and characterization. When you get to the main game, the mapping is (for the most part) really good, and the interface is easy to understand. The thirst/hunger system is a good addition, and the passage of time is slow enough to make the "days" enjoyable.

    However, there are some fundamental issues that the game has which keep it from being good. First off, there is not compelling storytelling once the main game starts. Second, there is no hook into the main quest, you literally are dropped off in the main character's home. Third, you have to quest in the first town to gain your starting equipment, which is not something all players will want to do. Lastly, the writing is not as solid as it was in the introduction. There are other issues as well, but we touch upon them in the video.

    Overall, this game needs work, and could really stand to be ported to VX/Ace or MV (especially MV). The developer obviously put time and energy into this project, and with some refinement could turn out something really good.

     
  8. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hello everyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we examine the world of Astoria: The Holders of Power Saga and look deep into what does and doesn't work with this game.

    We talk a lot in our critiques about balancing hero and enemy stats, and how many games fall short of it. Astoria does not, with some of the best basic stat-balancing we've seen in a while. You don't have much in the way of special powers at the start of the game, except to debuff the enemy and buff yourself, but the reality is you don't need it. Combat is fast-paced and very well balanced. The dungeon layout is good, and the dialogue, while wordy, is interesting enough.

    The main problems in this game lay in three main areas: (1) Use of assets, (2) Presentation of the story, and (3) Suspension of disbelief regarding the Protagonist.

    This game uses default assets, and while that is never a problem with us, the use of them is very rote and novice. Large boxy interiors, symmetrical maps, and everything set up in a nice, tidy, boring line make it hard to get into the atmosphere. Apart from the Slime Dungeon, the maps need to be redone.

    After an exciting opening scene, the game drops you into a generic hero's journey with no compelling reason to continue. We assume that meeting Queen Delilah will reveal the story, but it's really too late. By the time we got to the end of our video, we were completely uninterested in continuing the game. There needs to be an impetus to play from the onset, and the fix for that is a rewrite of the game's first hour.

    The protagonist is not very believable. It's the prince of some land on a secret mission, by himself, in a hostile wilderness. We've encountered that before and cannot get behind it--sovereigns will never go it alone, no matter the reason. And traveling with your real name in obviously regal regalia, with just a dagger and clothes? Nope, not buying it. Sorry, but this part of the game needs to be reworked from the ground up. We highly suggest a knight or two accompanying the prince. That way, there is a protective entourage, as well as people he can banter with to explain why he's on this trek to see some neighboring queen.

    While a lot of work needs to go into this game before its ready, the seeds are there for a good story and good characters. On the positive side, we loved the character of Petra in the starting village and sorely wanted her to join the prince on his adventure.

    Here is the link on Steam:

     
  9. Tuomo L

    Tuomo L Oldbie Veteran

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    Can you LP my newest game? It's a simple dungeon crawler, more like a Diablo than regular JPRG.

     
  10. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hey! Not adding anything new at this time to our list. When that changes, we'll release a statement video.
     
  11. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hello everyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we sway into the world of "For The Treasure", a great demo of what is shaping up to be a great game.

    This game has an "it" factor about it, a cohesive convalescence of categorical components that coalesce comprehensively into a complete creation. It's not a tangible thing, but when a game has "it", you know. And like several of the previous games we've critiqued, this one has that special something.

    The characters are enjoyable, the story is absorbing and easy to get into, the writing is solid (you can tell this is written by a comic writer), the sound and graphics are good, the voice acting is good, the world is immersive, and the game is (for the most part) balanced.

    There are a few things that need to be fixed, however. First is the critical path in the first dungeon, the bush that Auggie burns. There needs to be a clue, like a sparkle or something, that shows the player that the bush can be interacted with (making it RTP does not work). The Cloverbite enemies being able to critical is too much for a first dungeon. Lastly, the first boss's initial attack score needs to be about 25% to 30% less given how much he charges.

    But that's the most we could find. When a game pulls you into where you have to look for things to critique, that's a good thing. And overall, this game is something we want to play to completion!

     
  12. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hello everyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we blast off into the world of Rave Heart. The journey starts off great... but then gets a bit bumpy.

    There are a few things to note about this game: (1) It's RPGMaker VX/Ace, so the engine is not as smooth as MV. (2) The game uses Sci-Fi tiles, and therefore doesn't have as much to work with as fantasy based games. (3) This is a demo. We give the game some leeway in that regards.

    First off the mapping. While simplistic in style, it accomplishes what it sets out to do, and doesn't detract from the game. Nothing spectacular, but nothing terrible. Second, the graphics. They are standard VX/Ace graphics with a few custom assets thrown in. Again, nothing mind-blowing but nothing bad. Lastly, the gameplay is fast and engaging, and while it uses a simple rock-scissors-paper methodology for enemy weaknesses, it works.

    The lack of music, however, is notable and disappointing. Even for a demo, there needs to be BGM.

    Then we come to the writing, which is where Rave Heart comes across strong. There are a variety of really solid writing techniques used to showcase the world, the characters, the story, and the motivation to keep playing. There are a few scenes that are amazingly well-written and give you so much richness with so few words. KUDOS to the developer for that.

    However, this all falls apart during the "Psi Exam" scenario. We cannot get behind the situation as it's written. It's not believable that a princess who's been sheltered her entire life would be exposed to the general public in such a crass and plebian manner. It goes against the world-building and we cannot buy into it.

    Having said that, we really love the parts of the game where the story was written well, and wish great things for this developer. We encourage Starmage to ask further questions of us on Dischord; we want to see this game succeed.

