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And& vs. Shadowiii
And& if I...hold on...ask...but...don't...AAAAAAAAAH!!! IM CONFUSED!!!
Download: 385 KB
Play Time: 10+ hours and minutes
Review # 12 for Shadowiii if I...hold on...ask...but...don't...AAAAAAAAAH!!! IM CONFUSED!!!
Them's Fightin' Words
    In the core of every RPG game is one thing: Leveling up. Basically it is the flesh and blood of every RPG. No one really loves doing it, it is just a part of the game. But sometimes leveling up in itself can make an interesting game, as it does in &And.

&And follows this aspect of gameplay to the extreme. As 48 hour contest game, you really wouldn't expect a long game. Then again, Rinku is always good at suprising us, and this game is perhaps the longest 48 hour game you'll ever play. Basically what you do is simple: Fight. Move trees. Fight. Heal. Buy items. Fight some more. Then do it again except you move rocks.

So its a bit...repetitive. But it sure makes a fun game.
    Graphics are very well done, and are done in a style that suits the game almost perfectly. Bright Forest has almost a glow to it, it consists of bright colors and "chibi" looking trees (I didn't know trees could be chibi...:P). The mountain, though looking somewhat barron and cold, still is bright and cheerful in some ways. The graphics really set the mood for this game, and are good enough so that you won't quit.

The NPC's are all pallet swapped. ALL of them. But that is somewhat acceptable...the main heroine's (Ampersand's) NPC is a youngish and somewhat "cute" looking girl with green hair. Then you have ones with blue hair, ones with red hair, etc. Not much work was done, but heck, this IS a 48 hour game, what would you expect?

The battle graphics are really a break from the mold. Ampersand was drawn by Carbile (and it shows), so she obviously looks fantastic. The enemies look somewhat 3D rendered, and then are pallet swapped. But the enemies still look very good. My personal favorite is "Are Ghosts Real?" which so far goes down as my favorite enemy graphic as all time. Weapons are drawn and executed with skill, as are attacks. However, battle backdrops are a major weakpoint. In a forest I'd expect trees, not a gray barron wasteland that I appear to be floating over. Other than that, the battles are great looking.

Tilemaps are not exceptional, but the fit the game. I really like the fact that the little "tides" on the south of bright forest floated up and down. The grass tile is decent as well.
    Ah...story. Does &And have a story? Actually, it is your generic RPG story. Girl wakes up, has no memories. Some random guy tells her that to get her memories back she has to take them from a non-crazy monster, so off she goes slaughtering hundreds of monsters and putting tons on the endangered species lists until she finally finds the non-crazy monster, gets her memories back &and...the game ends. Dang. Well, it has got a perfect generic RPG storyline, right? Person wakes up, no memories, kills stuff, gets memories, the end! Ok, just kidding there, but all-in-all it isn't the story that is well done but rather the dialogue.

Ampersand doesn't say much. Mostly "...yes" or "...maybe", etc. For some reason I found her somewhat interesting and a suprisingly captivating character. The story itself is not the high point of this game, but it does work.
Gameplay a game with battles, you'd better expect gameplay to be good. Basically how the game work is you buy a weapon, then you run out into the nearby forest and move some trees around trying to get to the far end of the forest (which, by the way, is WAY WAY far away. I mean, huge.). As you get deeper the monsters get harder, so obviously you have to go back, buy healing items, etc. and go back out. After you beat the forest you do the same thing on the mountains. It doesn't make for a very interesting game, but it sure makes for a long game.  
    Battles actually play interesting, which is good, because you'll fight thousands of them before beating the game. Basically Ampersand attacks random enemies. She also has curative spells, an offensive spell, and a mega-offensive spell. Now, the creators could have easily just made her have spells and that's that, but instead they made you think. Flash takes up all your highest possible MP when used, yet is ultra powerful. So you have to decide whether or not it is important enough to use. You also restore HP and MP when you level up (good thing too, or the game would be impossible), so you have to take that into consideration as well. Battles are well balanced and play fun, which is good, because if they weren't the game would suck big time. :P  
  Map Design
    Maps are basically enormous "push the NPC" mazes. Nothing special. You won't beat this game in one sitting, simply because it is so incredibly tedious. However, it, along with the tons and tons of battles, make up a game that basically does one thing: consumes your time. Which is basically what all games do, except this one does it more obviously.  
    Balance is supurb. I don't know how much they playtested this game, but probably not much because it would take about 1/4-1/2 of the 48 hours just to beat this crazy game. It starts hard, then gets easy. Then you move to the next area, and it is hard. And it gets easy. On and on. For 10-20 hours. GAAAH!  
    The music is all ripped, but the selection is...decent. I personally would rather have a more exciting battle theme...because you fight tons of battles. Luckily there are 4 or 5 battle themes so you won't get TOO sick, but a nice idea would have been to have each new "area" of difficulty have a new battle theme so you definatly wouldn't get bored. But that is just me.  
    This game can get pretty addicting. But remember, it is all leveling up. That's it. Leveling up. Don't expect to find anything else fulfulling in this game. Hardcore OHR players (to think they exist is just frightening) will probably prove themselves by beating this game multiple times, It is fun for what it is: a time consuming game. But heck, Tetris is a time consuming game, and it is one of the best games of all time. I can honestly say this game is pretty fun to play.  
Final Blows
    Rinku said a few years back that he was planning on releasing &And Lv. 99, basically &And except instead of having two maps it would have a full set of all possible 99. This, in itself, would probably be the longest OHR game of all time. I mean, if it takes 10 hours too beat TWO maps, what about 100?! We are talking around 500 hours of gameplay here! Thats over two weeks!

But of course I'd beat it. I've actually beaten this game three times (seriously) and I would love to see &And Lv. 99 just for the challenge.

Overall, get it for what it's worth: Leveling up. Play it, probably don't beat it, then come back in a few months when you are bored out of your skull by all the other OHR games and play it some more. Its a fun game.
We have a title screen, but no game! Where is &And Lv. 99?!

We have a title screen, but no game! Where is &And Lv. 99?!
Final Scores
Graphics: 8.5/10.0
Fitting, and I wouldn't have them any other way. The font is irritating, but the graphics still look crisp and neat. The fact that Ampersand's eyes are the transparent tile rather than the black one was a neat touch. Battle backdrops need some work though.
Storyline: 4.5/10.0
There is one, but it is amazingly short and somewhat pointless. It actually kinda parodies your generic RPG game with its "memory hunt," but still the story is nothing fulfulling.
Gameplay: 8.5/10.0
It is battles. Yeah, thats it. And pushing small trees and rock around in huge mazes. Certainly a challenge, not very fulfulling.
Music: 3.5/10.0
Its all ripped, but there isn't enough different battle themes for my tastes. I get sick of one battle theme after I've heard it 200 times, and you'll certainly hear this battle theme over 200 times.
Enjoyment: 9.5/10.0
I actually enjoyed this game a lot. For some reason it is one of my favorite OHR games ever, probably because of the mindless simplicity of it. It's I don't know why. I eagerly await Lv. 99.
Overall Grade: B+
Final Thoughts
    If you like battles, you'll love this game. If you like battles a LOT, you'll worship this game. If you like battles MORE THAN FOOD, you have deep problems and need to consult a therapist.  

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