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    1) Sword of Jade: Parallel Dreams reviewed by JSH357
    2) Vikings Of Midgard reviewed by MirceaKitsune
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    5) A Blank Mind reviewed by Dorumagesu
Final Fantasy H vs. Fenrir-Lunaris
Final Fantasy H The title screen with the now famous Amano-Bob.
Download: 3.02 MB
Play Time: (Thellos:16) (Leo:12) hours and :P minutes
Review # 5 for Fenrir-Lunaris The title screen with the now famous Amano-Bob.
Them's Fightin' Words
    Fenrir: Today we're going to try something unusual, that is use the author's special ability to review their own game and not let the grade count. Actually 'I' won't be doing any reviewing whatsoever. Instead I leave the actual bulk of commenting up to my two most significant playtesters, Thellos, and Leonardo.

Leonardo: I like Yaoi.

Thellos: Woof.

Fenrir: I guess we can get started now.

    Fenrir: You two've played FFH a few times through by now. What'd you think of the graphics while playing it over and over?

Thellos: Well, seeing the same maptiles for Coneria's surroundings got somewhat repeditive after a while. They weren't BAD, mind you, especially the first time through. It looked great the first time, but when you keep passing by the same trees 80 times it just doesn't phase you anymore. There were a few misaligned tiles, and some of the NPCs were just recolorations of eachother, usually the Fighter classes, but it wasn't enough to ruin the game. I think you did an excellent job with the hero sprites though, especially the Zyran (anthro) characters. Heck, I'm even in it somewhat. So's Leo.

Leo: Meow.

Thellos: Yeah... though you've got plenty of practice drawing our various characters, and seeing them in sprite form is kinda funny. Also that statue in that one church is just hilarious to look at... what was Lassie sitting on again?

Fenrir: A nuke, if I recall. And giving the heroes the 'bird'

Thellos: Yeah, it's small details like that that really make the graphics fun to look at. Guess I'm hogging the spotlight, so I'll turn it over to Leo.

Leo: I really never paid that much attention to the graphics, since I was concentrating more on the gameplay and storyline. There's an interesting theme going on with the various people running all around the world though. Humans generally have brown hair, Dwarves have red, Elv..

Thellos: We get the point.

Leo: Well, it was also the coloration of the different classes. The humans had lots of reds. The trim of the Black Mage and White Mage's cloaks, the Fighter's armor too, all red. Similar situation with the elves and their greens, and the dwarven blues. That's something a lot of people would miss, but it adds a little bit of distinction to the classes, rather than making them all 'cookie-cutter' characters. In short they all don't suffer from the 'humans in funny suits' syndrome that a lot of RPGs tend to follow. That being said, you kind of skimped out on some character's death animations, specifically the monks. What's up with that?

Fenrir: Lazyness. And I didn't really have a good design for the monks to begin with... they were kind of an afterthought when I put them in the game...

Leo: Whatever, just don't skimp out on TSSE or FF3H when doing that and the graphics'll be ever better. The battle graphics weren't bad either. Spells are nicely animated, heroes rush in to attack, enemies are ripped mostly from the WSC rom... not bad at all... except for the backgrounds, they looked kind of stretched to me.

Thellos: I noticed that too.

Leo: Either way, there's some small details you could have probably done better at fixing, like some misalignments with tiles, and making the shop interiors more diverse. All in all, not a bad job, but you could have done better. Especially now anyway.

Thellos: I'd just like to add that everyone loves the Amano-Bob on the title screen. Guess we know what the 'H' stands for now.

    Fenrir: Now for the story...

Leo: There was one?

Thellos: LOL

Leo: Well, it's FF1... which you butchered horribly by sticking in the Timestream Saga chronology, which was probably your biggest mistake and biggest success. FF1 had hardly ANY plot to begin with, so you win and lose there. It's still the same story, up until the ending, though the last boss was kind of funny in retrospect. I'm surprised he didn't speak in Arfenspeak.

Fenrir: LOL I BEZ E LAZT BOSZZ!!!11!

Leo: You do that again, and I'll strangle you.

Thellos: Aside from Fenrir's apparent bungling of the ending, it actually kind of fits with the whole FF cliche of having a boss that had nothing to do with the plot, and showed up only at the ending like in FF3,4,8,9....

Leo: FF4 is not cliche!!

