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Genesis vs. Chaos Nyte
Download: 3.03 MB
Chaos Nyte
Play Time: 1 hours and 45 minutes
Review # 7 for Chaos Nyte
Them's Fightin' Words
    I have to confess before I begin this review that I have a bit of a bias in favor of Genesis. You see, a year or so ago I offered to help Lucier and Sephy revamp the original version of Genesis by reworking some dialogue and writing up a full playtest for the game. Well, I’m happy to say that while some of my advice may have been taken, Lucier, her brother Sephy, and ToxicShroom have all clearly grown greatly in their skills as game designers to have created Genesis in the form it is today. That is, while I may err on the side of favor for Genesis, I feel that overall it is from the merits of Genesis alone and not my own former involvement with the project. Indeed, I was not consulted at all during the revamp period of the game, and while Lucier is a babe muffin, I can assure all of you she did not attempt to bribe me with lewd pictures. *ahem*

Genesis is the story of a young woman named Yuriko. Though in each version of Genesis her story has changed, familiar faces and themes still pop up along the way. This release of Genesis, while by no means perfect, offers an enchanting tale that players shouldn’t miss. Why they shouldn’t miss it, and what the creators need to do to make Genesis even better, is the main focus of this review.
    When Lucier first entered the community under the name “Mew”, she was definitely known for her art, and while her style has faded in recent years, being trumped by recent artists like Orchard-L and Fenrir, the game’s graphics still give a very strong showing. Maptiles in particular are very well done, with enormous attention to detail and a focus on singular places. Too many OHR RPGs assume that a forest means a bunch of similar-looking trees and rocks spread about the map in a haphazard fashion. So entering the Creepy Woods of Genesis should give most players a surprise... full sized trees, birds, and beams of sunlight all add to atmosphere and make the game’s world very memorable.

While the walkabouts themselves aren’t as well done as could be hoped, there is a definite jerky twitch to movements, the sheer variety of actions performed in frankly astonishing. Yuriko can jump, be surprised, and even cry. 15 minutes into the game is enough to give any player a strong attachment to Yuriko, and this helps propel the game forward in a way that most OHR games simply can’t emulate.

Battle graphics, on the whole, are decent. Some of the enemy graphics are actually reused from the version of Genesis that I playtested nearly two years ago, though the graphics for heroes are well designed, if a little stiff in their movements. While the battle graphics are over all above decent, I would definitely suggest to the creation team that the battle backgrounds need to be redone, right now it’s usually just a screen shot of the area that they player is in.
    To capture the story of Genesis and attempt to explain it would be like trying to explain to a blind man the colors of a rainbow. That is, the story of Genesis is dramatic and sorrowful. It’s also laugh out loud funny. Sometimes it’s touching and thoughtful. Most often it’s just plain weird. But no matter how the plot of Genesis moves along, it never loses its charm, or confuses the player in their goals. Yuriko is one of the most sensible characters the OHR has ever seen. In one particularly touching scene later in the demo, she questions her journey and her companion, in a scene so very unlike a typical OHR game of heroes vs. villains.

