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Neo Krysta III: The Guardian War vs. Aethereal
Neo Krysta III: The Guardian War It's like a hybrid of Concorde and FFVII, only it smells...
Download: 1.02 MB
Play Time: 1 hours and 00 minutes
Review # 4 for Aethereal It's like a hybrid of Concorde and FFVII, only it smells...
Them's Fightin' Words
    When a young man is ostracized from the rest of his kind because of his differences, what is he to do? Is he to fight back? Is he to run away? Is he to just whine about the whole thing? Well, Garusuke, one of the characters of Neo Krysta III, is put into a situation much like this one. The first two Neo Krysta games were not bad at all...does the third one improve on the rest?

    Wow. I can't believe I'm saying this, but the graphics have actually gotten *worse* since Neo Krysta II. Almost all the maptiles look like they were "painted on" (they were obviously drawn in a separate program) and the look is less than pleasing. Actually, the maptiles are the worst part of the graphics (see screenshot). I applaud Realmsoft for trying a new style, but I disprove of the look. The colors are poorly decided, the blend is terrible, and the shading needs serious work. Fortunately, not ALL of the maptiles are like that - some of the tiles in the forest area (most notably the water and bridge) are very good. I wish Realmsoft had done all the maptiles like those. As for the battle sprites...again, they aren't very good, with some enemies lacking shading and the characters themselves having odd looking limbs. The walkabouts are also less than stellar. They definitely have some detail to them, but they also have gorilla-arms like the sprites from Powerstick Man and that is a big no-no. Additionally, all of the sprites look too masculine (including the women). The anime cutscenes weren't bad, and were probably the best part of the game's graphics. Overall, I'd say Realmsoft either needs to get to work on their graphics, or they need to find the guy who did NK2's graphics and rehire him.

    I will be the first to say that NK3's presentation is almost flawless. This is almost commercial-quality presentation, folks. The scripting is well done and the various ways the mood is shown is interesting. The story itself is about a young man named Garusuke who is one of the few Samurai left who haven't been taken over by the "Dark Wave". This "Dark Wave" has existed on the planet for an extremely long time and it corrupts whoever it infects. Since Garusuke's parents were killed and he and his Master are the only ones not affected by the Wave, the Master has raised Garusuke and he's none the better off - the other Samurai hate Garusuke because of this. Later on, after playing a while as another soldier named Kaitsu, Garusuke participates in a massacre of sorts of the town that Kaitsu is meeting his brother and son in. This is where Garusuke begins to develop even more - his anger eventually incites him to kill one of his fellow Samurai, and having done that, he is content with his life - he is wounded, but does not wish to fight death.

I think this is a great basis for a story. The cutscenes are well done and the presentation, as I've said before, is excellent. However, the townspeople have serious issues. They are the most banal townspeople I've ever seen in an RPG. Half of them don't even say anything to you, and the other 47% use the same textboxes (like, almost all the people in Lionel Castle say "Good day to you!"). This is NOT good - the NPCs are important! Definite improvement is needed in this area. That is my only main issue with the story - other than that, the story is easily the best part of Neo Krysta III.

    No surprises here...the gameplay is, for the most part, the typical OHR yawnfest. This is one of the first games to take advantage of the now working elemental bitsets, which is nice, but it never really came into play in the demo. The problem here is that there is nothing new, and everything old, and that's not good. I'm all up for an oldschool RPG, but not if it is boring.

    Mmm...I hated fighting the battles in this game. The captions at the bottom were overused and the battles themselves were of the hold-down-the-spacebar type. The lack of a variety of special character abilities certainly didn't help. I'd like to say more, but I can't.

  Map Design
    The maptiles themselves hurt this more than anything. The towns had perfectly symmetrical layouts (which isn't good) and the colors of the maps were awful (are you people colorblind?! Bright cyan for a castle floor? Augh!). The best designed map was, of course, the forest. The addition of recovery springs is a plus. That's it.

    Ah, this game's a little hard unless you level up, which is pretty good. I like challenges, although I don't consider having to fight many battles over and over a challenge. I'd rather have the challenge without the required leveling up.

    Great original stuff. The pieces are generally not that repetitive and they actually use more than one instrument! Great job to the composer of this game. This is some of the best original music I've ever heard on a home-made game.

    No, I didn't enjoy it. The story was good and the music was fantastic, but the gameplay was in the toilet. If you like boring, repetitive battles, stupid NPCs, and poorly designed maps, then I guess you'll enjoy this game.

Final Blows
    Neo Krysta III is weaker in almost every area than its predecessors. Although Realmsoft has never been one for unique, good gameplay, I still think Neo Krysta II is more worth your time. I'd rather spend that time doing something more productive though, like working in the OHR. The story, however, is great and it holds my attention enough to keep an eye on this game. Just improve the damn gameplay!

Ahh! The colors! They burn! They burn!

Ahh! The colors! They burn! They burn!
Final Scores
Graphics: 4.5/10.0
None of the graphics were that great, but the maptiles particularly stand out as "bad". Poor choices of color. The only remotely good-looking part of the game was the forest map.
Storyline: 7.5/10.0
Excellent presentation and a great basis for a plot are two high points for this game, but the awful NPCs are a low point.
Gameplay: 2.5/10.0
The battles are uninteresting, the maps are poorly designed, and the encounter rate is a little too high. Does that sound like fun?
Music: 7.5/10.0
Great original stuff. 'Nuff said.
Enjoyment: 3.5/10.0
Enh...I enjoyed its story and music, but in order to truly enjoy a game, you must enjoy its gameplay. I did not enjoy Neo Krysta III's gameplay.
Overall Grade: C
Final Thoughts
    I'd like to see where this game goes, but for now I don't recommend downloading it except for the story and music.  

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