Gamelist Review List Song List Watched Journals Forum IRC Gamelist Song List Review List Forum Articles IRC Log Out Add Game Edit Games Add Reviews Edit Reviews Add Songs Edit Songs Log Out Edit Games Edit Reviews Edit Songs Sign Up Log In My Journal My Game Journals Watched Journals All Journals Journal Settings All Journals About Us Staff FAQ
Castle Paradox
Title Bar
Log In Box
    1) A
        Vikings Of Midgard by Fenrir-Lunaris
    2) A-
        Deleted Game by JSH357
        Sword of Jade: Parallel Dreams by RPGCreations
        Purgatory100% by Friend
        Trailblazers by Retrogamer
redacted 4 vs. Artmaker
redacted 4
Download: 4 KB
Review # 16 for Artmaker
Them's Fightin' Words
    Xerian is the story of some people who's town is invaded by a pair of floating heads. The heads breath fire and scare everybody into barricading their houses, then set up a forest of fake trees to keep everybody from leaving town. Why isn't made clear by it's possible Xerian Master formerly known as Jigglypuff will include this information in the next release. You play a group of five beings, four humans and a pink blobby thing who set out to defeat these heads. On the way. . . actually nothing much happens on the way besides one of the heros trying to eat the trees. But after that the story picks up slightly.

The Good: You start with 5 characters. This is original and unusual in an OHR game, yet it makes sense in a way. Most people don't set out on heroic quests alone so why not invite all your friends along? From the start you can plan your battles around which characters to include to gain a maximum impact on the enemy. The battles seem fairly balanced no matter how you set things up, though if you set your group for one hero by himself you are in for a world of hurt. There is a healing center nearby so in the beginning so you needn't worry too much about the damage you are taking, as long as you survive the battle you will always win. The game has a decent amount of dialog considering there is only one NPC to talk to, and if the town is vacant of all people at least in this game the author provides an excuse. It also includes a walkthrough of sorts although if you need to use it you probably aren't intellegent enough to read. The heros are at least mostly distinctive, one has a bowl of cereal on his shirt and constantly talks about cold cereal, one is called "I AM USELESS" who seems to be able to explode everything around him and has among the best attacks, one is a girl who uses water, there is a pink blobby thing called PUFF I think is meant to be a jigglypuff, and our hero uses light attacks and is the only person able to weild a weapon, a chunk of scrap metal. The attacks are broad-spectrum and everybody gains several over time so you have a nice assortment of attacks and everybody has some. If only their names were more distinctive.

The first problem that I noticed was a distinct lack of save points. The only one in the first world is inside your party's house, which is a maze that looks like it was designed by a fruit bat on crack. You have to navigate through it every time you want to save so memorize your path from where you wake up to the front door. The next problem is a plot hole in the fact that although the main character is apparently the worst enemy of the one NPC who will speak to you, that NPC seems to boss the group around freely and is basically how you find the next step on your quest. A little backstory explaining this might help me understand why the heck I am supposed to listen to him. There is also the matter of weapons and armor, although most of your characters can use at least some of the armor, one piece sold in the store can't be worn by anybody in the party and only one person can buy a weapon. Everybody else has to rely on pounding their enemies with their fists. Speaking of enemies that was the next bit of confusion that hit me. The foes seem to consist of puppies, kittens, tweety birds, and Jigglypuffs. They are interspersed with snakes, floating decapitated heads, ants, and punks with morningstars. There doesn't appear to be any rhyme of reason for why the enemies appear or why they are together, particularly the cute things which are not normally enemies but seem to have allied themselves with the forces of evil. Ants follow a human leader, skulls and tweety birds double team you, and I want to know why. Also they are so stingy with the EXP you would think each point is a dollar Xerian Master must give the player. After facing 4 enemies in a loooong battle you get . . . 12 EXP. Levelling up takes forever. The same goes for money and when potions cost 200 gold each I expect to get more than 10 gold for a monster that takes over a minute to handle. This is, however, slightly offset by the fact that you find chests with 100 gold in them all the time. I never did buy any potions. The final boss is a bit tough, requiring several level ups and judicious use of potions to defeat him. There is also no save point in the entire dungeon of the mountains so you might as well count on having to repeat a 30-40 minute dungeon several times unless you are very careful. As a fun bonus no items or spells revive the dead so if somebody dies you just might as well quit and restore unless you can handle it without them. There is a healing point a few battles before the boss that helps a lot, be sure to find it. The graphics are a blah. I can't really point to any major uglisms but there the worlds are rather monotonous and made up of only two blocks interspersed around town. The buildings are all largely the same and inside are a few errors lining up walls and matching blocks for a 3D appearance. If the inner building had been a different perspective, such as isometric, those errors would have been much easier to catch and replace. The cavern of oh no, it's a puppy! are made up on just three blocks, and one of them is just a hole in the flat block where you must put a sheet of wood. The monotony gets to you on a long dungeon like that one. Particularly without a save point anywhere in the entire mountain. No save points anywhere so get used to a pale grey square and a dark grey square. You'll be seeing a lot of them.
Final Scores
Graphics: 5/10.0
I made no comments here because the graphics are neutral, they add nothing but aren't bad enough to take away from the game either.
Storyline: 2/10.0
Nothing much, you are out to find the source of floating heads. At least you aren't the chosen one as a warrior of fate to do it.
Gameplay: 7/10.0
The battles were well balanced, and you have tactical elements in choosing your party, although fighting puppies and kittens was a surprise.
Music: 1/10.0
I don't know where Xerian Master nabbed his music but I turned my speakers off in the town, an act which should get me a good citizen award because I would have gone on a killing spree if I had to listen to that dreck one more minute.
Overall Grade: C
Final Thoughts
    Rather a blah. Music is it's only oustanding flaw, aside frim a dead story, but nothing about it seems impressive either. I will watch the next release closesly to see how well Xerian Master is able to solve these problems, most would be simple.  

All games, songs, and images © their respective owners.
Terms of Service
©2008 Castle Paradox