The game also makes a good effort at explaining away silly things in RPGs, like how treasure chests appear in the middle of the woods or on top of mountains. Even better, it cuts out lots of stupid things found in most RPGs. For example, in Yuriko’s hometown, you can go home and take a rest at her fact, the inn won’t let you stay there, with the innkeeper pointing out how silly it would be to waste money there. Genesis manages to make a superb showing in storyline, though I will admit that there are quite a few small points, really quibbles in the overall design of the game that players will find odd or out of place. In spite of these, I highly recommend that you play Genesis to see all the things it does right. Especially the fish stoning. I can’t imagine any other game managing to get THAT right.
    Genesis is quite the odd mix of gameplay elements, and I find I have to seperate them now before trying to explain their overall effect, if only so I don't confuse you with comments like, "Turtle loves to heal!" and "So the heroes decide to fall the rest of the way down the mountain."  
    Well damn, who dug out their thinking caps for this one? After playing so many OHR games that make a mess of battles, I finally find a game that does them right, and not because it completely revamps the OHR battle engine or adds some bizarre useless twist to it, Genesis merely gives the battle system everything it should have and then some. For instance, you can use healing potions in battle...but you can’t use larger healing items like a full ham. Which makes sense, no matter what other games say. It also makes sense that caught between a battle between humans and snakes, a blob will fight its most common enemy. Best of all, Genesis offers reasons for your fight, and not long standing ones, like “Darkness fell over the world, and all the animals turned evil...or something.” Well, truth be told, it is a bit like that, but not over the entire world, and once you’ve defeated the boss, things go back to normal. I found the battles of Genesis tough but fun, and better yet, they only took about a half hour of playtime, and I was levelbusting. Finally, a game that knows when battles are an important part of the game and when they’re a useless distractions!
  Map Design
    I touched on this point earlier in the Graphic’s section, but playing Genesis will make you feel shame as an artist to stop slacking off. There are quite a few areas of that game where no graphics are, or for that matter, can, be used later. This gives every map of the game a distinct personality, and even better, the creation team has given you lots to do on many of the maps. Even in Yuriko’s sparsely populated hometown, there are mini-quests to undertake for villagers that affect how they treat you later and interesting things to do once you’ve arrived to new areas. Of course, there’s also the rather intriguing “Owl chasing you down a cliff” minigame, which as you can tell from name, would need another page to explain in terms of good map design.
    Genesis’s battles are most definitely on the hard side, but luckily there aren’t many you need to do, and the creation team’s belief in being able to save almost anywhere is a huge help for the gamers out there who are level busters like me. On the other hand, Yuriko and her companion only gained one new skill a piece at the first level up, and even raising their levels by quite a bit added no new skills. The skills that you learn are genuinely useful however, which is something you don’t see often in OHR games. Too often I’ve used magic spells only to find that they’re weaker then my regular attack, and once again, Genesis plays great because it manages to do something simple that so many OHR games get horribly, horribly wrong.
    Genesis makes good use of a number of ripped tracks, both from popular games, and tracks unheard by this reviewer. Of note is that music is used for effect during quite a few story sequences, something that few OHR games have bothered with. A solid effort, all around.
    Hmm. Did I enjoy Genesis? Immensely. The plot was gripping and charming, the battles were a joy to fight, and the towns were entertaining to journey through. This says nothing of the clever mini-game, and how much fun it is to mingle with the heroes, villains, pirates, and all the other ilk Genesis manages to pack into this nearly two-hour demo. And in that two hours, I can’t honestly say there was a part of the game I didn’t enjoy. From the heart-warming intro to the action-packed end, Genesis was simply a joy to play.
Final Blows
    In this latest release Genesis has stepped up to the task of becoming an enjoyable OHR game. It has ironed out most other RPG’s flaws, added a few new ideas, and brought everything together into a highly entertaining hour and 45 minutes. While Genesis does have its flaws, most notably with some slightly dated graphics, the rest of the project simply outshines most other games currently on the OHR. Quite simply, Genesis is a great game!

You’d be doing yourself a grave disfavor by not playing Genesis. Play for the story, play for the battles, heck, play for how hot Yoriko is, but play!

Final Scores
Graphics: 8/10.0
It’s a mixed bag, but never have OHR Walkabouts been this animated. You’ll be amazed.
Storyline: 9/10.0
I can’t remember the last time I could say an OHR game was truly dramatic, sad, funny, wacky and heartfelt without also giving it a 1. Somehow Genesis gets a 9, play and you’ll understand why.
Gameplay: 8/10.0
After you’ve raced down a mountain with an owl chasing after you, there’s no way you could give Genesis a bad score here.
Music: 8/10.0
Well places ripped tracks.
Enjoyment: 10/10.0
It’s like unwrapping a Christmas present in October, but not nearly as guilt inducing!
Overall Grade: A-
Final Thoughts
    Lucier, Sephy, and Toxic. You’ve all done a great job with Genesis, and I really enjoyed playing it. However, there’s still room for improvement, and I’ve pointed them out in the review. You’ve come far with this game, and I’m looking forward to playing the next demo, so don’t slack off and never release it, like so many other authors do. Good luck!

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