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Ecopia:Shadow on Perrep vs. Shadowiii
Ecopia:Shadow on Perrep
Franco Jordan aka Zero Hour
Download: 1.52 MB
V.S.
Shadowiii
Play Time: 15 hours and 0 minutes
Review # 2 for Shadowiii
Them's Fightin' Words
    Enter a comic book world where animals contain incredible powers. Where Highbreeds, a superior fighting race, help keep the other creatures in check. Ecopia follows the story of Chamelius, an electric reptile, who's adventures lead him into a bizzare and compelling world of adventure.
Graphics
    The basic Graphics in Ecopia aren't wonderful. Its Chibi style Anime through most of it, which works well for the Super-Deformed Japanese RPG style that is used by many fans. However, most of the grahpics, particularlly the battle graphics and tilemaps, seem to be lacking. However, where this game has its true strength is its cutscenes: fully animated movies. They seem to fit into the game like FMV's fit into a Squaresoft RPG. Their quality and style seems to match that of the game itself, so, unlike many other OHR games with cutscenes, the cutscenes and the game itself seem to flow together. Although the coloring isn't wonderful (partially because of the OHR's 256 color limitation), the movies still are very fun to watch.
 
Storyline
    The story is a downer. I had trouble figuring out what was going on often, patially because the text boxes weren't very organized. The game starts off with Cham. going out on a mission for a miliatary operation. After that it gets very confusing, and if you don't pay attention you'll miss it (like me most of the time).
 
Gameplay
    Overall, Gameplay could get frustrating. The puzzles and such in the game, especially on maps, was a bit lame. The battles had a unique system, but it was hard to find items to recharge your Energy. Overall it was enjoyable, but difficult.
 
  Battle
    Battles manipulated the already programmed OHR battle system. You still had your "wait for ATB" gauge to fill up thing, but every attack or healing move took "Energy" (Similar to 'Fuel' in Xenogears) Energy could be recharged during battle (or with an item) but if you ran out of energy...well...you were screwed. You'd have to recharge, which could be a serious pain in the butt.

Another irritating thing was if you missed the Energy Sword spell for Cham before you went on your mission, the first boss in the game is impossible (no joke). I found myself having to restart after a lot of leveling up just to get that stupid item! Just...DONT FORGET IT. :)
 
  Map Design
    The maps, as stated above, weren't wonderful. They were not only drawn griddy, but the puzzles/mazes weren't very fun either. They were hard to navigate, which made walking irritating.
 
  Balance
    If you get the Energy Sword spell, you should do fine. The battles are actually pretty well balanced, even with Herp trying out this new system. The game is fun to play, and lving up doesn't take forever. Plus, enemies aren't made too hard, which is great. A very well balanced game.
 
Music
    The music, though original, got on my nerves after a while. Some of the songs are fine, while other are just plain irritating. However, bonus points must go to Herp (and his brother) for composing them and not using the standard OHR songs or FF rips.
 
Enjoyment
    The game was very fun. The characters proved interesting, and the cutscenes really made this game an OHR gem.
 
Final Blows
    Overall, this game is a very enjoyable game. If you haven't downloaded it before, download it now. If you are interested in seeing how ohr-movies are made, then download it. If you want to see a battle-system that is fun yet not too difficult to make, download it. Overall, GET IT!


Final Scores
Graphics: 6.5/10.0
Not fantastic, but good enough to keep you playing. Even after he "redid" the graphics they still seemed lacking. I personally prefered the old Cham, but that's just me.
Storyline: 5.5/10.0
The story, as I said, is complicated if you don't pay attention. Read slowly, and you should get it. The Characters, on the other had, are very enjoyable.
Gameplay: 9/10.0
The Energy system is fun and it makes you think. Herp did a great job not creating a "space-bar holding" game with his system. Plus the battles are decently balanced so you can play for a long time before getting frustrated.
Music: 4.5/10.0
The music is original, which is good. However, the songs aren't wonderful, which is bad. But at least I'm not hearing the Final Fantasy 6 battle theme every 20 seconds.
Enjoyment: 8.5/10.0
Very fun game, and highly recommended.
Overall Grade: B+
Final Thoughts
    Ecopia: Shadow on Perrip took a step in OHR making. It's cutscenes and movies alone make the game worth the download, as well as the fact that it isn't a "spacebar smasher." The battles actually make you think, which is something very few OHR games manage to accomplish. Too bad Herp suspended work on this game, because with just a few more touch-ups this could become an OHR great.  


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