     
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  13. Arin

    Arin Tonight...we dine...in-oh a piece of candy! Veteran

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    Is no one going to talk about the fact that the main race of "humanoids" I guess we should say are called "Aryans", which are historically, Hitler's perfect race of Germans and all other humans were inferior?

    Yeah, that should definitely be changed.
     
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  14. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    True, it does carry that negative connotation. However, the official definition of "Aryan" is "a member or descendant of the prehistoric people who spoke Indo-European." (Meriam Webster)

    I suspect that is what the developer was going for. The unfortunate secondary (see Nazi) meaning of the word may not have even registered with him.

    Ultimately, it's up to him if he wants to change that. We would if it were us since we wouldn't want a peaceful, positive race of characters to associated with Nazi Germany.
     
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  15. Starmage

    Starmage Veteran Veteran

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    Thanks so much once again, Studio Blue, for this wonderfully helpful and extremely detailed feedback (esp. with the story). I am currently brainstorming how to correct those parts now, and I'm excited about it. ^_^ I'll probably share it with you guys in the Discord servers if you aren't busy, and if that's okay. :D

    Also, @Arin , Thank you for bringing that up. As Studio Blue has said, the term was originally used for Indo-Iranians, as well as inspired from the alternate name of the Pleiadians Extraterrestrials (Which is Aryans). We have already made a deep discussion about this in the discord servers, and I have decided to keep the name, as a means of refusal in giving the Nazis power over the term, and over anyone that they have terrorized in the past. :) It's even funny, because when I used the name, all I ever had in mind was the Pleiadians' alternate name. xD Now, I understand the name itself may have some uncomfortable effects on some people, but the way I see it, is that people shouldn't give the evils of the past any more power over their lives. ^_^ Aryan is a term that originated far from any Nazism-related things in general, they just stole it, in a way. ;) But in taking responsibility, I am also planning to make a disclaimer in the game's finished product soon if it's deemed necessary, that no terms or concepts within the game are meant to offend nor tear down a certain group of people. :)
     
  16. Arin

    Arin Tonight...we dine...in-oh a piece of candy! Veteran

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    I completely realize it wasn't intentional because I don't see you as that kind of person, but still the majority of people, myself included, might look at the term "Aryan" and think "That's a Nazi racism undertone". Even if the literal definition of the word isn't something derogatory, it still carries a negative weight to it because that's all that we grew up on. Either way, just looking out for you; a lot of different LP'ers have said the same thing regarding your project and just didn't want to think this was an intentional thing.
     
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  17. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Yeah, @Starmage chats with us a lot on our Discord server. We can say with certainty that he's not that kind of person.

    We'd change it if we were him, but ultimately it's his game, hence his decision.
     
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  18. Starmage

    Starmage Veteran Veteran

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    @Arin - I am still very thankful for people like you who expresses concern regarding the naming. ^_^ :) I myself did not know it's negative meaning, so at least it opened my eyes when it comes to naming stuff in my games in the future, despite me having to keep the specific term for Rave Heart. ^_^ :) So yes, thank you so much once again, Arin. :)

    I am also thankful to you guys for not seeing me as someone who holds that negative intention in mind. I will do my best to take responsibility for the usage of the term, as well as take responsibility in my naming of terms for my future game developing journey. :)
     
  19. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    Hello everyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we delve into the dungeon-like world of Pathway Desire, a game with a serious old-school nostalgia and a great start.

    Created in the style of an old 8-Bit NES game and designed purposefully with a black and white aesthetic, this game is easy to get into and fun to play. Combat is speedy and easy to master, and the challenge is just enough that it forces you to do something other than spam the attack command. The writing is solid and the characters are, from what we saw, quite capable of growth arcs.

    The only issue we see is that there is so much that the player should know to play, the game could really benefit from either (a) a series of tutorials or (b) a game manual. We prefer the second option this time--there is a need for front loading information.

    Overall, though, there isn't much critical to say about this game. It has a ton of potential and could really be something special, if not a solid blast-to-the-past.

     
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  20. Studio Blue

    Studio Blue Studio Blue Veteran

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    (Quick Note: Our original LP video glitched, so we re-recorded it. Any hurriedness is due to it being a second playthrough.)

    Hello eveyone! In this RPG Maker Let's Play, we immerse ourselves into the short and sweet world of "Light in the Dark" by Skyforger, one of the creators of Traum. This 30 to 60 minute escape room game pits the hapless Perdita against the abusive "Mother" and chronicles her attempts to get out before something terrible happens.

    We had a hard time critiquing this game--we enjoyed it a lot and really appreciate the sincere effort the developer put into it. The story is heart-wrenching, the protagonist is sympathetic, the lighting is immersive, and the critical path is well-defined. The inventory system is sleek, and there are small animations and extras that just bring so much life to the experience. We'd expect nothing less of the developer given what he's done in the past.

    Teal caught why the developer used the name "Perdita". Very clever!

    There are a few things that need to be tightened up, however. The bookcase needs to properly activate regardless of what side you click on, left or right. There needs to be flavor text on every object in the world, to further give us insight into Perdita's perception of the world. The colorization at the end happens at the wrong time for maximum effect. The chase at the end, while tense, is too different from the rest of the game's gameplay, so it really doesn't belong.

    Lastly, this game desperately needs an alternate, darker, ending. We go into detail about that during the closing credits.

    Despite the critical points, this is a very well-rounded game that further showcases the developer's passion and talent for game design. We can't wait to see what else he comes up with.

     

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