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Blu Eternal vs. Shadowiii
Blu Eternal
Download: 379 KB
Play Time: 1 hours and 00 minutes
Review # 24 for Shadowiii "..." (I'm breathless at the sheer beauty of it)
Them's Fightin' Words
    Good games have to have four important components to make them fun: Gameplay, Music, Story and Graphics. Very few OHR games manage to grasp all four of these in one game. Most OHR games focus only on two or three of the four, rather then trying to put them all into the game. Blu Eternal has an excellent start at accomplishing all four of these goals, but for now it isn't doing the most wonderful job. Blu Eternal has amazing graphics, a start of a decent story, allright (though a bit dull) gameplay, and no music (though the author claims to have original music in by the next update). It is well on its way to becoming an OHR great, but it is going to need a few more touch-ups before its next release.
    Graphics are gorgeous, to say the least. The style reminds me a bit of Bahmut Lagoon crossed with Chrono Trigger. Though the author uses the gradient tool a bit too much for cutscenes and enemies, the graphic still look very professional. The animations are fluid and well crafted. The overall feel of the game is "wow, this game looks great." The game graphically rivals Final Fantasy H, except this time all the graphics are original.

NPC's are beautifully done. The author, rather then draw more details in the tilemap, drew the spikes, boxes, barrels, rocks, etc. all in 16 color NPCs. The boxes and barrels are especially supurb; they rival those in Final Fantasy 6. Hero NPC's match up with the Hero Graphics, which is excellent. Both are done in the same style, so they seem intertwined, which is exactly what you want.

Battle Graphics look excellent as well, though not as perfected as the tilemap. Some enemies look really good (the Dragon, Slime, hive) while some seem a bit lacking (Hachling, Bee). The style is a bit gradient like, which isn't really bad but isn't wonderful as well. But the author makes it up to us by having the graphics look wonderful and vivid anyway. They match the game perfectly also, so no complaints. The hero's graphics are decent. They obviously were made from a similar original, and the weapons seem a bit undetailed, but it isn't bad. In fact, it is pretty darn good to say the least.

Tilemaps are wonderful. The rocky tilemap is great, and the vines look supurb as well. The outside of the mine is simply gorgous, with its lush green grass contrasted with the brown of the outside of the cave. The airship is a bit repetative, but still looks neat overall. The graphical designer used a "3D Effect" on some of the walls (like in FF6), and did a supurb job at that. Excellent work here.
    Eh, from what I've seen, the story could either turn out ok or dreadfully dull. There wasn't much dialogue in game thus far, but (unfortunatly) this dialogue is a bit bland. The story is simple so far: Go into a mine. Kill a dragon. Then blow up the mine. Meet Marcos, the airship pirate guy, and...the game ends. The characters aren't really well developed up to this point. That is, you can't even tell who the main character is by what the two heroes say. They basically just tell you what you have to do, the only character with real development is Marcos, and he gets probably half as many lines as the main heroes do.

Dialogue needs a boost, but it could just be because this is an early release ("teaser") demo, and the characters aren't going to be revealed yet. But so far they have no personallities, which made it frightfully dull.
    Varies throughout the game. The author puts in quite a few nice touches, like the vine climbing and the mine-cart riding, but mostly these things are just add ons to more puzzles. The random battle is set on "6", which isn't very high, but the battles are quite tedious. Not only that, the author seems to like to put save points WAY in the game, and basically hide them. Also, save points aren't placed wonderfully. There are only two in the entire game, and one is basically hidden. I'm the kinda person who likes to save often, and I don't get too.

Another thing that was annoying was the XP recieved vs. Damage Recieved. In all honestly, it was a bit off, making the game difficult. Not that I'm complaining, difficult games are fun, but having to heal after almost every battle because my HP was so low got annoying fast. Not only that, but that dragon has WAY too many HP. Battle balance could be more polished, but it is decent as is.

I did like how you could ride the mine carts, and also how there was a "countdown" part of the game. Those are nice touches, especially for such a short demo.
    Battles are ok. Just ok. Basically you can learn a total of three spells in the entire game (one for the guy character, and two cure spells for the girl). But the battles are basically run-of-the-mill, tedious OHR battles: Fight, fight, fight, heal, fight, fight, fight, heal. Yeah, that is basically it. Plus you have to fight quite a few enemies before you level up, which is certainly frustrating. And since you only learn ONE offensive spell (and to get it you have to fight a very difficult boss), you are basically attacking throughout the entire game. How dull.

