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Tales of the New World I (v2.5 for HotOHR 2010) vs. Iblis
Tales of the New World I (v2.5 for HotOHR 2010) I will destroy that red floor tile.
msw188
Download: 1.39 MB
V.S.
Iblis
Play Time: 13 hours and 0 minutes
Review # 1 for Iblis I will destroy that red floor tile.
Them's Fightin' Words
    Heh, finally did this thing.

According to the creator, this game was originally a Dragon Warrior fan game or something like that, but now is just an original game made to seem like that series. And it shows, too. The game is structured in multiple chapters, much like DW4. The game actually does a decent job of creating the same feel as the DW games. Some of the story and place names are taken directly from the DW series, and some names are just slightly altered, but they're not the same places.

Very little about this game is spectacular. However, very little about it is dreadful either. Most of it is pretty average. All in all it was a decent game.

NOTE: the demo is not actually completable. There is a point where you have to fight some guards, and when you kill them their NPCs don't disappear. I didn't think this should affect the score because if the demo ended at that point intentionally, it would be no different from having to stop there anyway. The creator advised me to do the review now, because he said it would take him a while to fix that and bugs that came after it. This occurs in Chapter six.



Graphics
    This is easily, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the worst part of this game. You can probably tell that from the screenshots.

Maptiles: Meh. These are okay. The water isn't animated, which is bad. It's just blue with streaks of lighter blue. The grass is your basic spray-and-pray, same as the stone walls. The tree tiles in town were the best ones, with the forest tiles on the world map being second. At first the red floor tiles made me want to claw my eyes out, but I got used to it.

Walkabouts: Bleh. There were a few basic sprites. Human males, Human females, dwarves, and elves. The human males all had the same color and style of hair (football helmet style, basically), including the heroes. Also all human males are somewhat overweight. Same goes for the females (but not football helmet style). There was some differentiation among the elves, but they were also mostly the same. Kids were just smallish versions of the same sprites. Heroes should NOT be indistinguishable from NPCs.

Battle sprites: Gah! Once again, sprite copying with minimal changes to the body. Also there is no "attack" sprite, so when you attack the person just dissappears for a moment. And at the end of battle the heroes flash in and out of existance. Not good.

Enemy sprites: Meh. At the end of the demo these start getting a lot better. However at the beginning of the game they're not good at all. For example, blue slimes have an outline around them which is brighter than their inner filling. It looks really weird. The same coloring pattern is seen on a few other enemies, but luckily this decreases as the game goes on.

Attacks: Meh. A couple attacks look cool and a couple look bad. Not much else to say.

Backdrops: Oops. You can't grade something that doesn't exist.



 
Storyline
    This is something that's a little hard to judge for this game. On one hand, the story isn't great. It has the same "destined hero" junk we see in way too many RPGs. However, on the other hand, the story isn't meant to be great. As stated earlier, this is meant to resemble the DW series. In that area it does a pretty good job. The first chapter is very much like the first chapter from DW4, but after that the stories start becoming a little more original.

Once again, this game uses the chapter system like in DW4. For those that haven't played that game (I pity you) that means that the game is broken down into separate parts focusing on different characters and quests. Basically each chapter has a main goal, and oncee you complete that goal you start off with a new character and a new quest. Eventually in the last chapter you get the main hero and the characters from the previous chapters join you along the way. Personally I really enjoy this feature. It adds a lot of variety to the game. After every couple hours you beat a chapter and basically get to start a whole new game. Luckily, items and money don't carry over to new chapters.



 
Gameplay
    For the most part the gameplay was standard stuff. I was impressed with the "Windball" and "Escape ball" items. Windball returns you to the last place you saved, and Escape ball takes you outside a dungeon. Items like these should be in more games.



 
  Battle
    For the most part, in regular battles you can just keep hitting the space bar. Boss battles you will most likely need to use skills (particularly healing skills) unless you go REALLY insane with level-busting. All battles are inescapable. At first I hated this but I got used to it. It adds to the challenge of the game, which I think is good.

Chapter 5 is very different though. In this chapter you are "morphs" which are basically little floating balls that can change into stuff. One of them can change into various monsters, and the other can change into weapons and items. They can never do more than 1 damage with a regular attack, so you have to use their special skills all the time (don't worry, they have a lot of MP). It was a nice break from the normal gameplay and was pretty fun.



 
  Map Design
    Towns and castles are designed well enough. Sometimes they can be a little hard to navigate but it's not a big problem. Cave-type dungeons are often insanity-causing mazes that will destroy your soul. Forest-type dungeons are usually a little less maze-like. Tower/fort/castle type dungeons are varied. Some of them are simple combinations of rooms and halls, whereas some are terrible mazes.



 
  Balance
    Varied. Normal battles are generally pretty well balanced. Maybe a little on the easy side, but not a whole lot. Boss battles are very hard, especially earlier on in the game. You have to do a lot of leveling before you have any hope of beating them. However after talking to the creator I know this is exactly how it was intended. I didn't really mind gaining levels before fighting a boss though. It was a good challenge.



 
Music
    This is one of the better points. This game actually has original music that is pretty decent. There were only 5 songs in the game as far as I can remember (castle/town, bad castle/town, dungeon, world map, and battle) but I never thought it was too repetetive. The dungeon theme was probably the coolest song in the game, and you'll hear it a lot.



 
Enjoyment
    I really did enjoy this game. I'll admit, nostalgia was almost definitely a factor here. However I don't think that should change my rating of it. If you remember the good old days of FF1 and DW, then I think you'll enjoy this game a lot. If you didn't like those games, then this probably isn't the game for you.



 
Final Blows
    Judged like any OHR game, this one would be just okay. However as a first game I think it's extremely good. Has many problems but shows a lot of promise. I definitely recommend it. We'd be lucky if more people would enter the community with something like this. Improve the graphics, add more songs, maybe work on the gameplay a little, and this will be a superb game.



Yeah, that's a battle with a slime. Detailed, isn't it?

Yeah, that's a battle with a slime. Detailed, isn't it?
Final Scores
Graphics: 4/10.0
Once again, the low point of the game. None of the graphics are what I would call "good" but you can tell what everything is.
Storyline: 4.5/10.0
Nothing particularly outstanding, but it's not meant to be.
Gameplay: 6/10.0
Part five was awesome. The rest of the game was okay.
Music: 7/10.0
Not only is it original, but it's actually quite decent. None of it annoyed me at all.
Enjoyment: 7/10.0
Despite the lowness of the previous scores, I really did enjoy this game. Try it out.
Overall Grade: C
Final Thoughts
    As I've stated numerous times already, this game had very little that was really good and very little that was really bad. This game is a great example of "everything in moderation."  


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