Thellos: Look at it like this... if Fenrir made the game to try to incorporate as many FF cliches as possible, then he's won. You have the bungling villian (Garland), the bishounen guy (Seraph), Crystals, the steriotypical dungeons, the whole church vs the people bit, and the question of 'what is truth', they're all in there. There's the standard spells we're familiar with, and really don't have to take a wild guess at what they do either though really that should be discussed later. Basically, it's not an original game, it's not an original storyline, but FF isn't exactly credited for originality anymore, right? Fenrir just copied that formula, added extra scenes, subquests, and tried to balance it out.

Leo: I'd say some scenes should have been added in. Like there could have been the whole 'OVER THE BRIDGE! :D!' part where you cross the bridge, instead of the credits playing.

Fenrir: Didn't know about DDW back then though... if I did, you could bet it'd be in. Anything further?

Thellos: Isn't this getting a direct sequal?

Fenrir: Er... yes?

Thellos: Good. Expand the characters' personalities more, and clarify some of Seraph's backstory. I think I caught a few inconsistancies in it.

    Fenrir: We mentioned a lot of the gameplay in the Story Line department... does this mean it was more important that the story?

Leo: It's the most important aspect of a game. Since I'm one of those old-skool kind of players, I can proudly say that gameplay is more important than story or graphics.

Thellos: Me too, though having both of those as well wouldn't hurt.

Leo: I mean, we were testing and testing out the way the game was balanced from beginning to end. No less than 5 times through. Every time you added something we had to sit through from the BEGINNING and go through it again. I think there were something like 4 times you changed the heroes' stats, what spells they got, the strengths of every enemy... just couldn't leave them alone, could you?

Fenrir: Yeah, but you kept saying it was too easy.

Thellos: No, it was too hard because it took forever to level up at first.

Fenrir: Still, you guys prefered to use the 'secret' characters over an ACTUAL PARTY.

Leo: Well, back on track, you did allright with putting appropriate enemies for each section I think. Of course, if you're really patient, level up a lot, and generally know what you're doing, the game won't present much of a challenge. Only near the end I think did it get a bit imbalanced, since I couldn't beat Ultima Weapon or CATS. Never could defeat ZERO either near the beginning of the game as well. I think you were right when you said that only certain parties will have a decent chance at getting everything out of the game, but does that mean you should have made the magic scrolls usable in battle?

Thellos: I think they should have. A beginner playing the game might pick a party that's unable to heal effectively, like nothing but monks. And buying several scrolls of Life2 and Haste2 gets expensive real quick, especially if you want to always have the best equipment as well. That and leveling up a monk really early means he'll hit harder than he would with a weapon. Then again I never gave him any weaponry... too bad he still had to equip armor, otherwise it would have been more like the first Final Fantasy.

    Fenrir: Let's cover a bit more about the battles here.

Leo: Well, like I said the game was mostly too easy, but there was a wide variety of attacks. The Fiends, as you pointed out all had a peice of the Genji Equipment, and if you don't have an axe or a thief, good luck getting it from them. Aside from some of the later bosses, I don't think the game really WAS that hard, you just had to know what you were doing. Yes, you CAN run through it with nothing but Fighters, but you could also do that on the NES game. Yes, it's very hard with nothing but White Mages, but it can be done. I think when people say the game's easy, it's because they've already played FF1 and are expecting something incredibly difficult. Really, a lot of OHR players are going to be more experienced with their gaming skills. They'll know to stock up on potions, and level up before taking on a new dungeon. In short, you're going to find every battle easy if you're well prepared for them.

Thellos: Others are nearly impossibly hard though. CATS comes to mind actually. I mean, HOW many phoenix down did you have to have for that? 30? Ultima Weapon's no pushover either... probably a lot worse since she/he's got more HP than the final boss and likes to cast Ultima every other round. That being said, you also changed the last Boss's flow of battle. It's MUCH harder, even on the normal level of difficulty. If you don't take out as many of those crystals as soon as possible, you'll get wiped out fast. Faster than CATS even. I think after one or two battles, you'd figure out how to beat them. At least it's not like FF10's last boss where one hit with Tidus or Auron can end the battle. How anticlimactic would that be?

Fenrir: So difficulty in the battles is good?

Thellos: Some, but it shouldn't make the game impossibly hard, like some of the very few OHR games I've played. My party was generally a Fighter, a Monk, and two spellcasters. Being able to use scrolls did help somewhat, but really if you carried enough potions and had good stats there wasn't much that could faze you. Being able to absorb a lot of spells also helped.

