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Verdimea vs. Iblis
Verdimea A battle with some... things...
Download: 79 KB
Play Time: 0 hours and 40 minutes
Review # 5 for Iblis A battle with some... things...
Them's Fightin' Words
    What originally made me download this game was that I remembered hearing it had original music. Unfortunately, that's about all it has. Nothing else in the game is at all notable.
    Verdimea's graphics are not the best. Walkabouts (the very few that you see, at least) are somewhat decent. They're very heavily influenced by Tsugumo's tutorial, which is a good thing. However the hair looks kinda awkward, especially on Sani, the main character. As you can see from the screeshots, he's got a big spike of hair that just looks strange. The shading on it animates when you walk, which can be a good thing if done right, but to me it just looked weird. The legs on the up/down sprites don't look that great when they animate either, the forward leg is so near the center of the sprite it looks strange when it animates. It doesn't look much like walking to me.

The maptiles range from okay to dreadful. The grass is nice. It's the generic "semi-random dots of various shades of green" but it serves its purpose well. There are some flower tiles randomly placed around, which is a nice touch, though they'd look better if they stood out more. The trees are not great, but they're not the worst. The houses, however, are absolutely dreadful. I'm not completely sure what Calehay was trying to do with them, but they are not good. They might look better in a game where everything was in that style, but here it just totally clashes with all the other graphics in the game. The water looks somewhat okay, but it doesn't animate, which is bad.

Battle graphics are weird. The hero sprites are okay. They look a bit odd, and they didn't animate well at all, but you can tell what they are. Enemy sprites are weird looking blobs of stuff. You might have an idea of what they're supposed to look like, but it's not completely clear. The backdrops are just the grass maptiles with some flower tiles scatterred around. That isn't my prefered style, but it's not too bad. Actually it IS bad when you have that backdrop display despite being inside a house. That shouldn't happen. Worst part was that there were no attack graphics. All you see is sprites running around and numbers popping up when you attack.
    You're Sani, some guy in some village who's training to be a protector (whatever that is). You randomly realize you're an hour late for your training and go back to the village. Once you get there, your trainer, Ree, says to go talk to the guy outside the inn (there are three inns, and the guy is outside the one building that is not an inn). You talk to that guy (or girl? I can't remember), named Verki, who says some stuff about your dead father and then you go back to Ree and you have to fight him. After you beat him he gives you an item which teaches you an ability you will never need to use. You talk to Verki and fight him/her and then you're randomly somewhere else and you hear some mysterious people walk by who talk about some things. You go back to the village, get some green orb, and find one of the mystery guys there. Then you and Verki fight him and leave. While you're leaving through the forest you fight some demon thing which you easily defeat and for some reason you say Verki sprouted wings even though that never happened. He/She babbles about some things and then the demo ends.

There are SO MANY problems here. First and foremost are the NPCs. After you talk to Ree or Verki and they say something important, you can talk to them again and listen to them say the exact same things. This becomes a huge problem when it causes you to fight them again or get a second copy of an important item or get a second copy of a hero in your party. Sometimes you'll see two Verki or Ree NPCs on the map, which just doesn't look good at all. Calehay warns you not to talk to NPCs you've talked to before, but that is just ridiculously lazy. He probably isn't sure of how to work with NPCs and tags, but it isn't hard to learn.

Some of the stuff Verki talks about at the end sounds like it could be somewhat interesting, but it could also be horribly cliched and boring. If Calehay continues this game and does it right, the story could potentially be pretty cool. However if it continues how he's done it so far, it will most likely not be good. If something cool happens, like a character sprouting wings, you have to SHOW it happen. Otherwise it's just lame. The dialogue was not interesting to me through most of the demo. I don't really know anything about Sani's character at all. He has no personality. Nobody does.
    Big surprise, there was nothing remarkable about the gameplay. The battles required no thought of any kind.

Random things that were bad: Sani's default weapon is named "Generic." No icon or any indication of what it is. And his battle sprites didn't help. I have no idea what his weapon was supposed to be. Also when someone did the Broken Sword attack, it says in the caption "Broken Sword, die all before me." Yeah, it's nothing big, it just sounds really dumb. You don't "die" your enemies, you "kill" your enemies.
    There was really no effort put into the battles. Sani had a regular attack, a healing spell, and an attack that hits all enemies but that you never need to use. Not much variety at all. Verki had more variety, but you get him/her so late in the game that it doesn't matter much. All you really need to do is hit the enemies until they're dead and heal yourself when you need to. They were horribly unbalanced, but I'll talk about that in the appropriate section.  
  Map Design
    The only maps are the town and the forest, and neither are any good. There are five houses in the town. Three of them you try to enter and it just opens an item shop/inn that is for some reason named "saving" (you can save there, but you can also save anywhere on the map). All three are the exact same shop. There is an equip menu in the shop even though they don't sell equipment and you never get any equipment in the game anyway. One house has nothing, you walk in the door and nothing happens. The last one has Ree. There are no villager NPCs on the map, so it's a pretty boring place. The forest map is huge and there are very long paths that lead to nowhere. Normally having some extra paths is good, but not when they're so long that it would be faster to restart the game than walk back the way you came. Also you're not sure which direction anything is in, so you just have to hope you'll guess the right direction.  
    Very very poor. When you first start there are some battles against multiple enemies that are quite hard. Then there are some against one or two enemies that are very easy. You have to gain many levels before fighting Ree, which really doesn't make sense with the story. I mean, if he wants to talk to you why would you leave the village and start killing monsters? It just doesn't follow. However, once you defeat Ree everything after that is ridiculously easy. It's still boring, but it's faster.  
    Almost all original music composed by Calehay himself, which is pretty cool. The only non-original piece I noticed was the victory theme from Wandering Hamster. It was all fairly good. None of the music really stood out to me though. Pretty average stuff.  
    Well... no, sorry. I didn't really enjoy this at all. There were too many times I had to reload my game cause some monsters or Ree killed me. And actually I'm pretty sure I would've been bored even if that hadn't happened.  
Final Blows
    I'm afraid I can't recommend a download. I'm sure there's some potential for a good game here, but it's currently buried under a pile of NPC bugs and boring gameplay.
Very weird looking houses.

Very weird looking houses.
Final Scores
Graphics: 4.5/10.0
A few good and a few bad, unfortunately more bad right now.
Storyline: 2/10.0
Might have an interesting concept in there somewhere.
Gameplay: 1/10.0
Same old stuff.
Music: 6.5/10.0
Most impressive part of the game, but still not anything special.
Enjoyment: 1/10.0
Nothing to see here.
Overall Grade: F+
Final Thoughts
    Don't bother, at least not yet.  

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