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Time Flies vs. Shadowiii
Time Flies
Fortis
Download: 579 KB
V.S.
Shadowiii
Play Time: 3 hours and 0 minutes
Review # 4 for Shadowiii
Them's Fightin' Words
    A few years back, right before the Zantetsuken Message Boards went down, I had the privilage of playing PK-Fortis' "Time Flies." The first thing I notice after I booted it up was...unique music. All the music is original. And not only that, it sounded VERY good. The next thing I noticed was that the game had VERY good graphics, as well as interesting characters and dialouge. I was hooked.

Graphics
    The graphics are beautiful. A definite improvement over PK's first release, and overall great graphics in their own right. The maptiles are well done, even though they do tend to be a bit griddy in places. The enemy graphics, battle backdrops, and hero graphics are some of the best I've seen yet. The NPC's, though they all are similar, are extremely well done. The entire game kinda has a bit of a 'soft' set to it (probably because of the overuse of the gradiant tool in enemies and large buildings) which fits the style perfectly. There are also little details like character NPC's changing when they step into water to look like they are wading, that really make this perfected. The spells are BEAUTIFUL. Heck, it looks better then FF4 does.

 
Storyline
    I really enjoyed the storyline, because (unlike most OHR time traveling games) it didn't copy Chrono Trigger. The characters were interesting and actually had emotions and lives, as well as pasts that they remember (i.e. the main character actually had a memory! Amazing!). Each charter was VERY well developed and the dialouge managed to show their emotions quite well.

But the best part is definitly the wandering NPC's. They all say different things depending on who's in your party, and these usually tend to get pretty humorous after a while. Its even better when a party member reacts to what they say, like Ceris to a random pervert. :)

 
Gameplay
    The gameplay actually uses something usually ignored in standard RPG's: laws of physics. Units wth short-ranged weapons can't reach enemies that fly or are in the water, while Tim's gun will make short work of them. Other units can't be attacked physically (like a living piece of jell-o) so you have to fry it with your magic. This made it interesting because most of the time you usually had to think about the battles.

The only downside I found is that the giving of XP wasn't very balanced. It takes a heck of a long time to level up, and usually by this time enemies have gotten really hard. I enjoy spending time in an area to level up, but the experience giving just didn't make my 'leveling up excursion' enjoyable.

 
  Battle
    As I stated above, battles were fun. They were overall well balanced MOST of the time, but as you progressed further into the game the XP and the damage you had to give/sustain from fighting these guys didn't match up. It got difficult fast, which isn't a good thing in this case.

However, the bitsets were fun because they made you think, which is something most OHR games don't make you do.

 
  Map Design
    Very well designed. I never got lost, which is a mega plus. Maps were well drawn and easy to navigate, as well as fun to do. The dungeons didn't have any puzzles or anything, but they really were just fine without them.

 
  Balance
    As stated above, the balance was a bit poor. If PK had decided to make the game difficult all the way through (like Wingedmene or FUBMX) then it might have worked out better. Instead, it starts out easy, and then there is not really anywhere to just 'level up.' Not enough XP, and thus unbalanced.

 
Music
    The music is some the the best I've ever heard. The boss theme is just BEAUTIFUL. Exceptional on every count, bonus points must be given to Jazz Man for composeing some of the best OHR music I've ever heard. And, not only that, PK placed his music into the actual story; sad music for a sad part, happy music for a happy part. Not many OHR games do this, and that in itself makes this game stand out.

 
Enjoyment
    Unfortunatly this game is mauled by its flaw of poorly balanced XP giving. However, I was willing to sit through a lot of battles just to gaze in wonder at those beautiful Hero and Enemy graphics.

Overall, this game was amazingly fun. If it were made for the Game Boy Advance (and finished) I'd most definitly buy it. Great music, great graphics, fun and interesting battles system. Overall, I enjoyed every minute.

 
Final Blows
    This is an OHR great, no doubt about it. Even though nothing in it is exceptionally good, the fact that its so perfectly rounded makes it fantastic. Few OHR games (or commercial games, for that matter) have managed to be good on ALL points like Time Flies was. If you haven't downloaded it yet, then you darn better before I go to your house and beat you.



Final Scores
Graphics: 9.5/10.0
Beautiful. Even though they aren't the BEST I've seen on the OHR, they certainly are miles above the average. Really shows what you can do with the engine.
Storyline: 8/10.0
Fun, original, and it isn't Chrono Trigger. The only problem I had is the flashback was a bit random and confusing at first, because I had no idea what the HECK was going on. But this sure beats the pants of most OHR stories.
Gameplay: 7/10.0
The extrememly effective use of bitsets make this game unique and fun to play. However, the lack of interesting stuff to do in the dungeons as well as the poor balance of most battles made the game boring at times.
Music: 10/10.0
The best music I've seen in an OHR game to date. Excellent work, Jazz Man. Beautiful Bams (I thought I'd never say that...)
Enjoyment: 8.5/10.0
Fun, fun, fun. And more fun. You WILL enjoy this game, I can assure you that. I enjoyed the bromide too...:p
Overall Grade: A
Final Thoughts
    Time flies like an eagle, fruit flies like a banana.  


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