Leo: The spells as items was probably unneeded. If someone's stupid enough to go through with four monks who can't heal for shit, then they deserve to be trashed for all they're worth. Having less than 1000 HP kind of evened things out a bit, which was nice. At least then the enemies could still kill you in one hit if you weren't careful. Also the potions being more effective in battle.... guess it works. Then again, I just stocked up on X-Potions.

Thellos: The hero skills were too random. When you use focus it should always work, not have a 50% chance of failing. Prayer, yeah, that should be weak and have a chance to fail because it's free HP recovery, but still...

Leo: Actually that's probably the reason a lot of people think it's too easy, Fenrir. You COULDN'T do anything extra in FF1 like Steal, jump, defend, etc. It's more like FF3j than anything just because of the extra stuff you can do. That being said, most anyone with a brain is going to play with a well rounded party, rather than with extremes like all fighters, or all White Mages, or just one red mage. If it's too hard, they're not playing it right. If it's too easy, the player's just too experienced a gamer.

  Map Design
    Thellos: I was okay on the whole 'explore the world' bit, with the area monsters and extra treasures. You should probably make that one of the strong points in FF3H or TSSE. I liked that system pretty well. I did get confused on where exactly to go though, since traveling from city to dungeon took a while, and if you don't explore, you WILL lose your way.

Leo: And add a world map.

Thellos: No, it probably worked better without it. FF10 sort of proved you don't need a world map. SD3, Secret of Mana, a whole bunch of other games too. Only for the Airship travel, yes but on foot, it's not realistic to be able to see a city 1 mile away when you're on the other side of mountains.

Leo: Maybe, maybe not. We don't generally agree on a lot of things anyway.

Thellos: I.. er.. also got lost in some of the dungeons... especially the volcano and those 'looping' maps. The forests didn't help much either.

Leo: Having a world map would've solved that, though you wouldn't have gotten those 'area monsters'. That and being able to sneak into Pravoka without having to walk all the way around it helped.

    Fenrir: What about the balance?

Leo: Horribly imbalanced. Then again, that's because there's far more options to do in this game than in the original NES or even PSX versions of FF1. Casting spells from items probably overdid it as well.

Thellos: A single Character Challenge would probably povide a greater amount of balance.
    Thellos: Must the overworld song be played in EVERY section of walking around?

Leo: I didn't mind it. There's minor variations on that theme, so it never plays exactly the same.

Fenrir: Would you have prefered the worldmap?

Thellos: Probably not. The music also fits with each area, like in the original.

    Leo: I think I enjoyed this game almost as much as the PSX version. Granted it could have had more features.

Thellos: I usually hate OHR games in general. 99% of them tend to suck. Add FFH to the list of those that don't suck.

Fenrir: That's a pretty bold statement.

Thellos: Sorry, but with the exception of SOJ2, and maybe Arfenhouse the first time you see it, I don't exactly find much enjoyment out of a poorly thought out game with poor, but original graphics, a small and ineffectual soundtrack, characters that are more boring than Ben Stein, and gameplay that is either nonexistant or of a difficulty that will turn off most serious gamers.
Final Blows
    Yoshimitsu: Well done! :P~

Thellos: What the...?
A battle in the final area with several of the game's hidden characters.

A battle in the final area with several of the game's hidden characters.
Final Scores
Graphics: 9.5/10.0
Leo: Absolutely beautiful. The original ones at least. And they'll only get better wit future games.
Storyline: 9/10.0
Thellos: It has it's ups and downs, but kept me interested. And considering only one otehr OHR game managed to do that with its story, that's a very impressive feat. Especially after 4 times through.
Gameplay: 6.5/10.0
Leo: Easy, perhaps exceedingly so. Then there's the hidden extra bosses, and all the extra stuff you can do, so it balances out.
Music: 8.5/10.0
Thellos: The main theme gets repeditive after a while, but it still sounds better than the old NES sound chip. Most of the music is also well placed for a change.
Enjoyment: 10/10.0
Leo: It will PWN joo.

Thellos: Gah! Arfenspeak!
Overall Grade: A
Final Thoughts
    Fenrir: To plagurize the default comment here... Any Final Thoughts?

Thellos: It's probably not the best OHR game that's ever going to be made, but it's an excellent one for a first time OHRer to play, just to see what the engine's capable of producing.

Leo: Despite its flaws, not even you will likely produce a better game Fenrir. This game was probably deserving of it's original score of an A+. It won't be beaten.

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