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+2 OHR House 3: On the Plantation by JSH357
Crescent Dream vs. sephy99
Crescent Dream Look at the tow- OH GOD MY EYES! THE TREE... IT BURNS!
AdrianX
Download: 1.77 MB
V.S.
sephy99
Play Time: 0 hours and 45 minutes
Review # 2 for sephy99 Look at the tow- OH GOD MY EYES! THE TREE... IT BURNS!
Them's Fightin' Words
    As usual, a few days ago I went to CP to look at any new reviews that may have been posted and to my surprise a game suddenly has an A+. Obviously intrigued by this relative unknown author I decided to download and see for myself what this rave review was all about. While Crescent Dreams certainly is a good game, the fact remains that it is far from perfect.
Graphics
    This seems to be the main point of attraction that I've noticed in earlier reviews, so naturally I was expecting something spectacular.

Maptiles- The variety was a major plus in this category. Too many games fall flat with only three or four unique tiles simply pasted around to resemble a forest, mountain, etc. CD uses what I assume are full tilesets of grass, rock, and other miscellaneous objects to give much needed variety. However, the use of terribly contrasted color schemes within the same map make for an unappealing overall feel. The main town actually made me queasy with its bright green trees against the grass and road. Any good art class will teach you that bright colors jump out while darker colors recede into the background. Another major weakness is the lack of blending tiles to make a smooth transition from the very distinct grass tiles and the bland dirt pathways. Overall, the graphics were a variety of average to good, but to say these are the best graphics producible in the OHR is far from the truth.

Walkabouts- From first sight the walkabout graphics were great. They got the message across and in the case of the Master Lycan actually added a nice bit of variety. Another aspect that I am glad to be seeing more of is the use of NPC animations through plotscripting to give life to the characters. Yet, a little less reliance on the tradition text box emotions in favor of actual character emotions would have been nicer. On a side note, the majority of character north and south walking motions were simply flips of their bases (ie: the main character's spiky hair sporadically flies left and right as you walk).

Battle Graphics- Very nice animations and enemy graphics left little to complain about. The one point that did disappoint me was the use of a palette swap with the slime enemy. A palette swap does not a good enemy make.

Full Screen Pictures- The use of large anime-esque sequences was a nice addition, but they were strangely reminiscent of Dragon Ball Z (and my severe hatred of this show perhaps has a slight bias in this one area). Otherwise, no complaints on this aspect.
 
Storyline
    Being a short demo, the story lacked the ability to completely capture my attention and actually was rather bland at most points. One thing that especially disappointed me was the use of a tired old item hunt as the real meat to the gameplay. Nothing turns me off more than a meaningless quest to waste my time. Between the beginning, the item quest, and the demo's end, a few amusing scenes involving Lycan and your sister are followed by serious scenes about your departed brother. Overall I have to say that I just couldn't bring myself to like any of the characters within the short time span that the demo lasted.  
Gameplay
    While the above aspects were all executed well, the actual gameplay was the one terrible weakness that I found in Crescent Dreams.  
  Battle
    Battles were the general fare of spacebar mashers and the occasional heal, and the overall lack of explanation as to why you are even beating up small slimes and bees didn't really help. The attacks all worked well even though the scan skill was rather pointless for the most part.  
  Map Design
    Ugh. Easily the worst part of the entire game. As mentioned in the graphics section, there is a large variety of maptiles; however, their random placement in a tiny map left the entire opening mountain cluttered and just outright ugly. The terrible mistake of requiring an item to be able to save was also a major nuisance for when I didn't want to waste a large chunk of money to simply record my game. Choppy graphics in the town (on houses and between dirt and grass) gave a very disjointed feel to an otherwise nice town.  
  Balance
    The battle balance was excellent to say the least. Not too challenging while not too easy is always the way to go with this one. I also liked the fact that enemies start off easy and become harder the more you progress in the mountain path.  
Music
    The same ripped music lot was present here, and while it all fit nicely into the mood, the quality left much to be desired. Several times I was forced to exit the program and turn the volume off in order to save my ears from bleeding.  
Enjoyment
    As far as most OHR games go, Crescent Dreams certainly has been able to shine above the mediocre crowd. But overall enjoyment just seemed to pale in comparison to some of the more gnarring aspects of map design and music selection.  
Final Blows
    There is a lot of potential with this game and I'm only being critical because with improvement CD could easily become a classic. As it stands now, there are some glaring issues that seriously need to be worked out.
Those battle graphics sure are purdy.

Those battle graphics sure are purdy.
Final Scores
Graphics: 7/10.0
Nice variety, but disjointed appearance and lack of uniformity drag the graphics down.
Storyline: 7.5/10.0
What little is present blends nicely with the overall feel, but there just wasn't enough to grab me.
Gameplay: 4/10.0
The map design was like a terrible plague and the annoying save system brought great rage to my small body.
Music: 5/10.0
Ripped but placed well. It was occasionally like a gigantic hammer of doom that crushed my ears into a bloody pulp.
Enjoyment: 7.5/10.0
Good overall, but could be so much better if the small problems are fixed.
Overall Grade: B-
Final Thoughts
    This game could be great, but right now it is simply good. I look forward to any improvements to come and hope to see a less cluttered and more polished look overall.  


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