Ive been waiting for this game to come out for a long time. My interest in it suffered ups and downs during the last couple months, but now that I have started playing, I can hardly put it back. This should be no surprise for anyone who has read my impression back in November. I think my opinion hasnt changed much since then, and Im really enjoying it. I liked the introduction a lot, and the 2D imagery there was beautiful. I hope there's more of that later in the game. Lets now start our adventure in Bel Lenora with our protagonist, Kairu.
As soon as you get control of the game, a rather large castle is open to exploration, and some funny scenes and dialogue set the mood.
Once I was set on my first mission, I noticed the painful encounter rate. Dont expect to travel between two locations with just a fight or two youll be fighting a lot. At least the battles arent too long, although one-character fights are not so exciting. I tried to run away from battles, but I cant find how.
I played a lot since the other day, and met with my second, third and fourth characters. Except for Aurora, they didnt stay with me for a long time, and as one left, another one would join. I noticed they all have very different personalities and agenda, and I feel the character development will be quite interesting. Time will tell.
The fights are getting more exciting with a three members party, but they are also longer. A larger party also means less room to walk and attack, and the characters often get in each other's way, which gets frustrating, seeing how small the fighting maps are. I still cannot find how to run away from encounters, and the manual didnt help me in my search. Regarding battles, I would have this to say to players starting the game: make sure to stock enough healing items and dont be afraid to use your spells and abilities.
My exile progresses well, and I have now accumulated 10 hours of gameplay. Even though I now know how to flee from battles, I try to use it as rarely as possible. I faced the no-magic dungeon that way, and it was, Im sad to admit, painful. Lets just say this: when you reach the Tradefair town, buy an insane amount of healing items. You will need them.
I have acquired my first means of transportation. Its a ship that can travel shallow waters.
Okay, so I lost my boat to pirates, but it's not important, because I've been given another one a few hours later. The story, although simple, keeps me interested in going forward. I like the battle system, but some encounters can get very frustrating.
I must say the visuals are pretty impressive in this game; almost every town and dungeon has a different look, and the detailed backgrounds and characters are well done. It's too bad for the world map, because it doesn't do justice to the rest. The animation is all right. I like the portraits on the dialogue windows; they help convey the emotion, tone and character of the dialogues, and this is a good touch considering the lack of cinematics and resolution of the sprites.
There's one thing in this game that's really lacking: save points. That, or I'm not going through the good rooms in the dungeons. The first puzzle I encountered reminded me how few of those there are in the game. Once again, you'll be fighting your way out of most situation. I also noticed that barrels, pots and boxes often hold items, so it's very well worth your time to check them, as you can find weapons, accessories in addition to regular healing items.
I got my second vehicle, an airship, and the first thing I did was, of course, exploring the whole map. I noticed some areas can only be explored with a boat, and the one I have right now doesn't look like it can travel there, so I'm expecting another one later.
The game changed a lot since last time I updated. I gained two new characters and the story progressed a lot. There is a point where the world opens up and several side quests are opened to the player. That's neat, but it means revisiting some dungeons and walking long distances, always with the same encounter rate, up to the point where you get the accessory that lowers it.
The story had some unexpected turns and twists so far, and I'm satisfied withthe game as a whole. Let's see what the game has to offer in its last hours.
All right, so I finished the game this evening. The end dungeon and boss were way too easy, but still interesting. I love when you have to form parties and explore in different groups. I was hoping I'd have to split into two or three parties to defeat the boss, but unfortunately it's a one-party fight. I get the feeling there may be multiple endings, so this is something I'll have to verify in the future.
Wait for the review pretty soon!