You also can't run from battles. That was a bad idea, to be honest. A wise RPG gamer is one who knows when to run, but if you take that out then, well, I have to hold down the space bar until I either win or die. An improvement on the battle system would be nice, though not necessary.
  Map Design
    Maps are above average. There are a lot of puzzles in this mine, most of which are driving mine carts around. Almost all the puzzles are really easy, except the push-npc puzzle, which was downright hard. I couldn't figure this one out for the longest time. It is also frustrating because in order to restart the NPC puzzle after messing up you have to drive your mine cart quite a ways to leave and come back. That was amazingly tedious. Push NPC puzzles are definaltly the most overused puzzles in OHR games, but luckily the author only put one in.

Another thing I didn't like was the lack of save points. As stated in Gameplay, there are only two in the entire game: one in the mine and one at the end of the demo. The mine one is just placed somewhat randomly, and it is quite possible to miss. More save points would definaltly be nice.
    Balance is reasonable. Bosses are difficult, a bit too difficult, but still fine. Bees are hard enemies, but there are enough weak enemies to make up for that. I really disliked having only two options: fight or cure, through the most of the game. And considering I had to level up quite a bit before bosses, this made battles very, very dull. Adding more spells, even basic offensive ones, would definatly improve on this.  
    There isn't any, and the author asks not to grade on music, but I'm going to anyway. Why? Because a game shouldn't be released without music, just as a rule of thumb. Not having any music ment I had to fight those really boring battles in DEAD SILENCE. It pratically killed me after fighting a lot of them. I'd rather have a few ripped songs in it that were later replaced then no sound at all. The game needed sound, especially considering the gameplay. Don't bother releasing the next update until you have some songs.  
    I had a decent time. The graphics certainly made my day; they were flat out gorgeous. The lack of music really cut into my enjoyment, though, as well as the dull battles. The battles wouldn't nearly be as bad if there was something playing in the background. But there isn't, and it is dull. That NPC push puzzle was really annoying as well. Besides that, there wasn't anything seriously wrong about this game that I didn't enjoy. I had a decent time playing it, and I can recommend at least starting the game to just about anyone. Check out the graphics, then quit.

Oh yeah, I should also note the demo ends around when you get on the airship. The author doesn't really point out the end of the demo (bad idea buddy), so after that point feel free to stop playing.
Final Blows
    This is an excellent start. I really hope this game gets finished, because it shows a lot of promise. However, it still needs quite a bit of work before I'm going to declare it a great game. I'd recommend the download, but not a play-through, not until it is updated again. Check out the beautiful graphics and interesting gameplay elements. Then open it up in custom.exe and drool at the graphics before deleting it. The game does have a few issues, but nothing that can't be fixed by the next update. PUT IN MUSIC. :P

Keep up the good work guys.
I really hate this puzzle. A lot. At least the annoying boxes and barrels I'm pushing are PRETTY!

I really hate this puzzle. A lot. At least the annoying boxes and barrels I'm pushing are PRETTY!
Final Scores
Graphics: 10/10.0
After playing so many OHR games with ripped graphics or bad original graphics, this is certainly a breather. Graphics are fantastic, and I don't honestly think they could get much better. Perfect score.
Storyline: 4/10.0
It is a decent start, though the characters themselves are very dull. They basically just talk for the sake of explaining their quest, you don't get any information about their individual personalities. Hopefully we'll see more story and development in the next update.
Gameplay: 7/10.0
Battles are dull, what can I say? The lack of music is downright awful, and paired with boring battles is a bad combination. However, the game compensates by having neat and original map puzzles and tricks, which are certainly cool and break away from the mold.
Music: 1/10.0
There is none. This is very, very bad. You can disregard the score if you wish, but in all honesty you should realize that if you play this game, you'd better have a good CD handy.
Enjoyment: 7.5/10.0
I had a fun time. The game was good, there was nothing seriously wrong with it. Though I did get frustrated at some points, every good game frustrates the player every once in a while. I was sad to see the demo end, which is a good sign.
Overall Grade: B
Final Thoughts
    It is a beautiful game graphically, but there isn't much else here. Be sure to grab an Audio CD before you play this game. Download it to see some gorgeous graphics, but don't expect for any exciting gameplay or story.  

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